|Before Edenarc: The Chantel site|
One voice in the local scene is the Union des Propriétaires pour la Défense des Arcs (UPDA), set up in 1992 by 30 propriétaires from Villards (Arc 1800). They had become fed up with how their copropriétés were being managed, and increasingly clear that they needed to develop a common voice against the lift company, local council etc.
Today the UPDA boasts 1800 members (out of a total of 3,800 propriétaires in Arc 1800 and Arc 2000). They say they are making progress in transforming Les Arcs into a station where the apartment owners are taking an interest in the future of their resort, and point to a number of successes in their various battles. Here are some of them:
1. The La Maitaz plateau - victory has just been announced in the fight to stop a new hotel being built at the edge of Charmetogger, on the green piste/summer road to Vallandry. This is a special site, beautiful in summer and winter, and its preservation is great news.
2. Clashes with the local mairie. The UPDA is clear that all the electors are in the valley, while much of the money is collected at altitude, not least from the taxes paid by the propriétaires. "Pay up and shut up" is the local maxim, it seems. Some of this unhappiness was evident in the debates over the setting up of the new car parking charges for Arc 1800. They continue to campaign for more transparence, and more of a neutral stance from the municipality.
3. Dismantling the monopoly of the SMA (the former lift company, which controlled just about everything in the resort, including renting apartments, ski shops etc). It claims some success here, pointing to an increase in property values (the arrival of Paradiski and investment by the Compagnie des Alpes, Intrawest etc may also have contributed here....). There has been a long-standing dispute about who pays for the Golf course (now resolved), and there remains a lot of unhappiness about parking in Villards which I haven't quite fathomed out.
|The shopping area at Charvet, Arc 1800|
5. Improving security - they have been unhappy with the lack of attention played by the local police notably the gendarmerie of Bourg St Maurice.
The founder of the Union, Gilbert Driancourt, died in 2009. But the UPDA continues, for example in its work to ensure that the annual meeting of the copropriétes are quorate, and the views of the propriétaires are heard.