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Snow business It's survival of the biggest for Swiss mountain resorts

To beat the competition, popular mountain destinations are investing in glitzy new infrastructure to pull in the punters.

As the ski season begins so does competition to attract skiers to the slopes.  The largest ski resorts are investing large amounts of money on new infrastructure to expand and improve.

A project costing CHF100 million ($100 million) on the Titlis resort was presented on Monday. It will comprise a building made of steel and glass and a re-purposed radio tower that will host a bar and a restaurant at 3,028 metres (9,934 feet) altitude.

A new roof terrace on the summit station of the cable car will also be built as well as escalators taking visitors directly to a nearby glacier, according to the operatorsexternal link.

“We have the ambition to combine practical objectives and aesthetics here on the Titlis,” said Pierre de Meuron of the renowned Swiss architecture firm, Herzog & De Meuronexternalexternal link, at a presentation on Monday. It’s expected to take up to six years to finish the project.

In June, authorities approved a CHF400 million ($405 million) mountain railway project that will carry tourists faster up to the Jungfraujoch in the Bernese Alps.

Investments to expand the ski area are also ongoing in Andermattexternal link, another popular ski destination, thanks to the Egyptian entrepreneur Samih Sawiris. From December a new gondola lift will connect  Andermatt and Sedrun offering customers 120 km of ski slopes, making it the largest ski resort in Central Switzerland.

For Silvio Schmid, CEO of the Andermatter Bergbahnen, these investments are essential to stay competitive as "due to digitalisation customers are able to compare the offerings of different ski resorts in a few clicks. Thus it's essential to be able to offer something better than the competition".

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