Here are 6 things which are new in Les Arcs for 2011/12:
After last year's debacle, the arrival of l'or blanc is THE big news. Last year, there was no snowfall of note between the end of December and June (sic). This Christmas sees snow depths of 300cms at the top, more than Val d'Isere and Tignes and far more than in Austria and Switzerland. Here is Place Miravidi in 1800:
2. Changing hands (i): Hotel du Golf
The "anchor" hotel of 1800 has changed hands, and is now owned by the Groupe Temmos. They are looking to change the ambiance a little, making it more "welcoming" and less formal. Sadly this means the charismatic bar host and ace monoskier Pierre-Yves no longer appears to be part of the hotel's plans. They seem to be having a promising start, and they have some quite competitive half-board deals if you book direct. Hotel du Golf's website here.
3. Changing hands (ii): Aux Enfants Terribles
The restaurant formerly known as La Poudreuse, on the slopes above Peisey-Vallandry, is now re-named and under new ownership. Indeed it is now under the same ownership as the Arpette restaurant below the 1600/1800 snowpark. It boasts a newly wood-cladded exterior and "cosy" bar.
4. Just open: Edenarc
The Edenarc development is now starting to come on stream, and it looks like Stage 1 is now open. At least I did see some skiers going in there, and a light burning inside. It does feel quite lonely and isolated at the moment, a bit like the kind of place Scooby and co would show up at on a stormy night. If you've got the cash, I'd wait until a later phase, by which time the hot-tubs etc will presumably be bubbling away happily.
By the way, you can see the original Charlotte Perriand design for this site here:
5. Coming soon: A new 4-star at Charmettoger
The much-loved Aiguille Grive restaurant is now long gone, and 2012/13 will presumably see the opening of this new hotel-restaurant. You can have a sneak preview by turning left on the main run back to Arc 1800. It looks like it will be a fair old size. And it looks like the design will be at least paying some reference to the "Les Arcs" pointy style.
6. Ride in Style: The newly "pimped" funiculaire
The funiculaire from Bourg St Maurice is proudly deemed to be "unique en France". It has been given a new coat of paint, which proclaims its "environmentally friendly" credentials.