Saint-Honoré Goes Under the Hammer

The ‘phantom’ ski station of Saint-Honore in the Isère region was sold at auction on Tuesday to an anonymous bidder.  The station, abandoned since 1983, fetched 838,000 Euros. 

Four potential purchasers were present at the auction, the eventual purchaser made a single bid.  The mayor of the commune was pleased with the result which he hopes will kick-start economic activity, severely affected when coal mines in the region shut in the 1980s.  “I’m relieved that we’ll finally be able to turn the page on this absurd story”, he commented.

The sale included two severely vandalised apartment blocks as well as 18,000 hectares of land and other abandoned buildings in various stages of construction.  However the saga doesn’t stop there.  The developer obtained loans of several million Euros from a subsidiary of the Crédit Lyonnais group which in turn had a 50% credit guarantee from the Isère General Council (conseil général).  The agreement was signed by the vice president Pierre Grataloup.  The President of the Isère General Council at the time was Alain Carignon, jailed in 1994 for corruption involving contracts with Lyonnaise des Eaux.

Mr Carignon’s successor, Michel Hannoun, has refused to honour the guarantee.  The Paris High Court will rule on the legality of this move shortly.

Posted by davidof on Tuesday, 28 October, 2003 at 09:55 PM

There may still be time to buy your very own French Ski Resort.  Right on the time limit the anonymous bidder declared their identity.  It is a company in the process of being created: SCCV Saint-Honoré, which has a capital of just 100 Euros and is based in Saint-Jorioz in the Haute-Savoie.

There is speculation that the company will not be able to raise the required capital before the deadline on the 7th of November.  If this is the case a new sale will be organised in the New Year.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 03 November, 2003  at 12:47 PM

In a bizarre twist of events the Isère General Council (conseil général) has suspended state aid to four ski stations in the department and is encouraging them to convert to other activities.

Saint-Honoré is amongst the four, its ski domain is deemed to be too low and too large to be sustainable given the lack of hotels or appartments.  This news comes on the heels that a Savoie company has acquired the resort with the intention of developing accommodation.

Saint-Honoré therefore risks finding itself with hotels and appartments… but no ski area!

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 04 November, 2003  at 07:04 PM

Saint-Honoré is once again going to be auctioned today at the Courts in Grenoble, but this should be the last time.

The previous sale was cancelled after a higher bid was received after the last auction.  This has lead to the new auction according to the rules.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 13 January, 2004  at 01:09 PM

The auction, between 3 participants represented by lawyers, took place in the law courts in Grenoble and lasted all of 12 minutes.

The station has finally, we hope, been sold for 1.62 million euros.  The new owner has not been identified but the mayor hopes it is an organisation with real ambitions given the large sum involved.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 16 January, 2004  at 05:38 PM
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