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YEAR-ROUND SNOW SLOPE FOR TIGNES - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Thursday December 1, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

The French resort is set to build a £53m indoor ski slope as part of a new sports facility with accommodation and shopping. Not all are happy, though. PlanetSKI reports from Tignes.

The plans were passed by local authorities in Chambery this week and it is hoped that work will start by 2018.

The slope will be long enough for World Cup slalom races and covers an area of 20,000m2 with a chairlift to take people to the top of the slope.

The plan for the complex includes a surf pool and wave centre, to be 822m2.

The facility, known as Ski Line, would be built on the slalom piste at Val Claret to the right of the Tichot lift.

Ski Line, TignesSki Line, Tignes
















The Grande Motte glacier in Tignes used to offer skiing 365 days a year but climate change has seen it shrink by 30% in size and so it is no longer possible.

The new centre aims to bring back year-round skiing to the resort.

This is an artist's impression of the development:

The ski slopeThe ski slope













The wave poolThe wave pool













Environmentalists have expressed concern and others have criticised it for turning the mountains into a high-altitude Disneyland.

However, Tignes has a number of top-level sports training facilities and the resort is used by national sports teams during the summer months.

Athletes, footballers and rugby players travel to Tignes for high-altitude training.

Many people we spoke to in the resort argue that it is simply another facility to widen Tignes' appeal throughout the year, and that the environmental reports of concern are projections that yet have no firm grounding.

"It will be a wonderful new facility for Tignes and cement it as a premier year-round destination for athletes and sports enthusiasts," said Phil Smith from Snoworks.

"Too often training days in the summer are lost through bad weather. Ski Line will put an end to that," he added.

The vast majority of people I spoke to in the resort also welcomed the development.

Even the lifties, who like a grumble or two, were positive.

One told me that it would probably take years, but that many people in the resort would welcome the jobs it would bring as well as the summer visitors.

Ski Line, TignesSki Line, Tignes



















There has already been much reaction online, for the most part concentrating on the environmental impact.

"Tignes! From a responsible tourism perspective, this is shocking. On balance artificially sustaining ski longevity has some positive impacts eg. jobs, ongoing income from tourism. But that's about it. Screw culture, environment... Interesting to consider though, in years to come, energy required for fake snow dome, might be more than offset from lifts no longer operating to a depleted glacier? But then a lot less people to benefit..." said one comment on Facebook.

Ski Line, TignesSki Line, Tignes
















The first phase of development would be the slope and sports complex.

A 1,000-bed Club Med hotel would be part of the second phase.

Here at PlanetSKI we will let you know how the project progresses.

Development siteDevelopment site















See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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