Courchevel is located in the Savoie region of the French Alps, and part of Les Trois Vallees, the largest linked ski area in the world.
The original resort was planned during the Second World War with a study in 1942 by the Vichy regime and in a doctorate by the town planner Laurent Chappis. Chappis was a natural choice to direct the development of the resort in the immediate post war years. Courchevel 1850 was significant as it was the first resort in France to be constructed from scratch rather than based around an existing village. It therefore served as an open air laboratory of ideas.
Courchevel also refers to the towns of Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz - the original village), Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850, which are named for their altitudes in metres. The highest point in Courchevel 1850 is in fact only 1747 meters, the name was chosen for marketing reasons to compete with arch rivals Val d'Isère. The Courchevel valley also includes the town of La Tania, built as competitors accommodation for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. Le Praz hosted the Olympic ski jump in that year.There was a ski Jump in Courchevel 1850 on the snowfront however it was removed recently due to safety precautions.
Courchevel's airport also has a certain degree of infamy in the aviation industry as home to one of the shortest runways in the world, with a length of 525 metres and a gradient of 18.5% in order to help slow landing aircraft.
Courchevel's couloirs are renowned as some of the most difficult black runs in the world.