History of Les Karellis
A bit of history: Les Karellis
"Les Karellis" resort, in the French Alps, in the Savoie region, in the heart of the Maurienne valley, is a unique tourism development concept. Created in 1975, the utopia concept still seduces holiday-makers who appreciate the advantages of this mountain resort, both in the summer and winter...
Where does Les Karellis name come from?
On the slopes where the Karèle grew, a unique mountain resort was created: Les Karellis.
"La Karèle", don't try looking it up in your French dictionary, it is in old dialect.
On the Montricher mountain pastures, a long and smooth type of grass grows, which is called "Karèle", and it is found on the sun-facing slopes.
Young sheep farmers used to have fun sliding down on these blades of grass bent along the sides of the slopes.
They used to sit on their coat or on a small plank and then slid down as if on a sledge. The name of resort came naturally: Karellis, referring to the Karèle and in a place known as: "plan-Karelli".
A tale of facts: "Once upon a time, there was a place called Les Karellis"
Les Karellis resort represented an opportunity for the inhabitants of Montricher at the start of the 60s, everyone knew, the school had just closed down, the decline of agricultural activity was more accentuated, the administrative centre was moved to Le Bochet, lower down in the valley.
The unique concept for the design of the Resort, presented by Pierre Lainé, founder, seduced the Municipal Council which at the time was searching for investors for the development of winter tourism.
A product of the cooperation between the Community and the Renouveau Association, the resort was built using land management:
Any form of speculation was thus avoided
The community took on no investments
The priority for employment is given to the inhabitants of the Community and neighbouring Communities. Work was done following the concept of harmonised development *.
In 1970, the two communities of Montricher and Albanne merged, offering Albanne the chance to develop by joining Les Karellis project.
In 1973, work began on the Resort
In 1976, the first skiers discovered the ski area, enjoying the friendliness and welcome at the Holiday Villages, all located at the foot of the pistes, offering quality services which were adapted to the needs of families.
Almost 30 years later, with its "associative tourism" spirit untouched, Les Karellis experience continues to be named as an example of sustainable development.
* harmonised development:
Born from the thoughts of two economists, J.Lebret and F. Perroux, the concept of harmonised development was above all used to create land-use and land development plans in countries with weak or fragile economies. P. Lainé took the principles to apply them to associative tourism.
The website of the mountain villages of Montricher & Albanne: www.montricher-albanne.fr