After lengthy but fruitful discussions, the Municipality of Les Diablerets, one of Lausanne 2020’s host venues for the Winter Youth Olympic Games has given the go ahead for the remodeling of one of its main winter sport attractions, the “Piste des Jorasses”, where the event’s Alpine Skiing disciplines will take place in January 2020.
This new development is a strong case study for how the Youth Olympic Games can accelerate the strategic approach a venue takes for the future of its winter and summer tourism.
For more than a century the “Piste des Jorasses” has been one of the most used slopes by winter sports aficionados in Les Diablerets, one of the main ski resorts in Switzerland’s Vaud Alps.
In order to host the Youth Olympic Games Alpine disciplines, it needed to be slightly remodelled to conform to the specifications for homologation by FIS, the International Ski Federation.
The authorities used the opportunity of the Winter Youth Olympic Games to go one step further.
Alongside the modifications required for homologation, they considered how the slope could be better used to reinforce not only the practice of elite skiing, but also how it could be part of a new strategic approach for winter and summer tourism in general in the area.
For example, what used to be a chair-lift will now become a mixed chair-gondola lift, allowing cyclists to easily access the top of the mountain in the summer season. This, combined with other elements was part of the new concept which was welcomed unanimously by the municipal council, an extremely rare occasion in the history of the city.
Ian Logan, CEO of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee: “This is what it is all about: when considered the long-term impact, the Games can act as accelerators for initiatives that will truly mark the history of the region, for the better.”
Sarah Lewis, Secretary General, FIS: “The organisation of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Les Diablerets has allowed the local authorities together with the National Ski Association Swiss Ski, to put a new focus on this important region of Switzerland for the development of competitive skiing.
"And when this is combined with such initiatives aimed at boosting tourism in a smart way, then the potential of a Youth Olympic Games’ legacy can be reached for the community and region.”
.Eric Liechti, Municipal Councillor in charge of Tourism in Les Diablerets: “A sporting event is used to its full potential when it can be used to rethink the way a tourism destination sees its future. We look forward to welcoming the sporting youth of the world in 2020, and new visitors every years after that.”
International competitions are planned on this ski slope starting from this winter. The European Cup planned for the 2018/2019 season as well as several FIS races are important stages in preparation for the Youth Olympic Games in January 2020