Courchevel changes name
Back in Autumn 2011, Courchevel town council quietly changed the names of all its villages, after getting advice for a marketing agency. Its flagship Courchevel 1850 is now called just Courchevel – which seems to us a bonkers idea because Courchevel is also the collective name for all its villages and its ski area. 1650 has reverted to the name of the old village it is based on, and is now Courchevel Moriond. 1550 becomes Courchevel Village. Le Praz (sometimes called 1300) is Courchevel Le Praz. We suspect that one reason for doing all this is that the old altitude-related names actually exaggerate all the altitudes; a local tells us that roadside altitude markers installed to help Tour de France riders track their progress made the discrepancies painfully obvious. Way back in Where to Ski and Snowboard 2000 we pointed out that the ice rink in the centre of 1850m is at 1740m, the gondola station in 1650 is below 1600m, the middle of 1550 is at 1480m, and the lake at 1300/Le Praz is at 1260m. It has taken them 13 years to respond to our remarks but we’re claiming victory.
The decision was taken too late to implement for the 2011/12 season but we are assured that all the road signs and names on the maps will be changed for the coming season.