Ten old ski cable car cabins from a Pyrenean resort, first installed nearly half a century ago, are to be sold by auction this month. The proceeds will go to a charity to help sick children.
"I've had this idea in my head for a long time, but the gondolas didn't belong to us," Anne Marty, deputy director of Altiservice, in charge of managing the ski resort of Saint-Lary in the Hautes-Pyrénées, told FranceInfo.
The installation of new lifts at the end of 2022 provided just such an opportunity. "I asked the mayor to let us have 10 of them since he had sold the others elsewhere," she said.
The idea is to raise as much as possible in the hope of realising the dreams of sick children and teenagers through the charity Association Petits Princes.
The ‘pods’, which can carry six people, were first put into service in 1978 and were used until 2020.
VIDÉO. Ski dans les Pyrénées : visite du chantier des nouvelles remontées mécaniques de Saint-Lary https://t.co/lIqKkglcyZ pic.twitter.com/K04uVPjASI— France 3 Occitanie (@F3Occitanie) September 27, 2022
Peaceful phone zones?
They are well worn after over 40 seasons of wear and tear but signs of interest in the sale appear promising. "There are already 20 registrations," said Ms Marty.
“Companies, individuals, and even restaurants, each with its own idea for the use of these "cocoons" have expressed interest.”
They have been considered to become ‘quiet phone zones’ where you can telephone in peace in an open space - or restaurant tables or even decorations at the bottom of the ski slopes.
Cabins with a soul
“These gondolas are a piece of the history of Saint-Lary. In these cabins there really is a soul, and when you open one of the doors, I swear you can still hear the laughter of previous winters."
The starting price is €500 and the auction takes place on January 28, 2023 at 15:00 at the Guinguette d'Hiver, Pla d'Adet in Saint-Lary Soulan.
Ski cabins from the ski resort of Luchon-Superbagnères in the Pyrénées were sold last summer before the station’s planned renovation. A total of 124 old cabins (télécabines in French, sometimes affectionately called ‘oeufs’ (eggs)) were auctioned by Haute-Garonne Montagne, part of the departmental council of Haute-Garonne.