Shareholders in the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc, including the Seydoux family, Chamonix town hall and the Compagnie des Alpes are unhappy. Not only has the resort been hit hard by the credit crunch with a dearth of free-spending British and Russian guests but there have been massive cost overruns on the new Planpraz gondola lift in Chamonix.
Lift pass turnover is down 6% this season despite awesome snow conditions. At € 20 million the Planpaz lift has come in at 50% over budget. CMB has also taken a stake in the les Houches ski area which some consider a bold move given the battles between the Balmat and wily Hottegindres which ended with the courts ordering the ski lifts not to open this winter, an order ignored in usual gallic fashion by les Houches.
In a scene reminiscent of the Apprentice, managing director François Bidaut, head of ski lifts Gabriel Troubat and the technical director Olivier Vezinhet were called into the boardroom. Bidaut opened proceedings suggesting that the other two should be fired. In the end Troubat was for the chop, a poor manager according to his staff. Bidaut and Vezinhet have been moved to other functions. The CMB will be reorganized to hand more control to the individual sites including Brévent-Flégère, Grands-Montets, and the Aiguille du Midi. As for Les Houches, we will probably have to wait until December to see if it makes it onto the area pass for 2010.
Posted by davidof
on Friday, 01 May, 2009 at 12:01 AM
Prarion is the newish lift in les houches owned by cmb. This has been there a few years now.
Planpraz lift is the replacement lift on brevent put in last year
Posted by on Friday, 01 May, 2009 at 07:22 AM
Not sure where you’re getting your information from but as Hutch mentions planpraz is the new Brevent ski area lift.
I agree that the CMB needs some restructuring and streamlining (like virtually every company is going through in the current economic climate) but they have managed to build the entire lift and get it fully running in just a few months which is pretty impressive. It’s good too - fast and I’ve never queued for it all season, they’ve restructured the ski area around there as well meaning it’s become more beginner friendly.
With regards to Les Houches, the Prarion lift was built 4 years ago by the CMB - the courts never ordered the ski resort to close, the tribunal dissolved the concessions contract between the various lift owners and operators in order that it could be renegotiated. It’s been a mess for some time but this is a great step forward to solving the current ski pass problems.
It’s weird that you include the link to the info that you contradict in your article!
Posted by Martin on Friday, 01 May, 2009 at 09:02 AM
Thanks for the corrections, a bit of a telescoping of two paragraphs I’m afraid!
Posted by davidof
on Friday, 01 May, 2009 at 08:31 PM
Page 1 of 1 pages