With the winter season well and truly over and summer fast approaching the Three Valleys are taking on their latest improvements at full speed.
Back in March we covered the new Funitel lift, Nordic-styled hotel and luxury apartments in Val Thorens. Courchevel and Meribel have now also got in on the act announcing their own resort upgrades and new additions.
Early in the season the rumour mill kicked into gear that the Bergin Saulire lift in Meribel was due to be replaced, this rumour had been knocking around for a few seasons. By February the lift company had posters on the lift station to this affect, though details were kept to a minimal. In recent weeks the Meribel lift company have announced that the new lift will be an eight man, high-speed gondola, carrying up to 2,800 skiers an hour. The station will continue to run in two sections, the same as the current lift, but will whisk skiers up to the top of Saulire from the Chaudanne in only 12 minutes. The top section of the lift is due to be completed for the 2011/12 season, with the full lift in operation for the 2012/13 season.
Meribel Mottaret will also be benefitting from a new high-speed, eight man gondola, as the Platiers 1 & 2 bubble will be replaced, offering quicker access to Val Thorens and Les Menuires. Hopefully they will also replace Platiers 3 with either a gondola or upgraded chair, as the lift queues here can bottleneck with everyone coming off the bubble or skiing down.
There are also rumours coming from guys in La Tania that the Plantrey chairlift in Courchevel 1850 is being upgraded to a six man, which should keep La Tania fans and locals happy, as the lift offers a quick and usually queue-less way back to resort. There are also more snow cannons being placed on the Murette piste down to Le Praz, at the bottom of the valley.
Courchevel is also investing in a new sports centre, due for completion in 2014, on the outskirts of 1550, by the current tennis courts and summer lido-style pool. The video shows a very modern looking set-up with a variety of pools and facilities. The resort offers a reliable and frequent bus service, so whether in 1850, 1650 or La Tania access to the sports centre will only be a short bus ride away.
So, over the next two seasons the Three Valleys will have two new high-speed gondolas, a new Funitel lift, a new six-man chairlift and more amenities, from luxury apartments to an über modern sports centre. I'm sure there will be plenty more developments from the world's largest ski area and British skiers' most popular destination, continues to maintains it's position at the top.
Written by Stephen Adam