From the 1940s onwards the history of Chatel took a dramatic turn and the tourist industry really began to take off. The town has continued to grow rapidly ever since and today it is unrecognisable from the sleepy village it once was.
The First Lifts
Construction on the first ski lift began in 1946 and the Vonnes Chairlift opened in 1948, beginning the new chapter in Chatelís history. Construction continued with the following lifts being constructed between 1946 and 1966:
The Super Chatel chairlift
The Morclan chairlift
The Coq drag lift
The Corbeau drag lift
The first Super Chatel gondola
The Chalet Neuf drag lift was also opened during this period. This is notable as it was the first link between France and Switzerland, marking the start of Chatelís position at the heart of what would become the Portes Du Soleil, right on the French/Swiss border.
Linga Opens Up
So far all the developments had centred on the Super Chatel area. From 1967 to 1984 work also began to focus on the Linga area, which would prove vital to the eventual link with Avoriaz and the wider Portes Du Soleil. As well as the first gondola in Linga, the Combes, Pre-La-Joux, Chaux de Rosees, the Aity drag lift and the Slalom Stadium. The Rochassons chairlift also opened, providing access to Morzine-Avoriaz. During this time work also continued on Super Chatel, with the Cret and Conches chairlifts opening as well as Morclan being upgraded to provide a high speed link with Switzerland (Torgon).
From 1985 onwards the Super Chatel cable car has been constructed, as well as an upgraded Linga cable car. More chairlifts have also been constructed, specifically the Plaine-Dranse chairlift, The Barbossine chairlift and the Pierre Longue chairlift. The Chaux De Rosees lift has also been upgraded to a high speed six man lift.
The Portes Du Soleil
In 1975 Chatel signed the Statutes of the Portes Du Soleil, meaning that they would be linked to the vast ski area.
Linking Linga And Super Chatel
Where it had previously been necessary to take a bus between the two areas, in January 2015 - following six months of work - the Gabelou and Portes Du Soleil chairlifts opened providing a direct link between the two areas, making it far easier to ski the entire Portes Du Soleil area.