2014/15 New year skiing in the Alps
The original village of Tignes was in the Isère valley below Val d'Isère. After the second world war, France needed electricity and it was decided to build a hydro-electric dam in the Isère valley. Whilst this was a great achievement for French engineering and was for the greater good of France, it very sadly meant that the old village of Tignes was drowned. The dam was completed and the village was consigned to the waters in 1952. A replica of the original church was created in Tignes les Boisses. Once every 10 years the lake behind the dam (Lac du Chevril) is drained for maintenance work and the remains of the old village become visible.
After the loss of the old village it was decided to develop a ski resort at the higher lake (Le Lac). This was surrounded by a bowl that is ideal for skiing and is headed by the Grand Motte glacier. The resort was developed largely during the 1960s and the building style reflects what was regarded as good building design at that time. In recent years the town has worked hard to improve the look of the new villages with some success.
The lift company STGM are continually investing to improve the quality of lifts in the resort and queues are mostly avoided by the use of fast 6- or 8-person chairs. They have also invested over the past few years in snow making equipment to create good bases for the pistes even in the early season.