Resort finances new lift with ski passes

The SIVU of Saint-Pierre de Chartreuse/Le Planolet which runs the area’s ski lifts has come up with a novel way of financing its new ski lift. It is planning to offer a bond from mid-October with the option to repay the debt with lift passes. As we reported in the spring the Saint Pierre was in crisis as it had failed to secure the 4.8 M€ funding required to replace the aging four-seater fixed Battour chair. Built in 1974 this lift had reached the end of its life. Without the new lift and the skiers it would attract the resort was threatened with closure.

battour chair

The SIVU has now acquired the majority of the financing but to complete the project the resort will offer bonds from mid-October. These will cost 500 euros and will return 3.5% over ten years with the option that the station can take repayment holidays in the event of poor snow years. Investors can also be repaid by lift passes with a bonus of 12% for anyone choosing that option. The operation will be controlled by the Trésor Public.

battour chair

The project to build the new chair lift in the Combe de l’Ours is progressing. The new high-speed six seater chair will take a slightly different line to the old Battour lift. The bottom station is lower to facilitate access by car. The area is being terraced and a new, larger, car-park will be built at this point. 45,000 m3 of earth are being moved. This anticipates the eventual closure of the resort’s cable car that runs from the town centre.

battour chair

The 17 pylons for the Pomagalski lift have been delivered to the Essarts sector and technicians from Comag are busy assembling the pieces like a giant Meccano kit. The foundations for the pylons are visible on the lower part of the run. The lift is scheduled to enter service on the 15th of December 2006. It will cover 560 meters of vertical from 1100 to 1660 meters. It will initially handle 1600 skiers / hour but this can be upped to 2,400 skiers / hour. The 1915 meter run will take just 6 minutes. The resort also plans a new ski run in the Planolet sector for the 2008 winter.

Saint-Pierre de Chartreuse has had two very good seasons, the resort was open for 102 days last winter with a 9.26% increase in skier/days. The SIVU thinks the new Combe des Ours (bear bowl) chair will attract a further 10% increase in skier days in 2007. The resort needs to increase the number of skier / days by 20% to stabilize the financial situation. The 4.8 M€ of funding has come from a 2.0 M€ loan from Dexia, a world leader in public finance. Repayments begin in 2008. 300 K€ come from the SIVU’s reserves. 1.2 M€ from the Isère general council, 500 K€ from the community of communes Chartreuse-Guieres, 200 K€ from the regional government, 140 K€ from the Chartreuse regional park and 100 K€ from the Voironnais communes.

Posted by davidof on Friday, 06 October, 2006 at 03:37 PM

Great idea - will you be able to post a link to the bond issue?

Posted by  on  Saturday, 07 October, 2006  at 01:02 PM

According to some talk on the repayment of interest may take the form of skipasses. So for a 500 euro bond you will get a day pass per year. If you invest 5,000 euros you will get a season pass. You may find that shares in the Compagnie des Alpes give you a better return as they also have some advantages.

Posted by  on  Saturday, 07 October, 2006  at 04:29 PM

The bonds will be available from the 1st of November. Details are as in the posts above. Contact the town-hall of St Pierre de Chartreuse for more information.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 23 October, 2006  at 08:10 AM
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