The second best ski resort in Europe at the European Best Destinations 2015, in front of Kitzbühel (Austria) and Gstaad (Switzerland), Alpe d’Huez is ready to take off: new developments like Daria-I-Nor for which FindHomeAbroad has exclusivity outside France, new connections, extension of the ski area, ski lifts, ski resort upgrades…

Alpe d’Huez undertakes important works to upgrade and extend the resort. It will increase its offer of warm beds by a third (hotels and residence resorts) and will link with the neighbouring ski domain of the 2 Alps.

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EUROPEAN GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

It is an investment program with more than 350 million euros that launches today Alpe d’Huez to make the ski offer of the Oisans area the most ambitious of Europe by revolutionizing its tourism offer and by linking its domain to Les 2 Alpes, then eventually to the Sybelles (Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves). Together they could make before 2025 a ski domain of nearly 800 kilometers of tracks and 2,200 meters between the lowest and highest point.

Alpe d’Huez is one of the largest ski areas in the world, like the 3 Valleys! 

The development plan was included in the Local Planning Plan (PLU), approved in November and implemented in January 2016 after ten years of consultation. The ten resorts and villages concerned by the regrouping with the 2 Alps and the six ski resorts of the Saint Sorlin d’Arves ski domain show a real will to link with a wide area for each territory.

“Alpe d’Huez, the birthplace of Jean Pomagalski, saw the birth of the first ski lift in the winter of 1936. Today, it carries the ambitions of the ski resorts of the future, durable and versatile, explains its mayor Jean-Yves Noyrey. In ten years, we aim to make the notoriety of its piste in winter echo that of its summer fame”. This would be the ideal dual season resort which investors look for.

200 MILLION EUROS TO IMPROVE ALPE D’HUEZ

The first stage of this program will take place at altitude 1,850m. The PLU (local planning) has released the construction of 4,600 new high-end bed capacity (4 and 5 stars) including 800 in the hotel industry. One of these examples is our brand new 5* development the Daria-I-Nor in Alpe d’Huez. This increase by one third of its sleeping capacity, accompanied by a requalification of all the streets, will make it possible to catch up with the erosion of the rental stock, which loses about 300 bed capacity each year and to guarantee high-end development on property belonging to the town hall. A call for projects has been launched to develop the 6 hectares of the Bergers car park: 2,200 beds will be located there in the form of tourist residences.

Another major development in the Éclose area will also see the day to accommodate a 5-star hotel (our Daria-I-Nor project), two 4 and 5 star tourist residences (click for more info on Daria-I-Nor), 350 public parking spaces and a wellness area. Each new hot bed brings 1,500 euros per year to the ski lifts and up to 13 weeks of occupation, five times more than unfurnished accommodation.

These new development projects contribute to the redevelopment and embellishment of the station, thus initiating a relooking of Alpe d’Huez, while meeting the objectives of sustainable development.

A PEDESTRIAN RESORT WITH TREES

Work has also taken place in the heart of the resort: after having encouraged the owners to renovate the former residences on an aesthetic and energetic level, more than 2,000 trees have been planted to improve new areas in resort (walks, gardens …). On average, 150 new fir trees are planted each year.

Pedestrian paths with a rolling mechanism (similar to airports) will link the upper and lower areas of the resort.

A one-of-a-kind 2-kilometer urban transport (TCSP: Collective Transport in Own Site) will link the village of Huez at 1,450 meters above sea level and the resort of l’Alpe d’Huez located at 1 860 meters.

The works will be carried out in 2 stages: Les Gergers area in 2017 and Alpe d’Huez in 2018.

“It’s a matter of transforming Alpe d’Huez to a pedestrian ski resort to reduce our carbon impact and improve the lifestyle,” explains François Badjily, director of the Tourist Office. Public and private investment in this development phase is expected to be around € 200 million. It will put forward the main advantages of Alpe d’Huez: 300 days of sunshine per year, breathtaking views, and a host of leisure facilities (2 swimming pools including an indoor swimming pool, an ice rink, a sports centre featuring 27 Activities, 45 restaurants, 15 bars, 3 discotheques …).

A TOTALLY REDESIGNED SKI DOMAIN

In parallel to the redevelopment of the resort, the ski area is being totally redesigned. As part of the new plans, 100 million will have to be injected to modernise and optimise the offer, of which 60% will have to be invested between 1 July 2016 and 2021. 

“The dual ambition of this new project is to increase the flow for a greater number of pistes by reducing the visual impact of the lifts, 180 ski lifts have already been removed over the last 5 years,” explains Jean -Yves Noyrey, Mayor of Huez – Alpe d’Huez.

70 million euros is devoted to the development and refurbishment of the ski area and the ski lifts:

2016: installation of a tele cabin at the Signal (flow: 3300 people per hour)
2017-2018: TCSP and luge 4 seasons
2018: skier return, snow cannons and telecentre change
2019: creation of the tele cabin du Loup
2020: replacement of the Chalvet chairlift
SUMMER IN ALPE D’HUEZ

Known worldwide thanks to the Tour de France, Alpe d’Huez organises many events, in winter and summer, guaranteeing a high occupation rate: 80% in winter and 20% in summer.

Each year it dedicates 1 million euros to the organization of sports, charity and cultural events. The resort boosts its occupation thanks to these events, at a rate of minimum one a week.

All these works and development projects cited above will also help increase the attractiveness of Alpe d’Huez over the summer season. To cope with the over-sporting image of the mountain in summer, which is a brake on frequentation, the Alpe d’Huez diversifies and enriches its offer by proposing gentle activities such as family walks, cycling … 

HUEZ SIDE STORY, A HISTORY OF LOVE WITH THE 2 ALPES

In parallel, the project of lift link with the 2 Alps is becoming clearer. It takes today a little more than an hour of bus or a few minutes of helicopter, to join the two resorts. The future project will allow a 18-minute transverse journey between two points on both sides at 2,100 meters above sea level. Estimated cost: € 2 million to validate the project and more than € 60 million for work (the equivalent of one year of turnover in both resorts) for a planned opening In 2021. The size of the ski domain will then be doubled to put the destination on the same level as Les Portes du Soleil and Espace Killy. It will be possible for example to put the skis on in Vaujany, at 1,250 meters in front of the Massif des Grandes Rousses, to join the itineraries of the valleys of Meije …

Also of interest, the planned connection with the Saint Sorlin d’Arves and Sybelles ski area (120 kilometers of pistes between 1,500 and 2,620 meters above sea level) will be one of the most important ski areas in Europe. “And especially one of the most ergonomic with its level of difficulties naturally distributed from the bottom up to offer a ski area for all levels,” says François Badjily, director of the Tourist Office.

With this project, the Alpe d’Huez has risen to the rank of the largest international ski resort while preserving the original down-to-earth approach that appeals so much to both the French and international clientele. Of the 40% foreigners, 50% are British, followed by Belgians, Dutch and Danish.