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Oligarch Chalets

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Skiing in 3v this week and was wondering whether any chalets is courchevel have been “seized” yet?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Are there any Russians skiing in Europe anymore due to flight ban?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
And can they donate any seized chalets to snowheads?
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Verbier, Courcheval St Anton and many other glitzy alpine resorts loved accepting the Russian ruble. Property prices through the roof and restraunts frequently cleared to make way for Oligarchs.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Read they are all leaving for their third homes further afield before things are seized. But Belgrade is doing a roaring trade as the go between to Europe. While everyone else has stopped flying, they have doubled flights to/from Moscow and the planes are apparently very busy.
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Oligarch Chalet story:

My friend's mother worked for 30+ years as PA to well known British property magnate.
He has/had homes all over the world and a perk of her job was that she could use them for holidays whenever she liked so long as his family were not already there.
After retirement he gave her that perk for life in recognition of all her help over the years.

A few years ago she was at his chalet (a lovely, lovely chalet in a super perfect location!) in Courcheval when somebody came to the door just as she was leaving after a lovely holiday because the boss and his family had arrived to take over.

It was a Russian who said he wanted to buy it....so she got her old boss to deal with it.

The conversation went something like this:

"Your chalet is worth €5million, I will pay 6"
"No thanks"
"OK, I will pay 8"
"Like I said...No Thanks"
"You drive a hard bargain, but I want this, I pay 10million, double its value!"
"There is no price...I love it, my family love it, I have more money than we can ever spend...there is no price"
"OK, you are clever man...just name your price"
"THERE IS NO PRICE!"
Door slams!


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sun 13-03-22 12:02; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Apparently Putins girlfriend and daughters are holed up in a chalet somewhere in Switzerland
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Another Russian Oligarch Chalet story:

Some old snowHeads may remember a regular poster here called Parlor. He and I became great friends.
Parlor and his partner used to run a high-end chalet business in Verbier.

You may also remember the incident when the mayor in Courcheval reacted against the Russians by setting the police on them...a number were arrested mid "party" with drugs and girls who were described in the reports as being "inappropriately dressed for a skiing holiday"!

As a collective protest a lot of them went elsewhere, quite a lot to Verbier, one of which to Parlor's chalet.

One day the phone rang, Parlor answered it, a French speaker

"Can we speak to Mr Oligarchov please?"
"Who shall I say is calling?"
"This is President Sarkozy's Office"
Oligarchov takes the call...in English
"Yes... what you want? Hello Mr President"
Sarkozy is speaking...
"No Mr President I will not be returning to Courcheval. No Mr President what you say, I don't care about"
"Goodbye Mr President"
Oligarchov hangs up.

"Mr Parlor...if President Sarkozy calls again tell him I am out!"


Can you imagine the political clout that the Mayor of Courcheval must have used up to get that call made?

As it turned out that was a one-off year for Courcheval, and Verbier. The Oligarchs really don't come to Verbier at all, very few Russians at all, but those that do tend to be really serious skiers looking for the more extreme stuff it has to offer.
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@rungsp, we lived in a rented cottage on the south coast here for a year or two. It was in the most amazing spot, right on the most picturesque little cove, no other visible houses, just us, fields, the beach and the sea. On more than one occasion we had people offering us a 'blank cheque' for the property.
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BobinCH wrote:
Apparently Putins girlfriend and daughters are holed up in a chalet somewhere in Switzerland


You know this how?
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Having just said that Oligarchs don't come to Verbier I realise that isn't totally true.

Oligarch Story:

My son ( so I KNOW this story!) was a Ski Instructor for a few seasons and had an Oligarch family for a week.
Mostly his kids who were horribly spoilt brats, the worst kids he ever taught.
Sometime Mr Oligarch on his own...he was a strong skier and wanted to ski hard and fast.
Sometime Mrs Oligarch on her own, she wanted to pootle around at her speed.

We Googled Mr Oligarch and he was rather scary! A mega billionaire, a major Arms dealer, mega Russian Mafia connections and wanted by the FBI Shocked

On the Thursday while skiing with Mrs Oligarch she told my son
"It's my birthday, you must take me for drinks to celebrate"
So they went to La Rouge
"I never carry money...you must pay!"

