Locals Duped by Compagnie du Mont Blanc Ads?

According to an article published in Monday’s edition of regional paper Le Dauphiné Libéré (titled in English “With or Without Courmayeur” - page 7) the new season and yearly passes for the Mont Blanc ‘Unlimited’ area are actually quite the opposite and do not include Courmayeur. Pistehors.com reader Rich already told us that the Mont Blanc unlimited season pass advertises access to Courmayeur all season long. However when he went to buy his pass the CMB revealed that it was a “mistake” in the advertising.

Angry residents are being denied even a few measely day passes in the Italian resort, whilst tourists buying 1-15 day packs do get 1-2 days in Courmayeur as part of their ‘Mont Blanc Unlimited’ packs. What angers residents the most, is that many who were yearly or season pass holders last year, received a mailing from the Compagnie du Mont Blanc with a big glossy color folder gloriously explaining the 2 new passes and how wonderful the new ‘Unimited Pass’ would be. The offer was the talk of the Chamonix valley and despite a hefty price hike everyone was really excited about the offer.

This brochure clearly states that Courmayeur is on the new ‘Unlimited’ pass, and clearly shows in red the outline of the area served by the ‘Unlimited’ pass as inclusive of Italy and makes a great deaol of ‘unlimited’ cross border access. Readers were invited to mail in their order to recieve a discount on the new passes before November 20th. Anyone doing so will probably not find out that they cannot ski in Courmayeur without paying extra until they receive their passes or if they read about it in the press or by word of mouth.

Quelle horreur to those who have gone to the caisses at the Montenvers train station to buy their lift pass in person - they are told that Courmayeur is NOT included!! Residents who have asked for AT LEAST what a tourist would get (such as a day pass for Courmayeur) are also told NO!

They never miss an opportunity with anti-English rhetoric in the Dauphine - the article takes great pains to point out that the name of the new pass is Anglicized and that it was probably an idea created by a Parisienne marketing company, and goes on about how great English speaking ‘freeriders’ on holiday for a week or two will feel with their new pass which gets them to Courmayeur (in comparison with local season pass holders who are now gritting their teeth in rightous anger).

Why not instead direct anger at a more worthy target such as the leeches at the Compagnie du Mont Blanc who launched this massive and misleading advertising campaign at the local population in a clear attempt to sell locals more of the expensive passes without letting them realize just how little they were getting for their money (while at the same time taking all the fun out of the cheaper pass by removing access to the Aiguille du Midi)?

The paper made no attempt to speak directly to or quote directly the Compagnie du Mont Blanc spokesmen, but the opinion piece says that the cashiers when asked just blame a ‘marketing error’ for the problem.

So can the Compagnie personel not READ their own literature before they mail out this advertisement to hundreds of locals? Or was it in reality a clever way to get more people to buy the more expensive pass without realizing how badly they were being treated? Because what has really happened is this for season’s pass holders:

1. The old Cham Ski pass is now without access to the Aiguille du Midi so is an unappealing option to the serious skiers.

2. The old Cham Vallee pass costs quite a bit more dosh than last year, and all you get for that hefty price hike compared to last year is the top station of the Grandes Montets thrown in. Big Deal. The queues there are so long most of the time that it is actually not very useful. You are not given access to ski at Courmayeur, which on the other hand the average tourists do get on their 1-15 day ‘Unlimited’ passes.

Why not call this one the ‘pay more and get less season’s pass’ instead? This is a slap in the face to the local population and seasonaires who have had to suffer rising costs of living, rents and properties (and declining amounts of reasonably priced restaurants and bars in the region, but a rise in pricey exclusive ‘clubs’wink as well as huge price hikes in seasonaire ski passes - and now are told ‘we are not worthy’ of the new link to Courmayeur that the tourists are given.

Come on Compagnie du Mont Blanc - live up to your advertising and give season’s pass holders the Courmayeur that you promised to us - or at the very least you could offer to give us Courmayeur on the (many) days when you shut down Chamonix lifts for avalanche or winds (which is quite frankly what most of us were going to use it for anyhow)!

So all in all, for Chamonix season’s and yearly pass holders, I can safely say the Compagnie du Mont Blanc has royally screwed us all. Merci Beaupoop CdMB.

Further Information

Chamonix lift pass to include Grands Montets

Posted by on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 at 10:59 PM

The lastest news is that, after a wave of protest from local skiers, the CMB is giving unlimited season pass holders a day’s skiing in Courmayer through a coupon. In a communique they claim that the mix-up was due to the fact they hadn’t finalized all the arrangements with other ski areas before the deadline for printing publicity material. Maybe they should try using this Web thingie that seems very popular these days? You know “check out our site web for further details”.

Posted by  on  Sunday, 03 December, 2006  at 02:37 PM

Yes, well if they updated their website on time that might be possible wink Seems they have about as slow a webmaster/marketing manager as you can imagine these days!! Hey CMB - hire me and I can help you out! wink I am sure I can do better/faster English translations for you for one thing, and as that is a large part of your market (UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Russia - these residents often speak English as either a 1st or 2nd language) it really is to your own monetary benefit!

Posted by  on  Monday, 04 December, 2006  at 05:13 PM

This is the 1st time I have been into your site. Well done for being so outspoken and truthful about the dreadful Mont Blanc lift co. Now for 2007/08 they are busy promoting le pass and the unlimited pass with tariff rates etc but what about the MONT BLANC lift pass. Which is a much more exciting ski option. Why can’t the mighty CMB tell clients that such a pass is available AND when the tariff rates will be posted on their site!! Without this information it is impossible to make any sensible decision on what to buy.

Posted by  on  Friday, 19 October, 2007  at 08:42 AM

The new Compagnie du Mont Blanc website is up…

Edited by Moderation on the 3 January 2:29 PM
In conformance with the rules of this site links to unrelated commercial content are not permitted.

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 02 January, 2008  at 08:37 PM

Hi Smith - is this a SPAM comment? I think it is - the link you posted is irrelevant to this skiing website? Also, you have commented on a post from LAST season 06/07. This year (07/08), they actually DO include UNLIMITED COURMAYEUR on the season’s pass and the adverts are truthful and no one tells you it’s not included when you go to buy the pass? The deals were worked out this year between the Italian and French lift companies. This is good news for Chamonix skiers! Also there are ways to get reduced trips through the Mt Blanc tunnel if you buy your tunnel pass ahead of time from the Montenvers train station - it is only 11 euros a trip, which is a huge savings. I think the admin should take a look at your comment and maybe delete it as spam due to the link to the irrelevant website?

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 02 January, 2008  at 09:27 PM
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