Haute-Nendaz - History


Earliest documents date Nendaz back to 985. Until the 19th century, the Nendaz community was largely based on agriculture. When traces of gold were found, the region went through a brief gold rush. The main source of mineral wealth remains carbon extracted from Aproz.

When Switzerland's tourism industry blossomed again after World War II, Nendaz started their first cablecart lift and the start of Télénendaz. Nendaz went into rapid expansion afterwards. Large chalets were rapidly being built on previously forested areas, and more ski resorts were added, namely in Siviez (then named Super-Nendaz).

By the 1970s, the resort was already struggling to cope with large queues at the ticket offices, and the mountain cablecars were barely able to manage the crowds during the winter holidays.

Construction of chalets continues apace in Haute Nendaz, though the infrastructure of lifts and buses remains unable to cope at peak times. A couple of years ago TeleVerbier put in a bid for Telenendaz, though some notable Nendaz businessmen, fearing that their power base would be eroded blocked the bid. TeleVerbier is widely regarded as providing an excellent service for their paying customers, and many workers in Nendaz wish that their bid had been successful. It is a shame that the necessary development of Nendaz is stifled by the interests of just a few rich local men. With just a few basic improvements - such as running more frequent buses to Siviez - the long queues would be reduced.

The area near to the Telecabine is being relentlessly developed with large areas of trees being felled to accommodate the extensive building of the so-called 'hamlet' of Mer du Glace. These apartments will be sold from CHF975,000 for the smallest one - an immense amount of money for an area that claims to be unable to afford to make any improvements, particularly considering the benefactors from this development are allegedly the very people who blocked the Televerbier bid.

The resort itself is terrific and the vast majority of local people would prefer to see it thrive. It's a great shame that the interests of a very few people are preventing the continued enjoyment of the resort by the many.

Read more about this topic:  Haute-Nendaz

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