LA GRAVE WILL NOT BECOME ‘MONSTER’
23rd October 2017 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
The cult off-piste resort in France will stay a ‘magical and unique’ place, promises the boss of the new lift company.
Christophe Monier, Managing Director of SATA, has given a public commitment that La Grave’s character as a freeride paradise will be retained.
He says he does not want it to become a ‘monster ski resort’.
His company, which has established the subsidiary SATG to operate the gondola on the mountain, signed a 30-year lease on the lift in June.
It followed a campaign by locals and fans of the untamed mountain in the southern French Alps to keep it wild.
PlanetSKI followed the developments closely:
In an interview with Jenny Selberg of La Grave’s tourist office, Christophe Monier says the mountain is a “magical and unique place with a practically unequalled international renown”.
He confirms that the aim is to keep it that way, although some changes are planned to increased the number of visitors:
- short break ski package deals to La Grave
- two-destination ski breaks to include La Grave and Alpe d’Huez
- measures to boost La Grave’s summer tourist potential
Monier also says he hopes that a link between the major resorts of Alpe d’Huez, which is also run by SATA, and Les2Alpes, which neighbours La Grave, will become a reality.
The idea of connecting the two ski areas has been around a long time.
Monier is keen to dispel fears that any future mega-resort would spill over into La Grave, which is already linked to Les2Alpes for skiers who are prepared to take a short hike.
“We have no intention of creating a big secured ski resort in La Grave,” Monier says. “We would only destroy its authenticity.
“Naturally, we want to keep the link we have today, but we don’t want La Grave to become a monster ski resort.
“I think we would have more to lose than to gain. Its unique character would be lost forever, whereas it should be preserved and developed.
“We are committed to letting La Grave stay a freeride area.”
There is, though, a clear aim to attract more international freeride fans, with plans to push package deals and two-centre ski breaks.
“To develop the winter season we have to work on package deals or least ski and accommodation,” Monier says.
“We will co-operate with the local economic agents to work on, for instance, three to four day deals.
“We also plan on working on the complementarity with Alpe d’Huez.
“Why not combine the two and set up packages with a few days in each place?
“Our commercial teams promote the image of Alpe d’Huez abroad and they will, of course, do the same promotional work with La Grave products.”
Christophe Monier admits that he has never skied in La Grave but adds “I will definitely be going next winter”.
The PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, is a huge fan. You can read his account of a visit in 2016:
And if you fancy finding out for yourself what La Grave has to offer this winter, it opens on 23rd December with the season running until 30th April.
Read the full interview with Christophe Monier in La Grave’s latest Journal (in French and English):
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.
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