Courchevel Resort History

Posted by George Biffen

Last updated on November 8th, 2017 at 03:08 pm

Over the years Courchevel has become one of the most popular and sought after resorts in the world with its charming and award-winning hotels.

It was not until the mid 1930’s that the French Commission of Tourism was researching the concept and location for a ‘Super Ski Resort’.

The vision was to create an international ski resort with a system of lifts that would provide access to the largest ski area in the world.

With the outbreak of World War 2, plans were placed on hold somewhat; Laurent Chappis the architect in charge of developing Courchevel was captured and imprisoned in an Austrian Prisoner of War camp for 5 years. However, by 1946 the first lift system was installed.

The key vision was to have a town built around the pistes so that the skiers could ski right to their doors.

The first hotel was opened in 1948 and in 1951 the area was linked to Meribel.

In 1973, the 3 valleys were finally able to boast that it was the largest ski area in the world.

Courchevel now boasts a metropolitan feel, attracting the rich and famous year after year.

The Altiport in Courchevel even makes an appearance in the opening sequence of GoldenEye in 1995 where James Bond (Brosnan) pulls off the extraordinary feat of riding a motorcycle to the end of the runway to catch up with, jump into, and recover a falling plane! We don’t recommend trying this though!

The 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville brought many events to the Alps with Le Praz hosting the Olympic Ski Jumping; the ski jump structure is still standing in Le Praz today.

If you would like more assistance or accommodation advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our holiday experts below.


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