Controversy over plans to develop Praz ski front

Locals have started a petition to try and block plans by the Mayor’s office to develop the area around the base of the Cret du Midi ski lift.

The plans – known as ZAC des Varins – would see the addition of new rentable accommodation – including a possible hotel – restaurants; shops, new ticket offices, halls for municipal events, gardens and other facilities for summer activities and so on.

They would occupy the area around the lift, including where the current ski school buildings are, snow-plough garage, the car park and – sadly – where K-bane is (perhaps the reason we heard 21/22 is their last season 😥) 

Car parking space would be relocated further from the slopes and the Piou Piou nursery ski school moved close to the “baby” slopes. 

The drive for the development seems to be primarily to boost tourism by increasing the availability of accommodation that can be rented. Most accommodation in the town is privately owned and occupation during the season is very low compared to other resorts in the area. Most of the original hotels in the town have been redeveloped into private accommodation in the last decade.

The thrust of the argument against the development is that it has not taken the needs of locals – and families – into account and that it will change the nature of the area, being inappropriate for a town of this size. However, other towns of similar size in the Espace Diamant- such as Notre Dames de Bellecombe – already have well-developed areas at the base of their main pistes and this has always been a strange omission for Praz-sur-Arly. 

The proposal was first raised by the Mayor in 2018 and a public enquiry, gathering opinion, closed this month. It’s not yet clear when works might begin.

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