Swiss resort jeered for clearing snow from streets

Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:21am EST
 
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ZURICH (Reuters Life!) - Holidaymakers in Zermatt have complained the Swiss ski resort is not snowy enough after a controversial decision to clear streets to prevent accidents.

The car-free community of Zermatt decided to rid its streets of winter snow after several accidents and two lawsuits last year. But now skiers are complaining the town does not look wintry enough.

"Cleaning the streets has turned out to be a mistake and we are waiting on more snow to correct this," Daniel Luggen, Zermatt's director of tourism, told Reuters. "It is definitely the first and the last time that we do this."

Luggen said neither guests nor locals were happy about the action in the town, situated beneath the famous steeple-shaped Matterhorn mountain.

"Even though we took a lot of snow away, we could not remove it all completely. The snow that was left was mixed with salt and dirt and it looked more like we had a beach in our streets. As soon as the weather turned milder, it all turned to mud," he said.

(Reporting by Katie Reid, editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>Traditionnal wooden houses are pictured in the village of Zermatt September 10, 2007. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>