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MGM to develop ski properties in the Vecors mountains

23rd March 2011 Print

Leading French Alpine developer MGM is expanding it activities into new areas of the mountains this year as it starts construction work on a record 11 new ski resort schemes. Many of them – like the recently announced new residence de tourisme La Grange aux Fées in Valmorel, a ski resort within the Grand Domaine area of the French Alps linking the Tarentaise with the Maurienne – are little-known to Britons although French people regard them as popular year-round holiday locations.

This month MGM took the wraps off a new development in the centre of Villard de Lans, a traditional and lively agricultural town in the heart of the Vecors mountains just 30 minutes drive from Grenoble Airport.

“The spectacular scenery and breathtaking views make this a very special place,” says Richard Deans, sales consultant in the company’s London office. “It’s one reason why Villard is popular for a host of outdoor activities ranging from hot air ballooning and mountain biking to golf, paragliding and tennis.”

In winter Villard attracts skiers of all abilities, from beginners to advanced. The resort boasts 28 ski lifts providing direct access 130 kilometres of downhill skiing on 32 individual pistes from altitudes up to 2,170 metres where snow levels are reliable.

All this will be on the doorstep for those who opt for one of the 92 apartments MGM plans to have ready for occupation by the end of next year.

Unusually the company is offering buyers a choice of 23 one- to four-bedroom apartments for outright purchase, giving owners unlimited year-round use, alongside 69 leaseback apartments in a new residence de tourisme, La Perle d’Ourèa.

Those opting for a leaseback apartment benefit from a discounted price. Typically the price payable for a one-bedroom apartment of 35 sq m listed at €215,000 is reduced to €180,000 because French VAT at 19.6 per cent is waived under the leaseback scheme. Owners at La Perle d’Ourèa can occupy their properties for eight weeks every year – split between four weeks in the ski season and four in the summer – while receiving a guaranteed income throughout the 11-year term of the leaseback arrangement.

They also have use of all the four-star facilities within the residence, including an indoor pool, fitness suite, gym, sauna, jacuzzi and steam rooms, as well as a beauty centre with a variety of massages and treatments on offer.

The prices of the apartments available for outright purchase range from €210,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to €353,000 for a four-bedroom duplex property. As with the apartments in the residence, the prices include underground parking and cellar storage as well as use of locker rooms, a laundry and drying rooms.

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