[R654R, Crans Montana] kicked off its ski season Nov. 21 with significant improvements on and off the slopes, with a year-round golf course, five-star spa-hotel, and a new chairlift.

Golf enthusiasts will benefit from a new year-round golf course which replaces the old driving range. The Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre opens its doors mid-December offering golf lessons, a simulator, a driving swing analyser and video, a putting green, training areas, and a trackman.

A new five-star hotel has popped up in Crans Montana. The Guarda Golf, near the Jack Nicklaus golf course and cross-country pistes, is a large chalet with 25 rooms, nine apartments, two restaurants, and a 600-square-metre spa.

The five-star LeCrans Hotel & Spa has gained plenty of column inches in the Gault Millau culinary guide this year. The title of "Revelation of the year" has been awarded to the chef Pierre Crepaud and his restaurant LeMontBlanc. Another restaurant within the same premises, Franck Reynaud's L'Ours, now has 15 points out of a possible 20.

A new four-seater chairlift has been built for skiers accessing the Bellalui peak (2528m). This is the second highest point in the Crans Montana-Aminona ski area. The new chairlift replaces two outdated draglifts.  It is 20 percent faster, transporting 2400 people per hour over a distance of 1.5 kilometres.

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