Nightlife remains a challenge

Fri, 19. Nov. 2021

Nightlife in Saanenland has left much to be desired for quite some time. Now the municipality has invited people to an information event to inform about rules and regulations, exchange ideas, and develop new ones. Even after this evening, the problem remains difficult - but not insoluble.

“Indulging in memories of the good old times won’t help us move forward.” Most attendees entered the Landhaus with this attitude, which the four municipal councillors present seemed to share. It was the starting point for the presentations and discussions surrounding the nightlife in and around Gstaad, which has increasingly withered away in recent years. And yet, some of the legendary nightclubs, including the Grotte and the Chesery, in the Saanenland were recalled at the beginning.

Who needs a nightlife?
The questions raised at the beginning of the event by Petra Schläppi, municipal councillor of Saanen responsible for the social affairs department, put nightlife in various contexts. For example, who had previously thought about whether an intact nightlife offer influences immigration and emigration? Or, in how far the nightlife for young people is equally relevant for locals, employees and tourists?

Other municipal councillors provided information on topics such as regulations and safety in gastronomy, construction measures and possible financial aids. So, four councillors took up the cause and discussed the problems and possible solutions with the visitors that evening.

Municipality of Saanen lends a hand
In connection with the meagre nightlife in Saanenland, the question of the abolished night bus came up. Municipal councillor David Schmid explained that the development and use of future nightlife services should certainly not fail because of the night bus and that the municipality would lend a hand if needed.

Communication is key
“Communication is the magic word” summarises several comments from the audience. An efficient exchange between gastronomers in Gstaad would make it possible to coordinate the dates of various events, said one attendee, and received approval from all sides. The reference to the Gstaad Saanenland Tourism calendar of events was met with scepticism. According to various voices in the audience, this calendar is not suitable for this purpose. Thanks to their short-term nature, access to social media platforms is more attractive to young people and young adults today.

Working for results
The audience pointed out that such an information event had already taken place four years ago, but there was a certain resignation. They had already collected good ideas and left the event highly motivated. And then nothing happened. The desired exchange had not followed.

To prevent another disappointment and lack of results, it was suggested that interest groups or project groups be founded. After the event was officially over, the exchange between the presenters and attendees was lively – across the borders of villages. Nightlife is just as important for Gsteig and Schönried as it is for Gstaad and Saanen.

Part of the groundwork has been laid, but it remains a big effort to bring some of the ideas to fruition and hopefully bring back some of the nightlife glory from the past.

Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi

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