Thick snowflakes are falling and it’s a whiteout on the mountain – but inside Alaïa Chalet the show must go on. A team of builders is working around-the-clock to put the finishing touches to what will become Switzerland’s biggest action sports centre. That, of course, also includes the occasional time out to ‘test’ the pump track and skate bowl at the heart of Alaïa Chalet (they’re only human after all)
“Our goal is to raise the bar of action sports in Switzerland,” says founder Adam Bonvin from the bar area overlooking the indoor skatepark at Alaïa Chalet, perched on a plateau below the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana. “The mountain already has a snow park in the winter and bike park in the summer but we want Alaïa Chalet to be a true home for action sports.”
“Our goal is to raise the bar of action sports in Switzerland”
We’re here just days before opening to check out a facility that will sprawl across 5,000sqm once the winter snow melts and the outdoor skatepark is also completed (in June). The combined footprint of this place will be larger than rival action sports centres in Laax (Freestyle Academy) and Winterthur (Skills Park). It’s kind of a big deal.
Alaïa Chalet is designed to offer a year-round training facility for skateboarding, freestyle skiing, snowboarding and BMX – from kids trying action sports for the first time, to seasoned professionals competing at the Olympic Games. Visitors can drop-in for a two-hour session or sign-up for a week-long camp, with skateboard coaching provided by ex-professional Chany Jeanguenin and winter freeski courses split across Alaïa Chalet and Crans-Montana’s snow park, one of the largest in Switzerland (the resort also offers 140km of marked pistes).