Ever wondered what happens to all that money that the lift companies earn in ski pass sales?
I can’t vouch for other resorts but here in the Three Valleys it’s all about re-investment and modernisation. As the biggest and best ski areas in the world (OK, so I am a little biaised) they can’t afford to rest on their laurels and the 2013 ski season will see some great new changes.
The most exciting change to me is the replacement of the Biollay chair to a 6-man chair. This will increase the transport of skiers from 2500/hour to 3300/hour, which will surely be a noticeable improvement.
Over in Meribel the 2nd part of the Saulire Express has been completed. Now a modern, high-speed gondola which will whisk people from Meribel to the summit of the Saulire in just 12 minutes. Plattieres 1 & 2 have also been replaced with a single gondola (the only 10-man gondola in the 3 Valleys) and will make the 734m journey in just 9 minutes (compared to the 22 minutes of the old Plattieres 1 & 2).
Following on from the re-shaping of the Creux piste last season, this season snow cannons have been added to ensure good snow coverage on this ever popular piste. Snow cannons have also been added to the Cospillot piste, meaning there are now well over 700+ snow cannons in the Courchevel area. Also of note is the creation of a new piste “Plan du Vah” from the Gravelles/Roc Mugnier area, eventually leading to the new leisure centre in 1550 (which itself is due for completion in 2014).
One of the biggest changes has been the re-naming of the Courchevel resorts. It hasn’t gone down particuarly well with the locals, but I think it is to remove any negative assumptions that may be made towards altitude heights, and also to give each resort it’s own identity rather than remain in the shadows of Courchevel 1850.