Company history

1950-1959: the pioneering years

The company was founded in 1950 as “Télésiège de Médran SA” by a group of courageous developers. The Médran chair lift opened on 23 December 1950.

In 1952, a ski tow was added to supplement the services available at the Tête des Ruinettes. The project to extend the chair lift to the Col des Vaux was put on hold by the Federal Transport Office, which was afraid of possible accidents caused by ice and wind. In 1995, following a number of disagreements on extending the ski area, Giovanola developed a one-person chair lift for the Savoleyres region. A year later, the manufacturer Müller developed a drum system for a ski tow on the same sunny slopes, starting in Les Planards. This gave manufacturer Von Roll the time it needed to develop a cable car for the Attelas. To avoid endangering the first company, a second “Téléphérique des Attelas” company was formed.

The chair lift was supplemented with a long ski tow in 1958. The following year, a chair lift was added to exploit the shady and quickly snow-covered basin of the Lac des Vaux, while another ski tow was installed on the magnificent Combe de Médran. 



In 1960, the company became the "Société Anonyme des Téléphériques de Verbier" by merging with the "Société Anonyme Téléphériques Attelas", the same company that had built the Verbier – Les Attelas – Lac des Vaux link in the 1950s, at the instigation of Mr Rodolphe Tissières.

As the number of visitors grew, the size of the ski area needed to increase. Several high-altitude projects were completed in the summer of 1960.

The one-person Savoleyres chairlift was converted to a two-person lift. A ski tow was installed on the gentle slopes of La Chaux. Very good skiers were given access to Mont-Gelé (3,030m) via a cable car and another was built on the steep slopes of Tortin.

A for powder enthusiasts just before the winter of 1960/61, creating the backbone of the ski area. Additional facilities exploiting even the slightest slope would be added later.

1961-1970: Consolidation and ambitious schemes

The Lac 3 chair lift would be built during the autumn and winter of 1961/62. The Attelas 2 cable car was completed in 1964; the final section would soon take skiers up to Le Châble.

Completed in 1965, the second cable car in Médran would finally absorb the endless queue at the start in Verbier. Various chair lifts made everyday life pleasanter for skiers: the Lac des Vaux 2 (authorised on Christmas Eve 1966), La Tournelle in 1967 and the Revers-des-Aux in 1968.

In 1967, the company now known as Téléverbier bought the Le Rouge and Le Bleu ski tows from the Ecole suisse de ski. In 1970, the first Savoleyres chair lift was moved to Mayentset and replaced by a modern cable car.

By the end of 1970, just before its 20th anniversary, Téléverbier had 29 ski lifts.

1971-1976: Caution in the face of recession

Téléverbier embarked on the construction of the impressive building in Médran, which was inaugurated in July 1971. A few developments began around the altiport in la Croix-de-Coeur.

The construction of the Le Châble – Verbier cable car began in 1973 and progressed slowly, with a few foundations completed during the first summer, and the rest the following year. The approach was extremely cautious until the winter of 1974/75. The project was completed the following spring and opened in autumn 1975.

1977-1987: Tackling Mont-Fort 

Developing the mountain resumed at full speed, with the Médran III and Attelas III chair lifts in 1977. Mergers were completed with Télétzoumaz in 1977 and Télébruson in 1978. Téléverbier secured support from Télé-Nendaz to fund the development of Mont-Fort.

After 15 years of arguments with environmentalists, the plan for the altiport in La Croix-de-Coeur was abandoned, and would remain a simple mountain landing strip.

The start of the first cable car service starting in Tortin was scheduled for the autumn of 1981, and the second to Mont-Fort for autumn 1983. The first section was ready to open on schedule, for winter 1981/82. Télé-Nendaz was also working on installing the ski tow on the glacier.

In the summer of 1982, Téléverbier also built the Combe II chair lift, providing a second route up the mountain parallel to the cable cars. The opening of the section up to the summit would be brought forward to autumn 1982 rather than 1983. Skiers were able to discover the majestic panorama of the summit of Mont-Fort, starting in March 1983. The “Jumbo”, the largest cable car in Switzerland, would be opened in December 1987. The replacement of the very first chair lift in Médran by a new six-person cable car was completed in 1985.

1988-1993: looking for a second wind 

Twenty-two lifts had to be adapted to comply with new safety standards introduced by the Federal Transport Office. The Lac des Vaux 3 chair lift was replaced in 1988 and the Ruinettes ski tow by a chair lift the following year, while the Mayentset chair lift was renovated in 1990. The La Pasay ski tow in Bruson was replaced by a chair lift in the same year. The Mont-Gelé cable car and Les Moulins ski tow were renovated in 1992.

Télé-Thyon joined the 4 Vallées ski area in 1991.

1994: Funispace

The Attelas 1 cable car carried its final skiers in late April 1994, while the cable of the Attelas II cable car was dismantled. The finishing work and numerous technical tests lasted from mid-November until mid-December. Named “Funispace” following a competition for suggestions, with all employees invited to take part, the new lift came into service on 23 December 1994, just nine months after work began.

1995 – 2000: The pioneering spirit

The company STA (Services techniques alpins) SA was formed in Sembrancher. As well as providing after-sales services for Leitner snow groomers throughout French-speaking Switzerland, the company offers other services including locking mechanisms, spare parts, assembly and maintenance of ski lifts.

Téléverbier was listed on the stock market.

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