Are you one of those who likes to go through the piste map, ticking off all the runs with your trusty highlighter? If so, it is essential to keep up to date with all the new pistes under construction during the summer months. God forbid a new red goes under the radar and ruins the 100% record.
However, the slopes aren’t all that get updated in-between seasons. There’s plenty of work going on behind the scenes to ensure you always get a fresh experience, even if you’re a regular in your favourite resort.
Read on to discover the biggest and best changes happening for the 19/20 ski season. Spoiler alert… it includes the world’s first self-driving resort shuttle bus.
Les Deux Alpes
Regulars of Les Deux Alpes will be aware of the lengthy queues that can arise at the current Crêtes chairlift. This should be a thing of the past with the new eight-man chair, promising to give quicker access to the Glacier.
The current Crêtes chair will be used over in Le Thuit, giving a more efficient route back from La Fee. Recycling seems to be the name of the game here, with a change being to ditch the Super Venosc chairlift, in exchange for the old Toura chair.
In the slightly further future, Les Deux Alpes is aiming to be ahead of the game with artificial snow. Cannons will soon serve 30% of the pistes on offer, making the conditions both more consistent and safer.
Getting around Tignes ski resort is soon to get a lot easier, for both the beginner and the accomplished snow sports enthusiast.
We are saying goodbye to the old Marquis chairlift, to be replaced by a newer, faster model. This will give speedy access to the Aiguille Percée (the iconic eye of the needle rock formation), along with the popular runs down to Tignes le lac.
Tignes can also look forward to a new magic carpet on the Marais Plateau. This gives beginners an easier time navigating around on the tricky first few days.
Sat in the middle of the largest ski area in Europe, Meribel already boasts an impressive piste map. However, it’s about to grow.
Two new red runs over near the Roc De Fer will test the advanced skiers looking for a more challenging way down. The ‘Gypaète’ and ‘Daguet’ runs will offer a more unpisted feel, with natural rollers and sweeping bends.
This Roc De Fer section of the mountain has previously had its access impeded on race days. This will no longer be the case, a new tunnel through the mountain will give unlimited skiing for all.
The kids aren’t being left behind either. Beginner additions to the Elements park and improvements to the Yeti park mean Meribel is the place to come if you’re looking to raise the next Candide Thovex.
Finally, after you’re pooped out from all the new additions, head to one of the new cosy pit-stop options. These will include log cabins complete with smartphone chargers and glove warmers. As well as unmissable new sculptures for the perfect Instagram backdrop.
The carpenters of Les Arcs are about to see a boost in trade, in the form of tables for the new Folie Douce. That’s right, get ready to climb on board and dance to the ever-hypnotic tunes.
This new shrine to après will be in Arcs 1800 and will be familiar to those who have frequented its predecessors in other resorts. It will include the same Fruitière restaurant and the cheaper canteen option, along with a shop for all the Folie ‘essentials’.
The infrastructure in Val d’Isere has been evolving rapidly over the last few years and it shows no signs of slowing down yet.
The self-catered experience is about to get another dose of 5 stars. The Residence Chalet Izia is opening its doors opposite the famous Le Face run in the centre of Val d’Isere. Hot tubs, saunas and an indoor swimming pool will await those looking for a luxury holiday with all the flexibility of self-catering.
The pistes themselves are also getting some love and attention, with modernised snow cannons. An impressive 40% is already covered and with improved technology this is becoming more efficient, using less water in less time. Winner winner.
For beginners looking to hone their skills, the Solaise ski area has always been a favourite. It is about to get even more enticing with a new ‘refuge’, located at the top of the already super modern bubble. This may have been finished a year late but the spa, restaurant and bar is sure to become a lifeline for the tired legs of anyone that passes by.
It’s all about efficiency in Courchevel this season, with improvements to the lifts and base stations. Ideal in late season when you may have to venture higher to find the best snow.
The changes are all exploding forth from the new ‘Alpinium multiservice building’. Situated in Courchevel Le Praz, this will provide a new link to 1850. Alongside the redesigned lifts, this new structure will provide a games room, library and multi-story car park.
Courchevel 1850 also now enjoys new links to the ‘Aquamotion aquafun’ centre. This is in the form of both the Les Grandes Combes chairlift and a kilometre long blue run.
The wait is over, what must be the main event can be found over in Val Thorens. No longer are driverless vehicles confined to select cities and Elon Musk’s driveway. There will be a new 15 seater, fully electric shuttle operating in the resort, ready for the start of the season.
Safely will, of course, be at the forefront of this futuristic new venture. Extensive cameras and sensors will enable the shuttle to avoid even the most unpredictable group of apres goers.
From futuristic vehicles to primitive structures. Val Thorens Igloo village will be getting a new bar to help cool off after a hard day on the Rosé (I mean slopes). It doesn’t stop at the bar however, you can book yourself a table or even a room in this chilly getaway.