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A Swiss Ski Pass Start-Up Looks To Uberize The Slopes

The Lausanne-based start-up Skioo is organizing trips from Swiss cities to Alpine resorts thanks to an alliance with the U.S.-based car-hire app.

Ski, snow and sun
Ski, snow and sun
Servan Peca

GENEVA — One needs skiers, the other, passengers. Skioo, a pay-per-use sky pass, and Uber, a ride-hailing service, recently partnered to transport city residents to snow-covered slopes.

Gregory Barbezat, the founder and owner of Skioo, drove people to the slopes of Glacier 3000, above the Swiss village of Diablerets, in a minibus. "The atmosphere was excellent," he said with a smile.

Although this first trip was free as it was a trial run, the next ones won't be. Barbezat says that Skioo is not looking to rake in cash from the venture but won't be losing money either. "It is a marketing investment. It offers us visibility, content, stories to tell, and it helps us understand the needs of the skiers we meet," says Barbezat.

Skioo is trying to reinvent the ski bus. Barbezat wants to recreate a generation of skiers who are, by his own admission, "a little more rock-and-roll than the previous one." This coming winter, Skioo will organize about 30 departures using Uber and other partners, from Swiss cities like Bern, Basel and Zurich to alpine peaks.

Barbezat's motto? "Make skiing fun again, less serious, especially by removing logistical constraints such as travel, parking, etc."

The practical constraints linked to skiing have been the foundation of Skioo's business model since 2012. The company offers rechargeable cards linked to debit cards that charge skiers according to resort's prices and their use of them.

About 25,000 skiers already use Skioo cards free of charge. About 50 ski resorts give him a commission each time a user frequents their slopes.

Barbezat plans to further expand. He is already preparing for the 2017-18 winter. He has negotiated with accommodation services Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com to offer customers packages of ski days and overnight stays. "The ski resorts are very interested but on the other hand, the operators don't want to have to address each of them individually. They want a single interlocutor," he says.

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

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