At the Calgary Winter Olympics in Canada in February 1988 Franck Piccard was the super giant slalom gold medallist and bronze medallist in the downhill event.
This local boy’s sporting feat, together with the tremendous media coverage he attracted, helped train the international spotlight on the Les Saisies skiing resort in a very original manner.
To show its gratitude to Franck, the ski resort gave him a piece of land on which, two years later, he built his hotel. He called it, of course, “LE CALGARY”. Franck travelled widely, visiting ski resorts all over the world. But it was the quality of the hotel business in the Austrian mountains that impressed him most, as much for its infrastructure as its legendary hospitality.
Franck made the acquaintance of Christian Rey Grand, a highly talented architect with a passion for his art, and well known in the resorts of the Tarentaise region. The two men formed a project that met Franck’s investment capacity, designing an original, fully integrated building with soft, attractive lines.
The earthwork commenced in May 1990, with the very first guest arriving seven months later.
On 14 July 1990 a management company came into being. Native son, J.J. BERTHOD, became the hotel’s manager after working for 10 years in the ski resorts of the Deux Alpes and Valmorel.
On 9 December 1990 at 4 p.m. the Canadian women’s biathlon team arrived at the hotel and occupied rooms on the first floor. Meanwhile, on the second floor, carpets and lights were still being fitted.
From then on, the hotel boasted a constant stream of prestigious guests both in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in nearby Albertville and during the games.
All the Winter Olympic medal winners paid a visit to Hotel Le Calgary, with Franck’s silver medal in the downhill event further strengthening its appeal.