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Rachel Phillips Marketing Assistant

Rachel rejoined the VIP team after a season as a Chalet Host in Val d'Isere. Look out for plenty of exciting blog posts and lots of useful information!

What’s our MD Andy Sturt thinking ahead of this season?

Fri November 24, 2017

With less than 2 weeks to go until we kick off our season in Val d’Isere, I grabbed a few minutes with our Managing Director Andy Sturt to ask him about his thoughts for the upcoming ski season. 

Early snowfall has been hit and miss in recent years, have you seen this affect sales this year?

No use pretending that recent early season snowfall doesn’t have an effect on bookings, and frankly its been fairly underwhelming for the last two years. What we are seeing is greater demand for early December in Val d’Isère where the conditions have been great, there is no substitute for altitude at the beginning of the season and Espace Killy really know how to work their magic. On the other hand, the snow gods seem to have been favouring the northern alps recently and the Austrian ski resorts look as though they're benefitting from the early season snowfall. At the lower altitudes the charm of our village resorts seems to make up for the scratchy conditions once Xmas comes round and we are much busier than last year. Much of this is because of snow cannons, which have been a game changer. It is always possible to ski.

What are you looking forward to the most this season?

Having just come back our first 40cm of fresh snow in Avoriaz where we are currently laying concrete foundations (not so easy!), I never fail to be beguiled by the crunch of snow underfoot. Its been 28 years now, but the magic is just the same. Aside from the delight of new snow, I guess I am always most excited delivering our summer projects; new chalets in Meribel and Morzine, fabulous refurbishments in Courchevel, new indoor pool in Val d’Isere. I can’t wait for live feedback to drop into our inbox as guests discover the fruits of another long hot summer. I am, of course, also looking forward to strapping on the planks and making first tracks in 10 days time, the joy of first clip into bindings each year has no equal.

Can we expect anything new from the VIP SKI service this year?

Well, as always, we’re certainly trying to offer more this year, ‘bespoke’ seems to be the new buzz word, and we’ve added some interesting catering upgrades for the new season. As well as our celebrated Platinum Service, guests also now have the choice of a Platinum Taster experience for one evening only, offering a private chef, pre-dinner drinks, canapes and a bespoke 4 course menu. For the foodies you can also now choose a Chef Upgrade for the entire week and for the thirsty or festive, a Beer & Aperitif upgrade, offering nibbles, drinks, and unlimited beers every evening.

We’re also making travel to our resorts more flexible for those who prefer not to fly with us from London or Manchester by offering a range of airlines from regional airports. When possible we’ll buy in flight seats and and try and fit these in with our scheduled coach transfers, or alternatively we can book private transfers for our guests from our range of reliable and approved local taxi companies. Flexibility is the future.

Are you worried about the effect of Brexit on the ski industry?

Frankly I’m bored to death of the subject. We have outline plans to deal with every eventuality and we will always be providing class leading ski holidays in the places that our guests want to ski, that’s our job. Once anyone knows what Brexit means then we will deal with it.

Anything else in the pipeline?

You bet. On my desk at the moment are piles of plans and legal papers for breathtaking new build projects in St Anton, Val d’Isere, Les Arcs and Avoriaz that are going to reinvent our chalet holidays and transform our guest experience. Higher, bigger, smarter, better … and rolling out starting December 2018. Watch this space!

If you don’t mind I had better get back to work ….

Two weeks to go - book now

Well it was great to catch up with Andy and we cannot wait to kick off the season. With heavy snowfall forecast across the Austrian alps this weekend, there's never been a better time to book your early season ski holiday. Join us in St Anton from £700pp or Lech from £749pp 

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Please contact Louise, Jess, Maxine, Cam or Millie if you have any questions.

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