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Hiking above Peisey Vallandry

Saturday, 28 May 2016

WHAT NEXT FOR LES ARCS? The Ski Area

The latest update from Avenir et Animations des Arcs summarises some of the changes coming up in Les Arcs over the coming years.  There's going to be a fair amount of activity both on the mountain and in the resorts.

On the mountain, the lift company's plans include:

Summer 2016
- Further improvements to the area around the Le Lodge restaurant
- Free access to the Villards lift to take you up to Mille 8
- Inauguration of the new club house on the golf course; the idea being that this becomes a focal point for summer visitors
- A new mountain bike track at Mille 8
- Improvements to key footpaths including the balcon sentier at Villaroger and the route to Notre Dame des Vernettes at Peisey

Sumer walking below the Grand Col

Christmas 2017 (sic).  I assume this means the forthcoming season, but not sure...
- New investment in the lower part of the Arc 2000 valley, centred on the replacement of the ancient Pré Saint Esprit Lift
- Remodelling and widening of some of the pistes
- Artificial snowmaking at Villaroger

Programme 2018-2020
- More investment in snowmaking
- Modernisation of the Transarc
- New carriages for the funicular
- Replacement of the Comborciere and Vallandry lifts

The Villards lift to Mille 8 will now run summer and winter

This is all part of what appears to be a reasonably coordinated plan also involving the town hall and private investors, who are putting money into improving the infrastructure and boosting the numbers of visitors.  The battle against the "lits froids", apartments occupied for only a few weeks a year, continues.

These investments - in the mountain and in the resorts - amount to some  €450-€500m between now and 2020.  More on the plans for the resorts soon.



Wednesday, 25 May 2016

THAT WAS THE SEASON THAT WAS

Loads of useful information in this update from the Avenir et Animation des Arcs proprietors' association.

Despite the variable whether, unpredictable from the start of the season (not much snow) through to the end (a snowy/grey spring), Alain Giraudo reports that the season has been reasonable for local businesses, and indeed for the ADS lift company.

This winter of course saw the launch of various projects, including the Mille 8 development, the Le Lodge restaurant, the new Yuge app, modernisation of some of the pistes.  Apparently the net result is an extra 90,000 skier days: objectives met for ADS, it seems.

At Mille 8, the piste de luge did very well, the new beginners' slopes have been well received, and there has been success for some of the animations, including 6,000 people present at the site's inauguration earlier in the season.

More on plans for summer 2016 (and beyond) soon.

Le Lodge, Mille 8

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

THE INTERSEASON

The lifts have finally closed in the Tarentaise.  Even those in Val Thorens have stopped running.

Val Thorens, 8 May 2016
Source: VT Facebook page

Ski addicts have to leave their equipment in the garage until 25th June, when Tignes will open the Grande Motte glacier for the summer season.  For more on the history of summer skiing, including its slow recent decline, click here.

Over in La Rosiere, the rather good Espace San Bernardo Facebook page has some good shots of the mountain as it makes its transition from white to green.

Meanwhile the Les Arcs site has its summer skin - with its new branding now in situ.  More on the resort's updated look and feel here.

At the foot of the valley, the big news are the rockfalls on Mont Granier, emblematic mountain of the Chartreuse, which will be familiar to regular users of the motorway from Albertville to Chambéry.  This is the 3rd major incident of the year.  Noone has been hurt this year - in contrast to the disaster of 24-25 November 1248: that rockfall resulted in c1,000 deaths and the mountain's current distinctive shape, including its striking 700m deep cliff.

Mont Granier (1933m)
Source: @ChamberyFrance


Sunday, 1 May 2016

BACK TO THE FUTURE: A new logo for Les Arcs

The Les Arcs marketing team has decided time is up for the resort's logo - a design which has served the resort in various forms since 2002:



Step forward the new logo.  On the resort's Facebook site, it is presented in red, with a grey angle at the top right hand corner.  But apparently that's because it's currently sitting on the Facebook page, which has a red design.  There is a more simple grey and white version as well, so perhaps that will become the preferred version.  It's a bit early to tell - for example www.lesarcs.com has yet to update things.



As sen on Facebook

The resort's Facebook page says that they are looking to bring back the historic Les Arcs logo in an updated form, in order to re-centre attention on the resort's DNA, and its values. They hope it will provide a way to help new generations learn about the history of Les Arcs.

Here is the old logo in action:




Facebook reaction seems mixed - in general people seem to like its respect for the resort's tradition, but is it a little sombre?  Or should they have just completely gone back to the old version?  There is a reference to a 200k euro budget, but I haven't any more information on that.

Perhaps the most telling comment so far asks whether there is an agency to give the resort's branding a "wake-up call".  It observes the wide range of different brands/logos that can be seen across the resort - it's all a bit all over the shop: Mille8, Snowpark, ADS, Arc 1950, Radio Les Arcs, Bike Park, Film Festival, etc.

For my part, I'm just pleased that the resort has indeed kept this link with its past.  I was worried they were going to do something silly like Peisey-Vallandry.



Perhaps this will be a springboard to harmonise at least some of the other brands referred to by our Facebook correspondent.  It's probably too much to hope for, but it would be nice to see the bland, we-could-be-anywhere presentation of Arc 1950 consigned to the rubbish bin...