It’s no surprise that Courchevel has again secured top billing in the coveted Conde Nast Traveller 2017 Readers Awards for ‘Best Ski Resorts in the World’.
The outstanding skiing in this part of Les Trois Vallées plus optimum snow cover throughout the season, spectacular accommodation and a wide range of fabulous activities ensures its continued popularity with visitors and investors alike.
Media coverage and market comment regarding the alpine property market has, more recently, been examining individual resort value and how that impacts both initial buyer appeal and longer-term value of its real estate.
With a shifting demographic from baby boomers to millennials, demands on resorts such a Courchevel are changing and it’s how they are responding, that could give them the power to influence future stability and growth.
Despite a reported decline in European skiing numbers in recent years, the Alps remains the world’s largest ski market. France still comes in almost on par with the U.S. for ski visitors per annum – around fifty five million.
While alpine buyers will always track the rise and fall of property values, rental potential and the opportunities offered by dual seasonality, it is this sustained investment in resort infrastructure that has come to the fore more recently. Which resorts are spending the money to entice and retain visitors and investors and keep them returning year after year?
The most successful buyers are likely to secure property in established, accessible resorts that not only have guaranteed snow all season, but also have a recognised and engaging non-ski offer.
Courchevel certainly appears committed to continued investment and has capacity to serve these diverse needs. Its slopes will be even more pristine this season due to a hundred and twenty brand new state-of-the art snow making machines, adding to its already significant ‘snow factory’. This, coupled with France’s first handi-piste groomer, who takes up a full-time position from December 2017, means the slopes of the valleys will be even more enticing, for longer.
Another major development, installed at a cost of nearly twenty million Euros, is the new Courchevel 1650 Ariondaz – Moriond bubble lift. This will now take less than seven minutes and is able to carry nearly two and half thousand skiers and boarders per hour in the new eight person gondolas.
Alpine sports aficionados will enjoy the new Courchevel Slalom Park – a permanent competition standard stadium on the Epicéa run that will open to all this season. The resort has also been selected as the French choice to host the 2023 Alpine skiing World Championships. Worth noting if you own property in the area, as it’s likely to be even more popular that year.
Infrastructure investment is not all about ski facilities however. With non-skiers now estimated to account for a quarter of alpine visitors, resorts are becoming more creative with their leisure offerings. Water parks, spas, bike trails, airborne activities and other summer sports, plus a year round social calendar, highlights the response among some of the more pioneering resorts to changing visitor and property investor expectations.
Again, Courchevel does not rest on its laurels when it comes to imaginative offerings for an evolving market. Opening this season is an off ski thrill, the brand new ‘Luge XXL’. With a vertical descent of nearly five hundred metres and several tunnels across a three kilometre track, the Formula One of toboggan will run from the top of the new Moriond gondola lift all the way down into Courchevel village.
Let’s not forget Aquamotion either. The stunning water park that was opened last season in Courchevel at a cost of over sixty million euros. The largest of its kind in the Alps it has amazing and diverse range facilities from a surfing wave simulation offering, to indoor and outdoor pools and wellbeing areas. It is open seven days a week all year round.
Such considered investments means the resort remains at the forefront of world-class skiing and alpine facilities. Add to this its incomparable gastronomy, outstanding entertainment, extensive family offerings, six star luxury and all year round activities, Courchevel has a distinctive and considered approach to the dynamic demands of the contemporary alpine market.