Golf News for Wednesday, July 1, 2009 | Real Estate

Avoriaz in Portes du Soleil in France offers summer alpine golf

During the summer months, Avoriaz, the famous Alpine resort in the heart of the vast area of Portes du Soleil in France is transformed into a natural adventure playground. A 200 million Euro regeneration programme has started in order to position Avoriaz as a prime year-round holiday destination. Two entirely new districts (Crozats and Amara) will be built by 2012 creating 475 new high quality apartments designed to meet the current shortfall of quality accommodation in the resort.

The resort offers various summer activities amid the stunning mountain scenery, including paragliding, horse riding, canyoning, white water rafting, fishing and golf. The new residential districts will be only 5mins walking distance from the Proclou Golf course, a 9-hole course (2923m-Par 36) nestled in an exceptional setting, situated on a plateau overlooking the Morzine Valley with a view over the Aravis mountain range. The course's altitude and ease of play makes it enjoyable for all golfer standards but its generous fairways make it most attractive for mid and high handicappers. The Proclou Golf course opens from 15th June to 15th September; an 18-hole course at the nearby Les Gets (20mins drive from Avoriaz) is also open from mid June until mid October.

Since forming a partnership with the Blue Green golf academy in 2007, Avoriaz is positioning itself as a leader in mountain golf lessons. Director of teaching at Blue Green and Eurosport consultant, Dominique Larretch, offers structured courses accessible to all new players.

Avoriaz was created from rock by developer Pierre & Vacances and for the first time in 40 years investors have the opportunity to buy new-build property there. The centrepiece of the new development will be the "Aquariaz" a 3,000 sqm indoor aquatic and leisure area which will be completed in December 2012. Key features will include: wild water river streams, jacuzzis, a water tree, aquatic games, wave pool and slides - all at an enticing 29°C temperature. During the summer months, it will even feature outdoor beaches.

Avoriaz was the catalyst for Pierre & Vacances to revolutionise the concept of buying mountain resort properties which could be leased back to holidaymakers. All the properties are sold on a leaseback basis whereby investors purchase a property and then lease it back to Pierre & Vacances in return for a guaranteed rental return of up to 3.5% net of all costs - an attractive proposition when compared to the current low interest rates from UK banks. As well as receiving a guaranteed return on their investment, some investors may choose the option of spending up to 8 weeks per year in their property and can spread these weeks over the different seasons.

The Crozats project will comprise three new Pierre & Vacances branded residences and one Maeva branded residence. Facilities will include a gym, sauna, hammam. These residences are scheduled for completion at the end of 2010. Prices for one- and two-bedroom apartments range from €180,000 to €490,000. These prices exclude French VAT at 19.6% as Pierre & Vacances pay the investor an immediate VAT rebate upon purchase as part of the leaseback scheme.

The Amara project is scheduled for delivery in December 2011, and will see the construction of five new residences and a spa bearing the up-market MGM brand. A private underground car park will be built, along with several new shops and restaurants. The spacious apartments will be decorated using a mix of modern and traditional mountain styles. All will have south or south-west facing balconies. One-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments are available, starting at €289,715 and rising to around €1,021,070 again excluding VAT.

Nick Leach, Head of Pierre & Vacances Property Investments, UK & Ireland, comments: "These apartments are a great investment choice paying a guaranteed return of up to 3.5% depending upon the number of weeks the investor chooses to stay in their property. This opportunity suits savvy investors who enjoy prime year-round destination and who love the outdoor life generally. We are confident that the Aquariaz and the other activities on offer, like golf at the Proclou course will ensure strong occupancy all year round."

Advantages for foreign investors buying French leaseback properties through Pierre & Vacances:

- an immediate, pre-financed VAT rebate of up to 19.6%
- guaranteed, inflation-protected rental income up to 4.5% net of all charges and running costs
- free of French income tax
- free of French CGT after 15 years
- returns guaranteed by Pierre & Vacances, a French development and tourism company listed on the SBF 120 (French equivalent of the FTSE 100); P&V has annual turnover of €1.5 billion and accommodates 7 million customers per year through its network of 50,000 apartments and houses
- Option for discounted holiday stays in approximately 250 resorts
- Investment in tourism in the world's most visited country

About Pierre & Vacances
The Pierre & Vacances Group has been designing, developing and managing holiday homes and apartments for 42 years, anticipating European property and tourism trends. The Group's development strategy has led to the acquisition of Center Parcs Continental Europe, Europe's number one provider of short breaks. Pierre & Vacances takes a visionary approach to the world of holiday accommodation, and, since the birth of the Avoriaz development in 1967, has continued to grow in France and throughout Western Europe. The undeniable market leader in residential tourism, the Pierre & Vacances Group has developed a complete range of short and long stay holidays, with a choice of hotel and leisure services designed to meet every requirement of today's European consumers. With a presence in France, Northern Europe, Italy and Spain through its three main brands - Pierre & Vacances, Center Parcs Europe and Maeva - the Pierre & Vacances Group occupies, with a turnover of €1.5 billion, an unparalleled position in the European tourism industry.

Or contact:
Kerry Clark
Tideway Communications
+44 (0)20 8878 0787

Pierre & Vacances London Office
+44 (0)20 7471 4500