In the thirties, visitors searching for a suitable site in the Vanoise to build a ski resort were charmed by our Allues valley.

Whether they were French, such as Jean de la Valdène, the early entrepreneur, Spanish, such as his wife, the tennis champion Lili Alvarez, or British, such as Peter Lindsay or Billy Clyde, they all fell for the charms of the valley’s harmonious landscape, its villages and their inhabitants.

Peter Lindsay, who was chosen to lead the project for the new resort, together with his architects and supportive locals, was determined to preserve the local charm that had won them all over.

Their aim was to build without spoiling the landscape or destroying its charm. Even the choice of the melodious-sounding ‘Méribel’ as the name for the future resort (called after one of the villages in the valley, now Méribel Village) contributed to this charm, while being easier to pronounce for English-speakers.

It was this charm, as much as the spirit of adventure, that encouraged Chamonix guide and skier André Tournier to join the founders and to settle in our valley, and ski champion René Beckert to give up managing the nascent National School of Ski Instructors, the future ENSA, to do the same and remain in Méribel after the institution’s creation.

Many others were to follow them, some of whom came by chance, and all were equally enchanted by the charm of the setting. The generations of loyal summer and winter visitors who came regularly over the following decades prove that our pioneers and founders, both natives and incomers, succeeded in preserving the original charm of the valley.


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