Birth of a ski resort …

Courchevel, birth of a ski resort.

During centuries, St Bon and Le Praz maintain and develop their peasant agriculture heritage, including summer mountain pastures which will become ski slopes later on.
In the 30’s, the first mountain shelter/chalets were built in Le Praz, Moriond and Courchevel 1550. In 1932, St Bon ski club has been created, Jean Pachod became the first official ski instructor of the valley and has opened in Moriond the 1st ski school.
In 1935 and in 1938, a project of ski lifts has been considered but dropped.  It rebirths after WWII, and the 3 Vallées site is chosen by the county. The mayor Francis Mugnier and the city council signed the sale of the communal territories above 1800m to the county, in order to transform the locality of “Les Tovets” in ski resort. It was a risky project as at the end of the war, the goal was to build in the cities and not in altitude.
Courchevel is the example of what we called “second generation” ski resort, built on greenfield site where everything has been created with the willingness of being opened on the outside. A place witness of 60 years of innovation regarding urbanization, construction, exploitation and creation.
Maurice Michaud county engineer from Ponts & Chaussées National School has entrusted to Laurent Chappis (architect, specialized in urbanism) the resort urban plan. In 1954, Emile Allais became in charge of the ski resort for 10 years and set up the process of preparation and maintenance of slopes.
First station, Courchevel has developed its ski lifs web with the neighbored valley. It started in the 50’s with Méribel then in the 70’s with Mottaret, les Ménuires and Val- Thorens.