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From a small mountain hamlet to a major resort… Quite a story.


Saint-Lary in the 1900s was just a small mountain hamlet. Skiing was practiced, but conditions weren’t the best. Ski lifts didn’t exist, so they called it ski touring, and that was for the bravest.

The mayor of Saint-Lary, Vincent Mir, thought that tourism was the best solution to maintain the village’s economic development. He therefore worked to establish and gain recognition for the Saint-Lary ski resort.

The project

Saint-Lary was to experience a major turning point in its future on September 13, 1944. A team was appointed as the Provisional Municipal Commission, headed by Monsieur Vincent Mir. After 3 mandates in which this team brought the village to a successful conclusion, despite the end of the war with Germany, difficult economic times began to make themselves felt… The 4th mandate, starting on April 26, 1953, was to be the beginning of a triumphant era. After several meetings of the Municipal Council, Mr. Vincent Mir decided to present the project for the creation of a ski resort to the Sub-Prefect. The project was accepted on January 11, 1954.

From then on, the commune embarked on an epic series of works: the town hall square, the opening of the nursery school, the public garden and much more… But above all, it would be the start of construction of the departure station for the Pic Lumière cable car.

On the road to major works


In March 1955, the purchase of 3 Teleskis from POMAGALSKI completed the birth of this resort.

Following this, Monsieur le Maire wished to manage this commune in the best possible way and in 1956 decided to create a Régie Municipale for a period of 99 years, whose functions would include the operation of cable cars, ski lifts, the rental or operation of playgrounds, a campsite, a swimming pool and the management of an information office called the “Office de Tourisme”.

Arrive in 1957 and a new era begins for Saint Lary. Here begins the launch of the cable car, the Soum de Matte gondola lift and the Ecole, Soum and Ludette ski lifts.

This is the result of a long adventure and a lot of hard work, as everything was done by donkey or horse, as roads did not yet exist.






From Saint-Lary to Saint Lary Soulan

This fourth mandate, comes to an end. Vincent Mir begins a Fifth mandate from March 1959. The previous term had been one of conception and start-up, but the one now beginning was to be one of first successes.

Saint-Lary, a much-loved resort, was to become Saint-Lary Soulan in 1963. The two villages, Saint-Lary and de Soulan would agree to merge and create a single appellation. The main aim being access. The road was to be continued from Soulan to the hamlet of Espiaube and on to Pla d’Adet. From then on, everyone was happy with the situation: the young people of the village found work, pastoral life found renewed activity, tourism continued to climb and many champions came to train in the resort.


In 1965, sixth term of office. New directions emerged, such as the creation of the Pyrenees National Park, the purchase of the Tramezaïgues thermal springs and the study of the possibility of opening a spa. The ski lift network is completed and skiers are delighted with the road link. As a result, the Pla d’Adet saw the birth of urbanization, with shopkeepers, hoteliers and more. In 1969, Saint-Lary Soulan was named as a major French Climatic and Winter Sports Resort. This classification provided the resort with promotional opportunities (France, abroad, TV…).

Saint-Lary's reputation

has just begun...

The village and resort of Saint-Lary are constantly improving the way they welcome visitors. Top sportsmen and women, amateurs, families… People love to spend their holidays here, whether on the slopes or in the summer months. The valley’s tourism boom was driven by the creation of the ski resort, but the diversity and richness of our valleys are also part of Saint-Lary’s fame and appeal.