Still going shopping like before?
For months everybody has been talking about the financial crisis. Some, such as the construction companies and liers, are still fine; others are hurting, some badly. Gstaad-Saanenland was more or less fine for quite a while (or people were being so discreet about it, you couldn't tell...). Now, however, it is clear that many of the hotel and restaurant numbers are down compared to last year, largely due to stay-aways from the UK and US. Last week Armon Cantieni told the Anzeiger von Saanen that cable car numbers were looking decent, but acknowledged the savior role played by the unusually good weather and large amounts of snow this season, illustrated by February's lousy numbers. According to Hans Schär, president of the local chamber of commerce, less money was spent on luxury goods and more people had their cars serviced and repaired instead of just buying a new one when the oil light came on. Prices for renting apartments are also down (no, really). There are still lots of ads in the local newspaper, but they're not as big as they used to be. But it's not all doom and gloom. Saanen Bank and Raiffeisenbank Saanenland have profited from the crisis as customers
transfered their hidden stashes decided to switch given all the uncertainty and scrutiny at the national brands such as UBS. Four and three-star hotels such as the Steigenberger and the Alpine Lodge have picked up new regulars trading down from the suddenly unnecessary extravagance of five-star digs. So as always there are some who have suffered and some who gain. We hope you belong to the latter category.