Ski resorts have provided the backdrop to many a Hollywood blockbuster, from the Bond films to The Pink Panther.
Movies have always been great advertisements for a destination, so as you relax by the fire with a classic movie this Christmas, look out for ski resorts you can sell to your clients in the new year.
Here are a few of our favourites, and the films they star in.
The Pink Panther (1963)
The pitch: Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, Claudia Cardinale as an Indian princess; a stash of priceless jewels and a light-fingered thief on the loose.
The set:Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites. Cortina hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and there is serious skiing here, but these days, energy is mostly spent posing and indulging in the 50 or so quality restaurants that pepper the mountain. Après ski rates highly, and it’s definitely the high-end kind. The shops are pretty glitzy too.
Action!Crystal offers seven nights half board at the five-star Miramonti Majestic from £1,017 this January.
The Heroes of Telemark (1965)
The pitch: Kirk Douglas stars as a Norwegian resistance fighter leading a daring raid on a Nazi weapons plant at Telemark. Based loosely on real events.
The set: The mountains of southern Norway, home to the exceptionally graceful style of skiing known as telemarking. Like a cross-country ski, the heel of the boot is not fixed, allowing the skier to bend at the knee when initiating a turn. It takes real skill and is increasingly fashionable.
Action!Neilson has seven nights half-board at the five-star Dr Holmes Hotel in Geilo this January from £645 per person. For adrenaline junkies, Exodus has an eight-day Norwegian Winter Adventure with a mix of winter activities. Based at Kvitfjell, packages lead in at £1,125 plus £145 in local currency on arrival. Price includes flights, half-board hotel accommodation and activities.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
The pitch: Bond tracks arch enemy Blofeld down to his mountain-top lair in Switzerland. Chaos ensues.
The set: Unusually for a Bond villain’s lair, you can actually visit this one. And have lunch there. The revolving restaurant Piz Gloria – at the top of the Schilthorn in the Swiss resort of Mürren – doubled as Blofeld’s hideaway. The outdoor Christmas party in the movie was filmed down the valley in Lauterbrunnen.
Action!Inghams offers seven nights half board at the four-star Hotel Eiger from £622 this January.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The pitch: Bond deserts a treacherous lover, sees off a troop of Russian agents then performs the most audacious ski stunt in history. All before the opening credits begin.
The set: The opening sequence was set in Austria, but filmed on Baffin Island in Canada. Bond flies off a cliff, freefalls, unclips his skis and opens his Union Jack parachute. Shooting took two weeks and cost $500,000.
Off the Grid (2006)
The pitch: The latest in the long-running series of extreme ski films by cult director Warren Miller, these are about the only stunts that up the ante on Bond.
The set: All over the US. Utah features prominently in the latest film, specifically the backwoods of the Wasatch Mountains – resorts like Snowbird and Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and Brighton and Solitude in Big Cottonwood.
Action!Ski Independence offers seven nights room only at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird from £1,209 this January, including flights and transfers.
The Utah Office of Tourism is a sponsor of Warren Miller’s latest movie, Off the Grid, and we’ve got a DVD boxset of his previous work.
Viewers will learn some of the science behind the state’s microclimate and see some extreme stunts – such as skier Julian Carr freefalling off cliffs up to 80ft high to land in clumps of soft snow below. Fortunately for him, the state gets up to 600 inches of fresh powder a season.
Utah hopes to up its profile in the UK next year and has appointed London-based Cellet Travel Services as a PR and representation office. For information on Utah, call 0845 6020 574 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. See skiutah.com for ski information.
All you have to do to win the boxset, plus last year’s On Higher Ground, is answer the following question:
Which mountains feature in the Utah section of the new movie Off The Grid?
Send your answers, marked ‘Utah’ to Travel Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS by December 15. One correct answer will be picked at random.
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