This year Méribel celebrates it’s 80th birthday, after it was founded in 1938 by Scotsman Colonel Peter Lindsay.
Due to political tensions in Germany and Austria in the 1930s, British skiers were looking for new areas to ski and it was on a trip to France in 1936 that Peter Lindsay discovered the Les Allues valley and saw the potential that it offered.
And so, in 1938 the first lift was opened - a ‘télétraineau’, a 31 seat sled which was pulled by a fixed cable from a point near to the centre of town today up to 1900m, somewhere in the Rond Point Area.
When war broke out in 1939, however, all development ceased but was thankfully resumed six years later and under Peter Lindsay’s direction the resort began to take shape.
Lindsay had a vision for the resort and it is this vision that has given Méribel its enduring appeal. Buildings have to be below a certain height (so Méribel has none of the high rise apartment blocks seen in most other French resorts), constructed of local slate, wood and stone and they must be built in amongst the fir trees.
Although the resort now covers a large area, with the building code still strictly adhered to, Méribel is without doubt one of the most picturesque resorts in France, which blends with the surrounding mountains as it nestles within the valley.
Of course, it is not just the resort’s charm that keeps skiers returning year after year. Meribel’s unrivalled position at the heart of Les Trois Vallees (the largest ski area in the world) and an excellent variety of terrain with access to over 600km of pistes mean skiers of all abilities are more than catered for.
A continuous programme of investment in the infrastructure has provided state of the art snowmaking facilities (fortunately not needed this year!) along with a world class lift system, linking the three valleys together.
To mark this anniversary a new book has been published 'Meribel turns 80' by Jean-Marie Choffel, a copy of which can be found in each of our chalets.
Meribel’s 80th birthday will officially be marked on WEDNESDAY 28TH FEBRUARY with a party at the Chaudanne. From 6.30pm there will be a Grand Ski Show Celebration inspired by Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies with more than 500 performers on stage, screen and slope!
If you would like to join the fun and celebrations, we still have the following availability for the week of 25th February:
Chalet Kalliste – available as a whole chalet, priced at €9,000 reduced from €16,950.
Impala Lodge – available as a shared chalet, priced at €700 per person, reduced from €1,425 per person.
For more details or to book, call us on 01285 648518 or make an enquiry using the form below.