Ski Lift Upgrades for the 2017/18 Winter Season and Beyond

(2017-05-18 10:39:33)


With competition strong among rival ski resorts across the Alps, every visitor’s lift pass purchase counts, and popular destinations like St. Anton, Méribel and Verbier work hard to maintain swift and modern lift systems. Between ski seasons, huge sums of money are spent upgrading resorts to make getting around and exploring the terrain easier than ever before.

In this blog, we’re taking a look at a few resorts that have had significant upgrades in recent times — and other destinations with big plans afoot.


Courchevel, Three Valleys, France


Courchevel’s lift system spans from the base village of le Praz at 1,300m to the peak of the Saulire mountain at 2,700m, with an impressive array of chairlifts, gondolas and cable cars in place. Of course, there’s always room for improvement and, at time of going to press, the Ariondaz, Marquis and Stade lifts are being replaced. For impressive footage of helicopters delivering the pylons to the resort, check out this recent tweet from @courchevel.


Mayrhofen, Tyrol, Austria


Austria’s lift infrastructure is streets ahead of Italy, France and Switzerland, with fleets of the fastest and most comfortable lifts on the market. The popular resort of Mayrhofen has plans to install a new 1,780m line of 10-person gondolas this year, called the Finkenberger Almbahn 1. The new lift will be constructed by Doppelmayr, and run over the Penken and Rastkogel sectors — with a carrying capacity of 2,400 skiers per hour.


Val d’Isère, Espace Killy, France


The Espace Killy is one of France’s finest ski areas — famed for the quality and diversity of its terrain. Lifts are swift and modern, yet the resort remains dedicated to regular upgrades to maintain its status among the finest destinations in the world. Scheduled for completion in 2022, a huge program of resort upgrades named ‘Le Coin de Val’ was recently approved.


€200 million is to be spent developing a new welcome centre and tourist office at the entrance to the village, a new bus station, a bright and welcoming nursery, a 50-room hotel plus 20 x 4-bed apartments and a tower with shops, cafes and panoramic restaurant. The main street is to receive an overhaul with new shops and amenities, and anunderground moving walkway will ferry skiers from the town centre to the snow-front.


For more details on the monumental upgrade, check out the redevelopment plans here.


Morzine, Portes du Soleil, France


Skiers staying in Morzine have a wealth of diverse terrain to explore, and some of the best of it is found in the nearby resort of Avoriaz. While you can reach Avoriaz by bus or via the Super Morzine and Ardent lifts, there has been talk of running a cable car from Morzine to Les Prodains to speed things up. For a little insight into the plans, click forward to the 5-minute mark on this video:


Les Gets, Portes du Soleil, France


Staying within the popular Portes du Soleil ski area, the resort of Les Gets has recently announced plans to rip out the rambling Ranfoilly lift in the Les Gets bowl and replace it with a brand new 6-seat chairlift — boosting uplift to an impressive 3,300 skiers per hour. For regular visitors to Les Gets, the upgrade has been left too long already as the Ranfoilly lift is key for skiers heading from Les Gets over to Morzine. The 8.5-million Euro contract between Les Gets and the lift manufacturer is now signed, but the completion date is TBC.


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