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Avoriaz

Avoriaz at the forefront, the history of the resort.

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THE HISTORY OF AVORIAZ
THE CREATION OF AVORIAZ IN THE 1960S 

Avoriaz - then called “Avorea” – was originally composed of a few chalets inhabited by the people of the Morzine Valley during the summer months when taking their herds to the alpine pastures. In the winter the people and their animals went back down into the valley and the hamlet was deserted. Only a handful of enthusiasts braved the thick snow for the pleasure of skiing down the slopes high above the plateau.
One of them was Jean Vuarnet, who was born in the area and became famous when he won the Olympic downhill, and who took over the running of the resort tasked with developing the snowfields and the Avoriaz resort.
In 1963 the Les Prodains cable car was opened.
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THE BOLD GAMBLE OF THREE VISIONARIES - JEAN VUARNET, GERARD BREMONT, AND JACQUES LABRO

Jean Vuarnet might have spotted the potential of Avoriaz, but he now needed to build the new resort. His path crossed that of Gérard Brémont, a property developer who, thanks to Avoriaz, went on to become CEO of the Pierre & Vacances Group. Jacques Labro, a young architect at the time, soon joined the project. The daring of these three men gave birth to a wholly unique resort, notable for its entirely pedestrianised design and for its innovative use of mimetic architecture blending in with the rocky environment, adopting its forms and colours.
The resort opened its doors to the first holidaymakers at Christmas 1966.
 
A RENOWN ACQUIRED DUE TO THE FANTASY FILM FESTIVAL
 
Now that the resort existed, what was needed was to get it known to the outside world. In order to bring it to the attention of the media, the Fantasy Film Festival was set up, which became the 2nd largest film event in France, after Cannes.
The festival ran from 1973 to 1993, and was attended by many directors and stars such as Steven Spielberg and Luc Besson.
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AVORIAZ TODAY
 
The 2 resorts at Morzine (Morzine and Avoriaz), which are linked by their ski area, now complement each other better than ever.
 
The variety of the architecture, with one being comprised of Savoyard chalets and the other of avant-garde buildings;
 
The range of accommodation, one having a strong hotel tradition and the other being mainly rentals;
 
Two distinct cultural identities, one with the bustle of village life, the other a peaceful pedestrianised resort;
 
Privileged geographical locations, one huddling in a dip in the mountains, the other standing atop a cliff;
 
This striking degree of diversity within a single resort means that everyone can create the holiday of their dreams.
Come and be charmed by these 2 different characters:
 
  • Morzine, a place of authenticity which has managed to adapt to the demands of tourism whilst preserving its charm and traditions.
  • Avoriaz, a visionary place now pioneering sustainable development in the Alps.
GRAND PRIX WINNERS OF THE AVORIAZ FESTIVAL

1973: Duel by Steven Spielberg
1974: Soylent Green by Richard Fleischer
1975: Phantom of the Paradise by Brian De Palma
1976: Not awarded
1977: Carrie by Brian De Palma
1978: Full Circle by Richard Loncraine
1979: Patrick by Richard Franklin
1980: Time After Time by Nicholas Meyer
1981: The Elephant Man by David Lynch
1982: Mad Max 2 by George Miller
1983: Dark Crystal by Jim Henson and Frank Oz
1984: De Lift by Dick Maas
1985: The Terminator by James Cameron
1986: Dream Lover by Alan J. Pakula
1987: Blue Velvet by David Lynch
1988: Hidden by Jack Sholder
1989: Dead Ringers by David Cronenberg
1990: I, Madman by Tibor Takacs
1991: Tales from the Dark Side by John Harrison
1992: Ucieczka z kina 'Wolnosc (Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema) by Wojciech Marczewski
1993: Braindead by Peter Jackson