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Posted by FindHomeAbroad on July 17, 2020

The ski area and Thollon-Les_Mémises continue their transformation. After the full renovation of the gondola lifts and the new range of snow cannons, the town hall has decided to invest in the new altitude restaurant, an investment of several million euros to increase the attractiveness of the area.

Les Balcons du Lac is the name of the new restaurant site which offers a breathtaking view of the Chablais area, Lake Geneva (Lake Lémant in France) and Switzerland

The view from the Pic des Mémises is one of the most beautiful in the Chablais region. The panorama of Lake Geneva is so impressive that the former prefect of Haute-Savoie, Georges-François Leclerc, fell in love with the “Balcons du lac” site. “He fell in love with the view when he came to ski in 2016, reports Régis Bened, the mayor of Thollon-Les-Mémises. It was there that he gave impetus to a long-standing project: the renovation of the ski resort’s altitude restaurant. ” Check our new properties in Thollon-Les-Memises:

1 – A restaurant with its feet in the clouds
At an altitude of 1,600 m, at the top of the Mémises gondola, the starting point for skiing, snowshoeing and hiking trails, the restaurant “Le Repaire de l’Aigle” (The eagle’s nest) built in 1949 was dated. The village, therefore, plans to renovate the entire building that houses the establishment and the technical service areas.
The planned works will transform the start to the ski area. The footprint of the future construction will double the capacity compared to the current building: “The restaurant terrace will extend above the void with a view of the lake,” said the mayor. And the seating capacity will be more important. The snow groomers’ garage area will be located just below. ”

In 2018, the Mémises gondola which leads to the ski area and the restaurant recorded 140,000 passages.

2 – Thollon-Les-Memises is getting a makeover.
The project will continue the works started for the ski lift station, completely redone in 2014 when the cable car was replaced (10 million euros). “We have been working since the change of the large chairlift in 2012 to modernize the resort’s appeal.

With this new restaurant, Thollon-Les-Memises will have had a facelift over eight years, ”recalls Régis Bened. According to him, these investments are justified: “We are realistic, the ski resort does not only operate in winter. Since 2014, we have doubled our summer turnover. ” Findhomeabroad knows only too well that the future for ski resorts is to become dual season and even year-long destination. In many cases, ski properties offer much better rental potential than an apartment by the beach.

3 – Vital public aid
The town hall is ready to invest 4 million euros for its new restaurant, a big investment for the village of 820 inhabitants. To support the modernization of Thollon, the Regional fund also is ready to release 500,000 euros over two years as part of the Mountain plan (Plan montage), and that’s not all:

“We have access to a subsidy of 1.2 million d ‘euros from the Department, 30% of the planned investment amount, because we fit the criteria of the Tourist Fund for the area. A real chance for this resort which, with Bernex and Abondance, has been part of the newly-called Les Montagnes d’Evian ski area since last year.

For Régis Bened, the funding of these projects makes sense. “For the restaurant project, we are considering a loan of around 2 million euros.” To reimburse the loan, he announces that the last payments to repay for the purchase of the doctor’s and the tourist office occur in 2020, which represents a saving of “100,000 euros per year”, or nearly ‘a million over 10 years. For the second million, “it will come from the increase in the restaurant’s rent (managed by SEM) which operates the ski area and the rest will come from the town budget”.

Regarding the 2.5 million euros for the renovation of the artificial snow network, “the town borrowed 900,000 euros over 15 years”. It also counts on “an increase in the SEM fee”.

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