The Portes du Soleil ski area opened Dec. 20 with plenty of new additions for the winter season. 

In Les Crosets, the four-seater chairlift ‘Crozets II' has been replaced by a high-speed detachable eight-seater. It is only the second of its size in Switzerland and will transport skiers up to the summit in just 3.5 minutes with an hourly passenger flow of 4000 people.

Other new developments include: the Burton Kids Parkway in Avoriaz where kids from the age of eight can begin to learn tricks; the Mini Stash in the centre of Avoriaz village, which will teach kids how to respect the environment without compromising enjoyment on the slopes; and an improved bus service linking all the resorts in the valley.

The Portes du Soleil ski area isn't hiking prices this year, unlike many ski resorts across Europe. A one-day ski pass will remain the same prices as last year: €39. According to market research undertaken in November 2007, based on a ratio of six-day ski pass/kilometres of slopes, Portes du soleil has the cheapest ski pass to slopes ratio. The Portes du Soleil Tourist Office said: "Out of 10 other French ski areas, the Portes du Soleil came up trumps with the best price ration for their ski passes - only €0.29 per kilometre of ski run."

Set in the northern Alps, between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, Portes du Soleil features 12 resorts straddling France and Switzerland. Set between 1000-2466 metres in altitude, this extensive ski area boasts 266 pistes, 650 kilometres of slopes, 195 ski lifts, and 10 snowparks.