Celebrating 50 years of Avoriaz
Perched high atop the cliffs of Morzine in the Portes du Soleil, Avoriaz is a vision straight out of a sci-fi novel. From afar the angular modernist buildings could be carved into the rock and appear to blend into the surrounding mountains. The car-free streets are actually pistes, and the only mode of transport other than skis are the horse pulled carriages that roam the village. In 2017, 50 years on from its original development, the effect is still as striking as it was when it opened in 1967. In stark contrast to the traditional ‘chocolate box’ ski resorts, Avoriaz is still a dramatic vision of futuristic architecture.
As Avoriaz moves into its 50th year, the amount of investment to move the resort into the 21st century is astounding. From music festivals to indoor water parks, Avoriaz is one of the most cutting edge ski resorts when it comes to entertainment on and off the slopes.
An amazing indoor waterpark filled with tropical vegetation includes the Water Playhouse, a section dedicated to young kids with a large paddling pool, waterslides, geysers and water guns to play with. The Slidewinder is for the more adventurous swimmers and is a large halfpipe that sends you spiralling down 10m in a rubber tube. The Chill-out space in the main pool has a gently flowing river, bubbles and jets, massage seats, a climbing wall extending above it and an outdoor hot tub with an uninterrupted view of the valley. The only one of its kind anywhere in a European ski resort, Aquariaz ensures that everyone, even non-skiers, enjoy their time in Avoriaz.
Avoriaz hosts some of the world’s best on-piste music festivals. In 2017, thousands will flock to the resort for Rock the Piste and Snowboxx. Rock the Piste which takes place during the day from March 19-25, is unlike any other festival in Europe. Taking place in all the resorts of the Porte du Soleil, and included in the price of a lift pass, the resorts put up temporary stages around different locations within the ski areas and has had some amazing headliners in the past – Babyshambles, Lily Wood and Selah Sue to name a few. This year, Caravan Palace and Rag and Bone are headlining on March 23.
Snowboxx is the ultimate winter music festival. Drawing music lovers from March 18-25, the days are spent riding the mountains and the evenings are filled with famous musicians, raves in igloos, club nights and even paintball fights. This year Basement Jaxx are the headliners.
The Stash Snow Park
The first of its kind, the Stash was created by Jake Burton (of Burton Snowboards) who wanted to create a freeride space for all to experience. Voted the best ski run in the world in 2014, there are 80 obstacles for riders of all levels to attempt. Whilst other resorts have tried to replicate it there are none that beat the original.
Avoriaz takes pride in its constant innovations to ensure that holidaymakers always have new and exciting things to do on the mountains. In addition to the Stash, they also have two superpipes, two more snow parks and 5 snowcross runs.
A Move into the Future – creating a ‘Smart Resort’
The planners of Avoriaz are implementing a number of smart technologies and digital innovations to optimise how the resort is managed, and to improve visitor convenience and comfort.
- Digital public lighting control systems so that light is only used when it is needed
- The creation of apps to improve information services (such as interactive resort maps and activity programmes) and make buying ski passes more convenient.
- A working centre with Wi-Fi, printers, spaces for conference calls etc.
- A social media lounge where people can upload photos and videos, and produce vlogs.
- Smart counters and sensors which optimise the flow of traffic when approaching the resort, and the flow of horse-drawn carriages and tracked vehicles within the resorts.
Constantly challenging the norm of what a ski resort should be, Avoriaz is truly a resort of the future. The original vision of Jean Vuarnet is still very much alive, and as it enters its 50th year, investments in infrastructure, technology and events has secured its spot as one of the best resorts in the world.
Avoriaz Ski Resort & Property Guide