Andermatt resort development on track

Developers of the Andermatt Swiss Alps tourist resort seem satisfied with how sales and construction are progressing.

This content was published on February 14, 2012 - 11:16
swissinfo.ch and agencies

In a media release published on Tuesday, the developers announced that 2011 had been a good year, with SFr103 million ($112 million) in sales and reservation contracts.

Property sales amounted to SFr72 million, while reservations accounted for another SFr31 million. Reservation contracts for 2012 have totalled another SFr 22 million so far.

“In the face of a difficult situation, this is an exceptional result,” said Gerhard Niesslein, CEO of Orascom Development Holding AG – the Egyptian company that is building the resort. He was referring to the strong Swiss franc, tough economic times and the controversy surrounding the creation of the resort's ski areas.

Many have questioned the need for such a luxury resort while expressing concern about its potential environmental impact in the central Swiss canton of Uri. The project is the brainchild of Egyptian tycoon Samih Sawiris.

Financial struggles and accusations of bad planning have also been making headlines. Despite Tuesday's upbeat release, Sawiris recently admitted that sales were not going as well as hoped. 

The revamping of the area's ski lifts is also taking longer than was expected. Sawiris, the cantonal government, rail companies, the Swedish developer and sister resorts are all looking at where and when to expand and how to finance that.

When completed, the resort will have six hotels, about 20 villas and 490 apartments in 42 buildings, plus 35,000 square metres of commercial property.

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