Courchevel assigns three slopes to Samsung chief

16th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

LYON, France, March 16 (AFP) - The posh French ski resort of Courchevel has reserved three slopes for the exclusive use of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-Hee during his three-week stay, officials said Wednesday.

LYON, France, March 16 (AFP) - The posh French ski resort of Courchevel has reserved three slopes for the exclusive use of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-Hee during his three-week stay, officials said Wednesday.

"Lee Kun-Hee is coming for a Samsung seminar. He's learning how to ski and is very worried about his safety," Claude Faure, director of the Societe des Trois Vallees, which manages the slopes at Courchevel, told AFP.

Faure said the chairman of South Korea's largest conglomerate would have exclusive access from Thursday to three slopes, protected by security nets, for two hours a day between noon and 3:00 pm.

"This will not in any way disrupt the normal functioning of the station," insisted Faure, whose company also runs the slopes at several other interconnected resorts in the area.

But the local press lashed out at the decision, with the daily Dauphine Libere, which first revealed the story, saying: "For the first time in France, a station has reserved some of its slopes for a very influential skier."

The newspaper said that Lee would be travelling to Courchevel with 80 colleagues and security personnel. Six ski instructors have been hired to work with Lee during his stay in the French Alps.

Faure said the slopes reserved for Lee amounted to "two hectares out of a total 540 hectares in the skiing area," but admitted he could not guarantee the slopes would be reopened to other visitors during the unreserved hours.

Faure acknowledged that renting out slopes for the exclusive use of one person was "a bit of an exception", but countered that the company also rented out slopes for sports and commercial events.

"The station is very interested in the Southeast Asian market," Faure said.

"We need an opinion maker, like the chairman of Samsung, to promote the Three Valleys ski area."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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