So she is a BILLIONARE(!) and my son is buying her drinks!!

At the end of the week...he didn't get the drinks money and he got stiffed for his tip...nothing at all (the only private clients ever to give nothing!)

"I do not tip. I never tip. I will give you life advice for free: You must save your money and invest it wisely!"

My son was so tempted to tell him to fek off....but would you do that to somebody who had that Google profile?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@holidayloverxx, OH read the same in the Daily Mail, take that for what it is worth ?


I was with a guy who runs top end chalets in Courchevel last week and I asked him about Russians and he said all the top end ones had decamped to Gstaad.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sun 13-03-22 12:33; edited 1 time in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
holidayloverxx wrote:
BobinCH wrote:
Apparently Putins girlfriend and daughters are holed up in a chalet somewhere in Switzerland


You know this how?


Fairly widely reported in the press, I believe.

Hat-tip to Weathercam...


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Sun 13-03-22 12:33; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@rungsp, I once shared a gondola in Verbier with three men, totally clad in black, who were discussing gun-running for the whole ride. They presumably assumed I couldn't speak Russian.
And, also in Verbier, working for Supertravel, I had a few, very wealthy English clients - they were rude, greedy and incredibly mean.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Charliegolf wrote:
holidayloverxx wrote:
BobinCH wrote:
Apparently Putins girlfriend and daughters are holed up in a chalet somewhere in Switzerland


You know this how?


Fairly widely reported in the press, I believe.
.


Thanks. I don't read the press save for specific articles that pop up
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Haggis_Trap wrote:
Verbier, Courcheval St Anton and many other glitzy alpine resorts loved accepting the Russian ruble. Property prices through the roof and restraunts frequently cleared to make way for Oligarchs.


Didn’t St Anton and the Vorarlberg ban property sales to outsiders such as Russians many years back?

I thought I read that in a ski publication circa 15 years ago.

To prevent those resorts losing their identity and longstanding families heritage.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
A friend of mine has mentioned the odd lift at Verbier being stopped for about 15 mins if certain oligarchs want some peace on a particular slope. Happened to him a handful of times, but rather aggravating.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I take it the CH aren't implementing sanctions? Happy to accept anybody who has a few billions to "invest" in their banking system?
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I once met a Russian oligarch in St. Anon who could easily buy the whole town several times over and drove around on a super yacht on wheels but was super classy, nice, humble, gave to charity and would help homelesss ppl where ever he could. Totally true story which you know it is because I’m on snowheads and started with the phrase ‘i once’
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Ionizingskin, still in Verbier... in a small hotel, sitting at dinner with a noisy, rude (to the very obliging waiters) party of Russians on one side and a very quiet couple on the other. At the end of dinner, the couple got up and came to our table. In perfect English, the man said, "My wife and I felt the need to apologize to you for the behaviour of our compatriots. We are so sorry."
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PrimroseAndBlue wrote:
A friend of mine has mentioned the odd lift at Verbier being stopped for about 15 mins if certain oligarchs want some peace on a particular slope. Happened to him a handful of times, but rather aggravating.


Sounds more likely on Primrose Hill than Verbier wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
brianatab wrote:
I take it the CH aren't implementing sanctions? Happy to accept anybody who has a few billions to "invest" in their banking system?


https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/switzerland-triggers-wide-range-of-sanctions-against-russia/47403156
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hurtle wrote:
@rungsp, I once shared a gondola in Verbier with three men, totally clad in black, who were discussing gun-running for the whole ride. They presumably assumed I couldn't speak Russian.
And, also in Verbier, working for Supertravel, I had a few, very wealthy English clients - they were rude, greedy and incredibly mean.


You know Hurtle this isn't the first time I've contemplated the idea you might be ex MI6 Laughing

I worked for Supertravel in Courchevel fairly early in the Russian invasion but at that point they were more of a fixture in the 5* Hotels (and *** restaurants) than the chalets.
Our wealthiest clients (not oligarch rich of course) ranged from lovely (treat us as part of the family) to mean and grasping. The best tippers weren't rich.
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@rungsp, keep the stories coming!

