From the earliest human traces in the Aure valley we know that it has always had a primarily agricultural and pastoral economy, and that apart from minor industrial operations around the extraction of slate and minerals, the valley has been preserved from industrialisation, particularly the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century.

Administratively, the Aure valley has always enjoyed relative autonomy and had close relations with its Spanish neighbours, especially in the cattle economy. The mountain pass has been a crossing point for pilgrims, merchants, traders and exiles since history began.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the Aure valley underwent a massive rural exodus. It was not until the end of the Second World War and the new large hydroelectric projects of the Marshall Plan that people started to come back to revitalise the area's activity.

These projects employed nearly 2,000 workers across the valley, and the mayor of the time, Vincent Mir, ensured that most of them were housed in Saint-Lary, which significantly increased the population of the village and the Valley. At the end of these major works, the project of creating a ski resort was launched in order to maintain employment in the valley and continue the development of Saint-Lary through tourism. and so the ski resort was born!

The Pic Lumiere cable car was inaugurated in 1957. Later in 1963, the merger with Soulan at the time of the construction of the access road to the snowfields allowed the development of the resort around Espiaube. In 1967, the station was selected by the French Olympic Team to prepare (successfully) for the Grenoble Games of 1968. Isabelle Mir, Vincent Mir's daughter won a silver medal in the downhill.

In 1974, Saint-Lary hosted the Tour de France for the first time, with Raymond Poulidor winning the stage at the Pla d'Adet.

In 1988, the opening of the Saint-Lary Soulan thermal baths was a new departure in the tourism offer, with the resort now able to host tourists all year round. This period was also the time when a decision was made to redevelop the village centre in stone and wood.