My company Ski Adventures is an independent chalet holiday company in Les Arcs Paradiski, in the French Alps. For nearly 15 years we have welcomed thousands of guests to the the magic mountains of Les Arcs. This blog contains my views and ideas about life here, in the resort and in the valley town of Bourg St Maurice and wider views about the ski industry generally.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Another season at Les Arcs...
Col de La Chal yesterday morning
There are only 22 days to go before the opening of the winter season at Les Arcs. Already there is a good metre of snow on the mountain, with more predicted to fall this weekend. The snow has fallen at just the right time - it's unlikely to melt before December as the air and ground are cold, and the magnificent Les Arcs snow-making infrastructure can run full-on to build up that all-important base layer on the pistes. Here's hoping we have a really good snowy start to the season to make up for the last few years!
Les Arcs 8th European Film Festival opens at the same time as the skiing this year, on the 10th December. With the theme of 'Women in Film' there will be 120 showing of movies from a dozen or more countries. The LA film festival is getting an international reputation for new and innovative work, in an unusual environment (quite the opposite of Cannes!).
It's been an interesting time for chalet bookings - the Brexit result seemed to have a bad effect on british skiers, mainly because of the big fall in the value of the pound. But every cloud has a silver lining and the extraordinary election of Mr. Trump in the USA has seen the value of sterling climb sharply and bookings are now back to their normal levels.
Possibly the Brexit process may turn out to be yet another nail in the coffin for british skiing (the numbers of regular UK skiers has virtually halved in the last 10 years) and this is putting some resorts under further economic pressure. Les Arcs has had a good look at it's lift pass pricing policy for this season and although it's more complicated with new options for 'Duo' and 'Tribu' (group) packs joining the existing 'Family' pack, everyone can expect to pay a bit less than last year. Also Les Arcs area passes now include a day in La Plagne, and Paradiski passes allow you to ski on the afternoon of arrival day for no extra charge.
With Christmas Day and New Year falling on Sundays this year the New Year week hasn't been as much in demand as usual (a lot of people go back to work or school on 2nd January). We still have availability for this period and it should be a lot quiter than usual! I'm offering a special 'Brexit Beater' offer for early season (10th - 24th December) based on £100 per night for catered chalet accommodation, lift pass and transfer. See the website for details and conditions.
Tah-I-Mah: 5* white elephant?
New things to look out for in Les Arcs include the new 'Tah-I-Mah' hotel at Arc 2000, which claims to be Les Arcs first 5-star establishment. You can't miss it as it annoyingly occupies a large part of the 'front de neige', a large open area intended originally to be place for meeting and linking the skier to the non-skiing infrastructure around it. I wonder if the time is right for such a development, given that the stunning 4-star Aiguille Grive hotel on the piste above Arc 1800 seems to have struggled a bit in the 4 years since it opened...
Bonne Saison a tous, come and enjoy the snow here at Les Arcs as soon as you can!