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Benjamin Berger: Cimalpes Real Estate Agencies

Meet the man behind the growing real estate & rental business

Featured in: | Ellie Mahoney, Courchevel Editor | Published

Most jobs in mountain resorts seem to attract passionate people.

Benjamin Berger is one of those passionate people, a self-confessed fan of all things Courchevel having grown up here and now working in a growing real estate and rental business. We've managed to prise him away from his busy schedule for a few minutes to find out a bit more about what he does, and of course to gather some great insiders tips and recommendations for you. 

Tell us a little bit about your business, how it started out and where you're based etc...

Cimalpes is 10 years old this year! The business represents locals, passionate about the mountains. Olivier Builly and Gregory Flon started this project first by creating a real estate agency specialised in sales and both had the privilege to accomplish most of the sales of chalets and high end properties as soon as the adventure started. This success led them to diversify into common rentals and high end rentals with the LIFEART brand. Today, Cimalpes offers the largest rental portfolio in Courchevel and counts amongst the biggest hosts of the 3 Valleys, since an agency was opened in Meribel. Cimalpes DNA : each team member’s expertise : hospitality skills, real estate knowledge, conciergerie experience…. Our team members are all locals that grew up and live in the different resorts all year round. Our offices are based in Courchevel (headoffice), Courchevel Moriond, Meribel and Chambery.

How long have you been in your current role and how long have you been with the company?

I joined the company in 2008 to help the diversification process at Cimalpes. I intervened to develop the host activity of the Cimalpes group in the different resorts and was in charge of the creation and coordination of the different brands. I had the privilege to develop the general public rental park in Courchevel and Meribel, and extend our luxury rental portfolio by creating the LIFEART brand, that rapidly extended in resorts such as Val d’Isere and Megeve. Snowresa is our general travel agency allowing Cimalpes to draw customers for diversified alpine destinations.

What are the best bits about your job?

What I love about my job is that no day is the same from one another. Property management in famous resorts suppose a very diversified clientele, therefore no owner, partner or tenants are the same. If our common denominator is the exigency; this diversity confers to our job polyvalence and creativity.  

And the worst bits?

The lack of snow :) 

What is in store for the future with your business, are there any exciting projects on the horizon that you can share with us?

Our main goal is to develop and extended touristic offer to our whole clientele and develop our activity towards resorts that we love. This is why, in 2016, we will be opening an agency in Courchevel Village, our ambition being to promote and develop high end accommodation to the best price ratio at this level of the resort. We are also looking to extend our luxury offer to other resorts such as Val d’Isere and Megeve.

And now for some insiders tips about Courchevel.. What's your favourite piste or off-piste area & top tip to go skiing?

“Couloir de la Saulire” when the snow just fell, Ski Touring in Les couloirs du Portetta, or the Vallée des Avales when the slopes are packed.

Where would send someone who was after that something 'something special' in resort, to stay, eat or drink?

Stay: Chalet Ilullisat for a romantic or initmate environment, Chalet Croc Blanc for a taste of luxury in an authentic chalet, Chalet Licorne for its location on the slopes and breathtaking vistas.

Eat: Oeil de Boeuf – Traditional savoyard chalet atmosphere, large fireplace, exquisite grilled beef, La Saulire – Gastronomic restaurant fine baroque and relaxed atmosphere.

Drink: Bar Joe – for tapas, drinks, local products etc.. Authentic environment, Les Peupliers – traditional village atmosphere in Le Praz.

Where will we find the best coffee or hot chocolate?

The Cheval Blanc, a must in Courchevel

What has been your best ever day in Courchevel?

3 Vallées Enduro 2013 – Exceptional snow and great atmosphere 

Do you remember your first trip to this resort?

I grew up in the area, it's hard to think back to my first trip :) 

What's your favourite thing to do in resort when not skiing or snowboarding?

Ski Touring, in any resort.

What do you do in the summer?

Mountain biking, hiking…. 

Which is your favourite shop in resort?

Lilie Store in Courchevel 1850 – funny objects, decoration, refined art and high technology.