A rarity – a location where I can actually describe where it is! This location is often considered Urbex 101 – its well known, trashed, and one of the first places you visit in the region before cutting your teeth on some of the other sites nearby like Chateau Lumiere or Hopital Coiffeur. But, 40 locations in I still hadn’t visited, so time to tick that box.
Built between 1927-1930, Adolphe Schlumberger, an industrialist from nearby Guebwiller, wanted a ski resort that rivalled the more famous areas such as Chamonix or St Moritz. However, a few years of poor snow meant the hotel then closed a few short years later in 1934. The Caisse de Alsace-Lorraine Retirement then bought the hotel, but due to lack of use, it again became abandoned. During Wold War 2, it was besieged by the German army though at the end of hostilities, the Caisse d’Alsace-Lorraine Retirement merged with SNCF. Operating a facility for apprentices that followed did not last and the hotel was abandoned again. SHELTER, who was established in 1950, once again allowed the tourists to visit but the operation proved unprofitable and ABRI was again closed for years. The GRAND HOTEL was ultimately bought around 1960 by Association TOURISM AND WORK in order to create a new Holiday Centre. Although the capacity was increased to 300 beds, outdated facilities do not lend themselves to exploitation of this center was declining. The association then created an SCI in collaboration with fifteen Committees Enterprise, some national in scope, including Air France. The modernization plan included significant improvements, including an indoor pool. The objective of the SCI was the creation of a center midway between hotel and holiday village with 375 beds, rooms with every comfort, a restaurant, bar and entertainment rooms, conferences and relaxation, as well as a fund of ski school.
The opening of the Holiday Village, called THE PEAKS, took place during the month of May 1972. The following ten years were the peak years of this hotel, thanks to a young and dynamic team, and a regional office that has integrated the Village in an ecological and social context. Although the hotel were able to accommodate between 1973 and 1985 from 800 to 1,000 young people and retirees in the year, the operation was in deficit. Different reasons were the cause, including failure assurances for continued investment. A disaffection of social tourism by the public, were added mismanagement with the loss of hearing CGT main TOURISM AND WORK provider who then became Tourista the need to manage as a company with a CEO. The hotel then sold in July-August 1987. However, compliance does not take place, Tourista froze investment. Regional Security Commission then ordered the effective closure of the hotel on 19 June 1994. The stimulus project, requiring a heavy investment of public authorities and current co-owners, could not be materialized. Finally, the hotel was bought by a developer Mulhousien estate market. It has been derelict since 1994.
Arriving in the fog, which covered the entire top of the mountain, the hotel materialised in front of me like a ship in the night. Waking quickly around what was largely a trashed building, there were a few interesting bits such as the pool and bar, but also the older rooms that had significant levels of moss and plants growing inside the building. All in all, a quick but satisfying visit.