Ski Station for Sale Amidst Online Bric-a-Brac

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Anyone for the last few ski resorts, now? A couple on the brink of retirement put a highly unusual item up for sale on French free-ads site

French online free-ads publication Leboncoin.fr has made a success of selling fast and cheap on a site that is simplicity itself. It’s the second most popular website in France (after Facebook) and its bread-and-butter business normally involves items of the order of toasters, second-hand tools and collectors’ cards.

One entry that would have caught people’s attention as they scrolled down through the babies’ bottles, second-hand furniture and unwanted dresses, however, is that of a ski resort.

“Ideal for a dynamic couple who appreciate nature,” ran the small advert posted at the weekend on Leboncoin.fr. The seller is a certain Marc Trancart, who is a few months from retirement and is looking for a buyer for his ski resort La Loge des Gardes in Laprugne (Auvergne region) in the Massif Central.

Clearly having some difficulty at attracting a taker, this former environmental engineer and his wife decided to spread the net a bit wider.

The couple therefore decided to sell their property, situated at 1,100 metres above sea level and just one hour from Vichy, for €550,000. The ideal opportunity surely for all those who have dreamed of owning their piece of winter paradise, the price is an all-inclusive one: commercial funds, agreement with the forestry development authority, mechanical lifts including three ski-lifts, a ski hire shop with more than 500 pieces of equipment in stock, a creperie, a piste-basher (for grooming the slopes) and other mountain vehicles. The Trancart family have also had the foresight to mention that “technical assistance” is included in the deal “for the first year” of operation.

According to the current owners, the clientèle of La Loge des Gardes is comprised of both tourists and local traffic. The seasonal turnover is said to be between €200,000 and €350,000 (not bad for a part of France where the season is quite short), with balance sheets to support this claim. “No time-wasters need apply!”

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