At the letter C in Vermala, meet Charly Cottini, who is passionate about sport, and a friend to the stars. He tells you the history of Vermala, the many sporting activities that have taken place here, as well as evenings with celebrities.
Charly Cottini was born in Crans-Montana in 1948. For over 45 years, visitors have been lucky enough to meet him at Le Cervin restaurant. In the 70s, the champagne flowed freely and the parties were in full swing in this establishment that has seen many celebrities pass through its doors, and Charly has developed strong ties of friendship with many of them. Passionate about sport, he has seen many competitions held in Vermala.
This wonderful corner of the planet overlooks Crans-Montana. The panorama is striking, and you can even see the famous Matterhorn.
Our grandfathers had their mayens (mountain chalets) here. In 1905, the Hotel Forest was built, but sadly it burnt down in l958. Next door, the Cervin restaurant served as shelter for workers busy building the magnificient luxury hotel, which was mostly made of wood. Materials were transported by mules most of the time. The plan for a Sierre – Montana - Vermala funicular, which should have arrived just east of the hotel, didn’t go further than Montana in the end.
The big sporting events held here delighted tourists. To the north were two ski jump platforms, and an ice rink and curling lanes meant that visitors could come to Montana on sledges pulled by horses to watch the competitions. To the south was the departure point of a bobsleigh run, and many championships took place there.
Since then, the Super Crans Tower has appeared, and the Cervin restaurant - in its incarnation as a shelter - burnt down in 1969. When it was rebuilt, it became a meeting point for prestigious visitors. Michele Morgan, Gina Lollobrigida, Jackie Kennedy, Ivana Trump, Claudia Cardinale, Princess Marcella Borghese, the Belgian royal family, the Swedish royal family, Prince Yamani, Roger Moore, Gilbert Bécaud, Bourvil, Charles Aznavour, Alain Delon, Eddy Merckx, Rudi Altig and Jacques Laffite all played a part in making Vermala famous.
The arrival of stages of the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de Romandie preceded the arrival of a stage of the Tour de France in 1984 , which was a truly great moment, shared by thousands of spectators
" Vermala, how I love you "
A wonderful place which stands above Crans-Montana, offering beautiful views of the famous Matterhorn.
Sylvie Doriot Galofaro, Samuel Bonvin and Martial Kamerzin will tell you more about the 125 years project and the history of the resort.