Les Houches will more than likely be open despite the complex issues involved. Imagine the legal comback from all involved parties and those whose livelihoods depend on the opening of the slopes (ie: businesses in the village and on the slopes and the 2 concession holders & all of the employees). Mr Dole states in his press release of September 08 that they (the Mairie) has the legal means to ensure that the resort will open for skiing this Winter.
It is not only local ski clubs that are affected, but businesses, suppliers, employees of local businesses (including those lovely restaurants which Firechick mentions - which are worth bringing clients to) which would be seriously affected as they can’t just up and relocate elsewhere in the valley.
It does take a little longer to drive to Courmayeur from Argentiere than to Les Houches. From the roundabout at Chamonix which leads to the tunnel, you have restricted speed through the actual tunnel itself. By the time you go through the tunnel (not accounting for the time in queues during holiday season), you would be parking your car in Les Houches!
Fingers crossed things work out so that we can support local businesses and keep it practical (& logical!) for clients.
I’m buying my season pass this evening over the internet and the Unlimited pass is advertising that Les Houches is included in the pass.
I presume that this is confirmation that the resort will open this year!?
Not sure where you are looking on that vast ‘internet’ thingy but the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass most certainly does not advertise on the Compagnie du Mont Blanc site that Les Houches is included. It is definitely NOT included. Some old chalet websites still have not been updated to state this but do NOT trust any site about lift passes except the ones actually selling them - eg the Compagnie du Mont Blanc or the SEPP sites.
I have just verified this now, and clearly the zone marked for the Unlimited pass does not include Les Houches (it still includes the Tramway du Mont Blanc which goes from St Gervais to Nid d’Aigle but this long train ride could hardly be considered a ski lift - it’s basically a tourism or mountaineer train).
Les Houches is open this year but by a further recent bizarre court decision that did not follow the recommendation of the committee, the courts have ruled that the Company of Mont Blanc cannot even offer the single Prarion lift (ie no pistes, just the lift) so there is NO access to Les Houches except by purchasing a separate Les Houches lift ticket (or by purchasing a very expensive seasons pass for the whole of the region of Mont Blanc for 1200 euros called ‘Pays du Mont Blanc’ ... which costs more than buying separately both a season’s pass for Chamonix and Les Houches ... ). I do not believe this pass is available as a weekly type of pass for tourists - only a season’s pass.
The SEPP concession has been allowed to continue for this season (and I am not entirely clear on exactly WHO profits from the newly refurbished Prarion lift, but currently it is only available on the Les Houches lift pass, not the Compagnie du Mont Blanc ones). Also, the towns of Les Houches and St Gervais have been reprimanded by the courts and strongly suggested to reconfigure their concessions in future.
In addition, the way the court decision was rendered, without even allowing a hearing of arguments from the LHSG side at all, has many in the area thinking that a further round of legal appeals will occur after the winter is over.
The sale price for a season’s skiing in Les Houches goes until November 30 and is reasonably priced—under 300 Euros I believe ... useful if you do ski there often.
Oh and there is this posted to the Compagnie du Mont Blanc website in regards to being denied by the courts the ability to run the Prarion lift.http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr/docs/AVERTISSEMENT_MBU_TC_PRARION.PDF
OK I have lived here for a few years, and thought my French was OK, but to me the English translation of this seems to NOT agree with the French in tone ... the French seems to be cheeky at the end of the announcement saying ‘go on over to the Les Houches sales desks and see what they are going to do about it’ and the English makes it sound like something *will* be done about it. To me the fact that they don’t know what will be done about it seems to indicate that this is in fact a cheeky suggestion and the English is simply mis-translated. Or is my French really that crap (it could well be ??).
I was looking at the Compagnie du Mont Blanc site on the vast ‘internet’ thingy but looks like I made a mistake which is a pain in the behind as I’ve just baught the Unlimited Pass :(
How much do the season passes for Les Houches cost after the 30th? We are staying in Les Houches so it would be nice for us to have the option of riding there.