Work where others go on vacation! Admit it, this sentence sounds pretty hackneyed at first. But there are few regions where it hits the bullseye like for Annecy Mountains. At least as far as work in the outdoor industry is concerned. The region around the lake of the same name is a tourist magnet with a good 5.8 million overnight stays per year.
A good example of the advantages is the area south of Lac d'Annecy around Faverges: Sources du Lac d'Annecy.
At the same time, the region has become one of the most important outdoor clusters in Europe. International industry giants such as Arc'Teryx, Salomon, Millet, Mavic, Scott Sports, Eider, Lafuma, TSL, Arva, Picture Organic Clothing, Tecnica... and so many others...have their headquarters in Annecy.
The advantages for the brands are obvious: the central location in the heart of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, close to the international airports of Lyon and Geneva. And where else do you have the opportunity to test your own product developments directly? For example, on a quick tour into the surrounding mountains of La Sambuy. Whether trail running, hiking, climbing, paragliding, racing biking, mountain biking or any kind of water or winter sports - you can start right from your doorstep.
So it is not uncommon for colleagues to arrange a "dawn patrol" ski tour in the morning before work. Or if they cycle in the lunch break to the "Lunchride" the somewhat over 40 kilometers around the lake with the racing bicycle. Outdoor sport is lived in and around Annecy Mountains and Lac d'Annecy.
What distinguishes Annecy Mountains as a business location for the outdoor industry:
- Outdoor sports facilities right on your doorstep
- Largest outdoor sports industry cluster in Europe
- Host of numerous major sporting events
- Headquarters of several international and national brands
- Opportunities for showrooms, sales meetings, company incentives
- International connections and proximity to Geneva and Lyon
In 2010, the region and the outdoor industry joined forces to form the "Outdoor Sports Valley" (OSV) cluster together with the aim to bundle the existing forces and to further develop Annecy as a central outdoor location. The association now has a few hundred members, including small, innovative brands as well as international industry giants and their French sales partners.
For Patrick Giraudon, CEO of Nic Impex/ARVA and President of OSV, the advantages of the region for B2B businesses are obvious: "With OSV, we have built up a strong outdoor culture over ten years, hundreds of brands are there - and thousands of end users do sports here in our region every day.
Salomon president and OSV vice president Jean Marc Pambet sees the countless sports opportunities and the truly breathtaking landscape as an absolutely important location advantage in the hunt for the most innovative and creative minds in the industry: "We can attract talent. Because life in the mountains and on the lake of Annecy provides an excellent work-life balance."
The crystal clear Lac d'Annecy and the surrounding mountains such as the Tête du Parmelan, La Tournette or the mighty Montagne du Semnoz overlooking the western shore of the lake are not only a popular test site for the local companies and their employees. The region consciously positions itself as a host for the outdoor industry, be it for company incentives or for product tests or presentations.
In addition to all sporting possibilities, this also includes the French attitude to life around the so-called "Venice of the Alps". Be it in the evening with a good glass of white wine in a bar in one of the numerous communities or with a hearty tartiflette in a rustic chalet on one of the mountains.