...lots of snow...

With the ski sea­son in full swing, Wendy Bull re­ports from the twin re­sorts of Morzine and Les Gets, where in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture can only be good news for business and prop­erty own­ers

French Property News - - News -

At the cen­tre of the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar Portes du Soleil ski do­maine, Morzine is a busy and tra­di­tional French Alpine town. Sit­u­ated at 1,000m al­ti­tude, it is an im­por­tant hub for the sur­round­ing areas, with ac­cess to 650km of pistes, 49 ski lifts and 64 slopes for skiers of all lev­els.

It is an ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tion for win­ter and sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties, of­fer­ing ski­ing, hik­ing, walk­ing and moun­tain bik­ing. The trans­fer from Geneva air­port is a rel­a­tively short 75 min­utes and Lake Geneva (Lac Lé­man) is just half an hour away for sum­mer water­sports. You can also eas­ily visit the stylish spa town of Evian-les-bains, and there’s ac­cess by boat across the lake to Lausanne in Switzer­land. For those who would like to ven­ture on a day’s ski­ing to Italy, the Mont Blanc Tun­nel is just an hour and 15 min­utes away, with a fur­ther 28km to the Cour­mayeur ski re­sort.

Set in a val­ley, Morzine is sur­rounded by stun­ning Alpine scenery: pic­turesque forests and snow-cov­ered moun­tain sum­mits. The tra­di­tional Savo­yard way of life in this thriv­ing mar­ket town is leisurely but at the same time there are all the unique Alpine cafés, restau­rants, bars and shops as­so­ci­ated with a win­ter ski and sum­mer out­door ac­tiv­i­ties re­sort. The area has be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with business own­ers and fam­i­lies seek­ing a new way of life, some of whom travel to Geneva to work.

The town boasts four main lifts (Nyon, Pleney, Su­per Morzine and Les Pro­dains), alight­ing from dif­fer­ent areas and go­ing directly to the high-al­ti­tude re­sort of Avo­riaz (1,800m) or Les Gets (1,172m), a charm­ing fam­ily ski re­sort which also of­fers a vi­brant sum­mer scene.

Also in the Portes du Soleil ski area, Les Gets is just five min­utes by car from Morzine. The re­sort wel­comes a va­ri­ety of na­tion­al­i­ties of tourists and the vast ski area is ideal for skiers of all ages. Child-friendly ski areas such as the Ter­ri­toire du Grand Cry and the Map­pys begin­ner’s slope are close to the town cen­tre and are perfect for small chil­dren, be­gin­ners and in­ter­me­di­ate skiers. It’s won­der­ful to ski be­tween the fir forests be­fore eat­ing lunch in the charm­ing moun­tain restau­rants.

The most ex­cit­ing news is the new lift con­nec­tion which will link Morzine with Avo­riaz

What’s new? Moun­tain bik­ers in Les Gets’ Ran­folly bowl this sum­mer will have seen that the Ran­folly chair­lift is be­ing en­tirely re­placed in time for the win­ter 2017/18 sea­son. The cur­rent four-man lift, orig­i­nally con­structed in 1986, will be­come a six-man lift, ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing 3,300 skiers per hour, with a to­tal in­vest­ment of €9.5m.

How­ever, the most ex­cit­ing news, an­nounced at a spe­cial meet­ing of Morzine’s town plan­ning com­mis­sion in April, is the new ex­ten­sive lift con­nec­tion to be built be­tween Morzine and Avo­riaz, which will be known as the Ex­press Morzine-avo­riaz, or EMA.

The télé­cab­ine will leave from Morzine cen­tre and travel across town to ac­cess the Pro­dains val­ley, ar­riv­ing directly at the new Pro­dains télé­cab­ine where it will con­nect and travel on­wards up to Avo­riaz. Con­struc­tion is cur­rently sched­uled to be­gin in 2019 with com­ple­tion for 2021. Con­sul­ta­tions with the mairie, lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions and landown­ers are on­go­ing in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate a smooth tran­si­tion.

The mairie in Morzine has an­nounced a to­tal spend of €147.9m, which will also in­clude a new bus sta­tion near the Car­refour su­per­mar­ket, and a new tun­nel link to the Pleney ex­press. The plans will in­cor­po­rate a 20-year spend­ing plan to up­grade lifts and pistes.

Prop­erty mar­ket To match the growth of all this new in­fra­struc­ture, lo­cal prop­erty de­vel­op­ers are build­ing a se­lec­tion of new-build off-plan res­i­dences in Morzine and Les Gets. Of­fer­ing prime in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, these will in­clude main res­i­dences and sec­ond homes, at­tract­ing a range of na­tion­al­i­ties across var­i­ous price brack­ets.

Soon to be launched is a Morzine town cen­tre de­vel­op­ment in­cor­po­rat­ing large and small apart­ments and shops, built around a green area from where own­ers can walk to two télé­cab­ines as well as the new one once it’s built. Al­though prices haven’t been an­nounced at the time of writ­ing, re­ally keen buy­ers are reg­is­ter­ing their in­ter­est now in or­der to have first choice.

Those want­ing a more im­me­di­ate pur­chase, and there­fore look­ing at re-sale prop­er­ties in the area, gen­er­ally have a wide choice of farm­houses, chalets and apart­ments, many of which have been ren­o­vated to high stan­dards. These are ideal as sec­ond homes or for bring­ing in some rental in­come.

In the Morzine val­ley run­ning down to Lake Geneva, there are also some charm­ing Savo­yard vil­lages sit­u­ated be­tween moun­tains and lake, where prop­erty prices re­main very rea­son­able, at­tract­ing house­hunters seek­ing value for money.

Wendy Bull lives in Morzine and runs Wendy’s Houses, spe­cial­is­ing in Alpine prop­er­ties wendyshouses.com en.morzine-avo­riaz.com/win­ter

Morzine’s fab­u­lous open-air swim­ming pools are pop­u­lar in sum­mer

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