The world renowned resort of Val Thorens, in France's Three Valleys ski area, has announced plans to introduce free Wi-Fi connectivity to the slopes. The resort has decided to deploy free Wi-Fi internet access at a variety of lift stations.
SETAM, The resort's lift company, added Wi-Fi to the Péclet Funitel, the Cairn & Caron gondola and the Cime Caron cable car last season and following its success it plans to open up the system across as much of the resort as possible. As of next season Wi-Fi should be available at the Plein Sud, Moraine and 3 Vallée 2 chair lifts, along with the Bouquetin cable car.
Eric Bonnel, Sales and Marketing Director of ski lift company SETAM, said "We want to offer visitors the best services to facilitate their stay in the resort. We are anticipating their needs by offering them access to Wi-Fi on the ski lifts."
Having free Wi-Fi access on the slopes will be a massive pull to skiers, meaning people can access digital piste maps and instantly upload photos on the slopes, massively reducing the need to use expensive data roaming. For those set-up to do so, people will also be able to Facetime and Skype friends to find out where they are, or to show off to their friends at home.
There are also rumours the resort intends to extend the Wi-Fi network even further, with Orelle — nicknamed the Hidden Valley— in line to also benefit from access at their lift stations in the coming seasons. This modern approach to skiing is great idea and will no doubt be a pull for many people planning their 2012/13 ski holidays.
With completion of the new Funitel lift station, the new hotel, new luxury apartments and new chalets next season, Val Thorens is making strides forward as a resort and is beginning to appeal to a former local who has since holidayed in Meribel (me) once again.
Written by Stephen Adam
Photo: © OT Val Thorens