Lac des Moutons - a stone's throw from the Grand Col pistes...

Saturday, 13 September 2014

LA PLAGNE: An end to the "Bellecote Bottleneck"?

(Updated 14 Sept)

La Plagne will not be happy to see itself nominated by Where to Ski and Snowboard as having the "most persistent problem" in the form of the queues at the Bellecote gondola. Not least as change is on the agenda.

As the Perso-LaPlagne site documents, plans are well under way for the new 8 person Colosses lift, which will relieve some of the pressure.  Maybe it will alleviate the queues to the Roche de Mio too.

Apparently the La Plagne spin doctors have been busy publicising the news.  It will be the fastest 8 person lift in France, reports today's Le Dauphiné; this Wednesday a 350 ton crane will be ready to lift the gare du départ into place.  The capacity will be 4,400 skiers/hour, compared with 2,400 previously.  Etc. 

For more background on the ongoing improvements to the La Plagne lift system, including the delay to the new Montalbert gondola, click here.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

TRANSFORMATION: Building work at Arc 1800

There are big changes taking shape at Arc 1800.  Some see this as a necessary upgrade to help the resort complete with rivals like Tignes (which was recently crowned Europe's most improved ski resort.  Older proprieteres have been overheard worrying that the resort is losing its soul, and Val d'Isere-style prices will surely follow.

The development is certainly ambitious.  The Chantel slopes will see the installation of a new gondola, piste luge and beginners' slope.  Compagnie des Alpes is putting nearly €30m into the investment.  

And that's not all.  Out goes the defunct ice-rink.  Step forward a new indoor swimming pool complex, aka the centre aqualudique.  This has been funded by the local council. For more on the background, click here.

Timing-wise, it all seems to be on track, although it looks like the restaurant on the map will have to wait until the following year.  Below are some August 2014 pictures.

Click here for full details of the plan

The new Villards telecabine has replaced the old  chair

The summit of the new telecabine in the foreground,
with the next wave of Edenarc behind

The outside pool was closed this summer... enable construction of the new centre aqualudique