|Empty, sad.. and expensive!|
As for current projects, it seems the only thing that is going ahead this year is a new covered car park at Arc 2000, which will cost €350,000 euros and hopefully generate €80,000 euros a year. Does Arc 2000 need a new, expensive car park, I ask myself, for stationary cars to sit in for 7 days? There seems to be plenty of parking, covered and uncovered around, including the under-used car-park at Pré St Espirit. How about buying a few buses and offering a decent bus service from Bourg to Arc 2000 on Saturdays with enough room for luggage, etc? Think how much carbon and money that could save over the 20 year projected payback period of the Lac des Combes project.
|Life in the 1970s|
Perhaps the best the town can hope for is selling it at 30% below the asking price, as happened with the old Gendarmerie (went for under €2 million in the end). The empty barracks are going to cost the town €400,000 a year to maintain; not hard to see why the Ministry of Defence was delighted to sell them for one euro!
|Bourg St Maurice station in the 1920s|
How feasible this was we shall never know, because the advent of the First World War in 1914 put an end to the project. But it did leave us with one of the finest pieces of railway engineering in the world which was regarded as an asset to the development of the skiing business right from its earliest days. Trains come from as far away as Amsterdam, London, Brest, Hamburg and Madrid. Chalet guests who have been sitting in 5 hour traffic jams on Saturday ask me sometimes, why can't there be more trains, a direct service from Geneva airport perhaps? Apparently the line and its terminus are already 'saturated' on Saturdays, no room for any more trains.
|Jacqueline Peretti, the Mayor|
"This year will be a year when we lay the foundation stones of major structural projects which will be our way of responding to the economic crisis we face, with determination and goodwill... lets not believe that our future will be mediocre...."
Perhaps her words would have a less hollow ring if she had reminded the townsfolk of some of Bourg's great past achievements, products of the imagination, ambition and sacrifice of people like Abel Gotteland in the face of far worse circumstances and even more difficult times.