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|Nearest major city||Chambéry|
|Top elevation||2,738 m (8,983 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,100 m (3,600 ft)|
|Lift system||58 (Capacity 67,254ph)|
Courchevel is a French Alps ski resort. It is a part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski areas in the world. Courchevel also refers to the towns of Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz), Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850, which are named for their altitudes in metres. The resort centre of Courchevel is at 1,747 metres (5,732 ft). [ citation needed ]The name Courchevel 1850 was chosen for marketing reasons to compete with rival ski resort Val d'Isère. It is the Jardin Alpin area of Courchevel 1850 rather than the centre which is located at 1,850 metres (6,070 ft).
Courchevel used to be part of the commune of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise, but in 2017 that was merged with La Perrière into the new commune of Courchevel. In spite of the name, the commune's administrative offices are not located in Courchevel, but still in the nearby village of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise. Courchevel is in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie département , Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Courchevel is part of the Trois Vallées, which comprises the resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Les Menuires-Saint Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle.
The original resort was planned during World War II with a study in 1942 by the Vichy regime and in a doctorate by the town planner Laurent Chappis. Chappis was a natural choice to direct the development of the resort in the immediate post war years. Courchevel 1850 was significant, as it was the first resort in France to be constructed from scratch, rather than based around an existing village.
Within the Tarentaise Valley you find the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. Most well known neighbour systems are Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne) and Espace Killy (Val d'Isère and Tignes). A weekly lift ticket in Courchevel/Les Trois Vallées gives you a choice to ski one day in each of the other two systems mentioned. There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the – by far – largest ski area in the world. However, that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.
The Courchevel valley also includes the town of La Tania, built as competitors accommodation for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. Le Praz hosted the Olympic ski jumping and Nordic combined competitions for those games took place at Tremplin du Praz in Le Praz.There was a ski jump in Courchevel 1850 on the snowfront, which was removed recently due to safety precautions.
Before dawn on January 20th 2019, a fire broke out in one of the buildings in the hamlet of Courchevel 1850, which houses seasonal workers of the resort, killing two and injuring at least 22. A local French newspaper reported that 130 firefighters were on the scene.
In May 2018, Courchevel was named a joint host of the 2023 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships with Méribel.It will be the first time since 2009 that France has hosted the FIS World Championships, when they took place in Val d'Isère. Races in Courchevel will finish in Courchevel Le Praz. A new super-leisure centre called L'Alpinium is under construction in Le Praz and will improve connections to Courchevel 1850 and provide more parking.
Courchevel is the most western resort of the Three Valleys, the biggest connected ski area in the world. It consists of four satellite villages: Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1850. Its highest resort, Courchevel 1850, is considered exclusive, attracting wealthy clientele including royal families. In the 2011–2012 season, Courchevel rebranded, changing the names of each of the four villages in a move away from the association with altitude. Courchevel 1850 is now known simply as Courchevel, Courchevel 1650 was renamed Courchevel Moriond; Courchevel 1550 is now called Courchevel Village and Courchevel 1330 was renamed Courchevel Le Praz.
Courchevel has 11 luxury hotels with a 5-star ranking. In 2011 France introduced a 6th star ranking for hotels, named "palaces". Eight hotels in France have received this rating, of which two are in Courchevel's Jardin Alpin area. [ citation needed ] The majority of Courchevel's visitors are Russian.[ citation needed ] Many Russians visit during New Year and Russian Orthodox Christmas on 7 January. As a result, the first two weeks of January are high season weeks in Courchevel. The resort's name is associated with the super-rich in Russia.The resort has seven restaurants with Michelin stars, of which four have two stars, including Le Chabichou. It also hosts a variety of luxury shops including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Valentino, Loro Piana, Prada, Cartier, Fendi, Dior and Chanel.
Courchevel has one of the largest bases for ski instructors and other seasonal workers due to the size of the three valleys area. Courchevel's couloirs are considered some of the most difficult black runs in the world.[ citation needed ]
Courchevel's sister city is Park City, Utah in the United States, and it has a red-graded ski piste named "Park City".
Courchevel's airport has a very short and steeply sloped runway, with a length of 525 metres (1,722 ft) and a gradient of 18.5%. The airport has a dangerous approach through deep valleys, which can only be performed by specially certified pilots. On landing there is no go-around procedure, as most of the world's airports have; there is merely a very steep hill which has seen a few accidents since the airport first opened. Larger propeller aircraft such as the Twin Otter and Dash 7 (carrying up to 50 people) have been regular users of the airport over the years, but have since been phased out of use and smaller Cessnas and helicopters are now the main users.[ citation needed ]
The History Channel program Most Extreme Airports, ranks it as the 7th most dangerous airport in the world.
Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. Located in the French Alps, its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2017, Savoie had a population of 431,174.
Val d'Isère is a commune of the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in southeastern France. It lies 5 km (3 mi) from the border with Italy. It is on the border of the Vanoise National Park created in 1963. During the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men's downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men's giant slalom and alpine combined. Val d'Isère regularly hosts World Cup alpine events, usually for the men in early December, and hosted the World Championships in 2009. It is located in the Savoie région with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambéry. The ski area of Val d'Isère and Tignes forms the Espace Killy, named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy who grew up in Val d'Isère. There are two mountain huts owned by the Vanoise National Park on the territory of Val d’Isère: le Refuge du Prariond and le Refuge du Fond des Fours.
Val Thorens ([val tɔʁɑ̃], located in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie, French Alps, located at an altitude of 2300m, is the highest ski town in Europe,. It is located in the commune of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville in the Savoie département. The resort forms part of the 3 vallées linked ski area which, with over 600 km of piste, is one of the largest linked ski areas in the world.
Méribel is a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps, situated near the town of Moûtiers. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie département of France, near the town of Moûtiers, called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. The villages are within the Vanoise National Park and a part of the Les Trois Vallées interlinked ski system.
Les Trois Vallées is a ski region in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie département of France, to the south of the town of Moûtiers, partly in the Vanoise National Park.
The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.
Tignes is a commune in the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, known for the highest skiable area in Europe and the longest ski season in Europe. It is located in the Savoie region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambery.
Moûtiers, historically also called Tarentaise, is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.
Laurent Chappis was an architect and town planner, born in Aix-les-Bains, France. He created the French ski resort of Courchevel located in the Trois Vallées and in doing so practically wrote the rule book on how to design a ski resort. Chappis was a keen ski tourer exploring the mountains around Grenoble in the 1930s before joining the army and serving in the early stages of World War II. A decorated war hero he was captured in an attack on a German position in the final days before the French surrender and served five years in a PoW camp in Austria.
Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is a former commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune of Les Belleville.
Les Menuires is a ski resort in the Belleville valley of Les Trois Vallées between Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Val Thorens. Owned and operated by Compagnie des Alpes, it is in the Savoie département of France.
Paradiski is a ski-area in the Tarentaise Valley of France that offers uninterrupted skiing in between the areas of Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne. The area is linked, since December 2003, by the Vanoise Express lift. In total over the three resorts there are 160 lifts and 425 km (264 mi) of pistes, with 152 green/blue (beginner) runs, 79 red (intermediate) runs, and 22 black (expert) runs.
The Tarentaise Valley is a valley of the Isère River in the heart of the French Alps, located in the Savoy region of France. The valley is named for the ancient town of Darantasia, the capital of the pre-Roman Centrones tribe.
Vanoise National Park is a French national park between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps, containing the Vanoise massif. It was created in 1963 as the first national park in France.
La Thuile is a town and comune in the Aosta Valley of northwest Italy.
Saint-Bon-Tarentaise is a former commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Courchevel.
Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.
Tremplin du Praz is a ski jumping hill at Le Praz in Courchevel, France. The complex consists of four hills: a large hill with construction point of K125 (HS137), a normal hill at K90 (HS96), and two training hills at K60 and K25. The complex also has a cross-country skiing stadium used for Nordic combined. Jörg Ritzerfeld holds the large hill winter record of 134.0 metres and Nicolas Mayer the normal hill record of 100.5 metres.
The 49th World Cup season began on 25 October 2014, in Sölden, Austria, and concluded on 22 March 2015 at the World Cup finals in Meribel, France. The defending overall champions from the 2014 season - Marcel Hirscher and Anna Fenninger, both of Austria, defended their titles successfully. The season was interrupted by the World Championships in February, in the United States at Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado. Combined events were not awarded as a discipline trophy.
The Col de la Loze is a mountain pass in the French Alps, with an elevation of 2,304 metres (7,559 ft). A path up the mountain was opened in May 2019, and is the seventh-highest mountain pass in France. The ascent featured in the 2020 Tour de France, as well as in the 2019 Tour de l'Avenir.
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