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Door closes on 4,000-metre-high hotel project

Zermatt's mountain lift company says it will not go ahead with controversial plans to build a hotel on a peak opposite the world-famous Matterhorn.

However, the firm said on Wednesday it was still intent on expanding the tourist facilities on the summit of the Klein Matterhorn.

In an interview with Bern’s Bund newspaper, the head of Zermatt Mountain Cableways, Christian Baumann, said pressure from Swiss environmentalists and the mountaineering federation, the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), had led to the decision.

The plans had called for the construction of a 117-metre-high tower on top of the peak, which would have artificially raised the mountain’s height to 4,000 metres.

The tower was to have housed an expanded restaurant and hotel. While the hotel idea has been scrapped, Baumann said the additional restaurant seating would still go ahead as could the tower, albeit a smaller version.

“We don’t necessarily have to build an ‘artificial 4,000-metre peak’ as it has been hyped in the media,” Baumann said.

But the environmentalists and SAC say they remain opposed to any new construction on the mountain.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR