Big changes are happening in Courchevel, with huge investments in Courchevel Le Praz and La Tania making them even better for skiers and snowboarders.
New for Courchevel Le Praz: The Alpinium
If you visited Courchevel in Winter 2018-2019 you can’t have failed to notice something was happening in Le Praz, as building work was already underway for the new ‘Alpinium’ lift station building.
Since the end of the season, the old ‘Praz’ gondola has been removed, as well as the whole building housing it, including the lift pass office and toilets.
The Alpinium will be opening in December 2019 and will be a smart new building very close to the previous building. It will be home to the new gondola, lift pass office, ski lockers, toilets and a children’s indoor play area.
The new gondola will transport 10 skiers per bubble and will take under 6 minutes to travel from Le Praz to Courchevel 1850. It will arrive in a much improved location – just over the road from La Criosette building in the centre of Courchevel 1850, which will make it much easier for beginners and children to access ski school meeting points and the beginner slopes using Jardin Alpin.
The opening hours of the bubble will be longer than the slopes are open for, meaning that you can either head up extra early to be first on the mountain, as well as meaning that you could stay up in 1850 for a drink after skiing and whizz down on the bubble afterwards.
The aim of the new lift is to try and reduce the number of vehicles on the one and only road up to Courchevel 1850 (estimated at a whopping 7,500 per day!)
The new building has been designed by the architects to fit subtly into its mountain setting. The roof of the building will have a football/rugby pitch in summer, and in winter 2023 for the World Championships, it will be the finish line for the men’s downhill run!
The investment for the project is 26 million euros.
A new green run is under construction for La Tania, which will help beginners return to La Tania more easily. The current green Plan Fontaine is on the challenging side, the local council having acknowledged that the crossing sections (with the red Moretta Blanche and blue Folyères runs) are potentially dangerous. This new green run is completely separate and runs the other side of Folyères through the trees at a less steep incline than Plan Fontaine.
The new piste is part of a larger plan to develop the bottom of the slopes in La Tania. According to the Mairie website, there will also be a new area with two ‘magic carpets’ for beginners as well as a pedestrian tunnel underneath Folyères. There will also be public toilets installed as well as lights and a sound system for events during half term and new year.
La Tania’s cinema is also to be refurbished and reopened.
Project cost: 760k €
Photo: Mairie de Saint Bon Courchevel
Cycling: Courchevel’s brand new traffic-free route
If you’re into road biking then you might be interested to know that a new tarmac road has been opened which links Courchevel with Meribel and creates a brand new ‘col’. Starting at the Courchevel Altiport, it is 7km long with the final 5.8km restricted only to cyclists. The average incline is 7% and the Col de la Loze is at 2304m.
The col was cleared of snow and opened to the first cyclists (who started from the bottom of the mountain at 900m!) on May 12th. Locals who were crazy enough to be among the very first up this new route said it was very cold indeed but appreciated the soup and BBQ!
Once the Alpinium opens, Courchevel will continue to invest and make improvements for visitors. The Croisette building in 1850, which dates back to 1971 is being refurbished to allow easier access with escalators and make the building lighter and brighter to overlook the snowfront and provide a space for après-ski events.