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Les Menuires - History
Les Trois Vallées has come a long way since 1925. At that time several English businessmen and experienced skiers wanted to create a resort in France like those that already existed in Austria and the Swiss Grisons. In order to do so they asked Arnold Lunn, the most senior of the British skiers and inventor of slalom skiing, to go and explore the Saint-Bon valley. His verdict was as follows: "in Savoie there is an exceptional site that comprises three almost parallel valleys - Saint-Bon, Les Allues and Belleville. In spite of their different features they lend themselves well to the development of large resorts". Thus the legendary Three Valleys was born!
Les Menuires was built in the 1960s and 70s and is a classic example of quick build architecture of many French ski resorts. The resort is essentially divided into three tiers: Reberty, La Croisette and Preyerand, with accommodation at all levels. Les Menuires started as a cluster of high-rise apartment buildings constructed for the sole purpose of the pursuit of skiing.
Today that original cluster is a small part of a far larger resort that has expanded dramatically over the past decade. The new construction has been carefully reviewed to create an Alpine atmosphere with plenty of wood and peaked roofs. Chalets have been built sheltering spacious apartments and shops, without the square apartment block feel. The expanded village has been created to keep cars out of the way.
The new town plan calls for a halt to new buildings and owners are being awarded grants to renovate the existing buildings. Where renovation is not cost effective, the resort is demolishing buildings and constructing new complexes on the same footprint. The new approach is part of the resorts commitment to protecting the environment from further intrusion.