Skip to main content Buy your ski passes now

Compagnie Des Alpes pulls out of La Grave bid

SATA in Alpe d'Huez remains the only company left in the dealings

featured in News & reviews Author Ian Huyton, Les 2 Alpes Reporter Updated

One of the two big companies in the running to take over La Grave has just pulled out of the bidding process.

Earlier this year we reported on the Signal de La Grave crowdfunded bid to take over the La Grave lift system in a sustainable fashion. The concession to run the lift system is granted by the Commune of La Grave on a thirty-year basis, and is due for renewal this year. The La Grave Mairie (town hall) rejected the locally instigated crowdfunding initiative in the first stage, preferring to look at bids from the big lift companies in the area.

One of those big companies has just announced that it is withdrawing its bid for the concession. Compagnie des Alpes is a huge company in ski resort terms, having a majority stake in Les Deux Alpes lift operations as well as many other major ski resorts across France. David Ponson, director of ski area operations for the company, cited contention between current operator, Denis Creissel and the La Grave Mairie as the main reason for pulling out. He said that the company had not been given sufficient access to the lift installations or to certain documentation, and that it was therefore difficult to make a precise evaluation.

With one of the major players dropping out, this just leaves one company in the race. SATA, the Alpe d’Huez lift company, looks almost certain to take over the concession and begin running the La Grave lift operations from June this year. What this will mean for the future of the ski area remains to be seen, but one of the mairie’s demands is that the new operator extend the gondola to the top of the Dome de la Lauze where the drag lift currently finishes, and improve the connection to Les Deux Alpes.

Read more from Ian on his website.