I don't have a funny one but I did meet a guide who was on retainer with an oligarch. On thursday he had to advise where the best snow was in the Alps. Then a helicopter would pick him up to rendezvous with the oligrach's party for the weekend.
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@dan100, Can you correct the typo in the thread title please? It sets my teeth on edge every time I see it Toofy Grin
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Talking to more than one Swiss restauranteur in the Verbier area - it was clear they didn't like the Russians. Of course, they'd take their money, but they found them difficult to deal with and in some ways, not worth the hassle. Yes, they'd spend a lot when they did go out, but because few lived there on any prolonged basis, the bulk of anyone's annual revenues came from other customers. From what I heard, they've disappeared somewhat over the last ten years, and weren't missed. Until recently, it seemed to be the Chinese groups who were the more recent, and welcome arrivistes.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

You know Hurtle this isn't the first time I've contemplated the idea you might be ex MI6

I could tell you what she used to do for a living.....but then I'd have to kill you.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
and even then it would be a cover story.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
jedster wrote:
You know Hurtle this isn't the first time I've contemplated the idea you might be ex MI6 Laughing


Has anyone ever seen Hurtle and Edna Mode in the same room?

No?

Thought not… wink Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
FWIW the Crystal Hotel in Courchevel 1850 is (was?) Russian owned. Sanctions of some sort were applied to Russians whilst Esprit were renting it and from that point on the rent was paid to a French lawyer to hold in escrow.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@dan100, Ta Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@halfhand, @dan100, the thread title was fixed by a moderator Cool
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4 or 5 years back we had a couple of family trips to Champoluc which we enjoyed very much. I was on a chair with a local guy who said he was pleased to hear some English voices and hoped more Brits would come to his area. He was alarmed by the rise of Russian visitors and said Cervinia had been ruined by aggressive Russians and didnt want that to happen to Champoluc.
Ive not been to Cervinia so dont know if that was the case but later in the week we were queuing for a table on a sunny terrace at lunchtime when a group of about 10 very bling Russians barged passed. A guy who looked like Daniel Craig took off his black leather jacket, his brown leather holster, put it in his rucksack and sat down with his group at a table being prepared... No one in the queue argued.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I met an absolutely delightful Russian couple in a refugio on the Sella Ronda a couple of years ago. They were from Petersburg, which I said I was longing to re-visit. 'Don't bother', they said, sadly. I shan't. Sad
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I had a tank muzzle pointed at my hotel window when I was ‘working’ in Moscow. Possibly knew what I was doing by then. Awkward.
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security_hamster wrote:
@halfhand, @dan100, the thread title was fixed by a moderator Cool
Clever Laughing
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A French friend of mine (B) knew a restauranteur in Courchevel and popped in to see him after lunchtime. The restauranteur immediately greeted B and said ‘…time to sit and have a glass of wine…’. ‘Er…sounds good…’ said B. ‘It’s very good….two Russians have just bought one of my most expensive wines (many thousand euros) and left half the bottle on the table when they departed…’. It apparently indeed was very good.
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Snow&skifan wrote:
Haggis_Trap wrote:
Verbier, Courcheval St Anton and many other glitzy alpine resorts loved accepting the Russian ruble. Property prices through the roof and restraunts frequently cleared to make way for Oligarchs.


Didn’t St Anton and the Vorarlberg ban property sales to outsiders such as Russians many years back?

I thought I read that in a ski publication circa 15 years ago.

To prevent those resorts losing their identity and longstanding families heritage.


Don’t think that is the case now. Rumours abound about the true owners of many properties, eg Mountain Spa up in Nasserein.

I encountered a few Russian speakers this season, but nowhere near as many as 5 - 10 years ago.
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Nemisis wrote:
FWIW the Crystal Hotel in Courchevel 1850 is (was?) Russian owned....
Are you sure it wasn't the Cristal?
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