What would the ideal coliving space in the mountains look like ?
During the last 2 months, I settled in Chamonix with the idea of creating a combined coworking and coliving space there for location independant workers.
As a location independant worker, staying in a coliving space really helps in quickly connecting with like-minded people in a new place and get to know them well. Having such a space in the beautiful French Alps will definitely be awesome, but the location itself is crucial and, according to me, would ideally meet the following criteria.
- Not a seasonal place. People need to be able to come whenever they like and stay as long as they want. A dead village where the only supermarket would be closed during low season is not an option.
- Directly connected to the ski lifts. There is no point in being in a ski resort if you need to walk half an hour before reaching the closest gondola. Especially when you need to work besides skiing.
- Shops, restaurants and bars nearby. People who work and travel usually don’t use a car and mostly walk and use public transportation. Having everything within walking distance is a must have and just gives more freedom.
- Good internet connection. By far the most important thing for people working online!
- Nice surroundings. People may not be very inspired if they work in a dark room in front of an old factory at the bottom of a narrow valley. Whereas an open workspace with large windows overlooking snowy mountains is (a bit) more inspirational ;-)
- Easy transportation. “It’s very easy. Just fly to the closest airport and take a 2h bus to that city (but don’t miss it as there is only one per day in high season). Then, wait for the next bus for another 2 hours and get off after 1 hour. The house is only a 2km walk away, up the steep path. You could also take a taxi from the airport but it’s a bit expensive (200€).”
Not that kind of thing.
- Winter and summer activities. The mountains are pretty attractive in winter, but going there in summer is a bit less popular. However, depending on the location, the activities to be done are plentiful, and the temperatures just ideal (but shhh don’t tell anybody). It is time to try rafting, via ferrata, canyoning or even paragliding!
That said, not a lot of destinations meet all these criteria in the French Alps. Of course, Chamonix, the “Mecca” of mountain destinations, is one of them.
It is very well connected to Geneva airport, people live there permanently and there is a huge choice of mountain related activities, a few minutes away from the heart of the city. Most important thing: you’re right at the foot of the highest mountain in Europe: Mont Blanc!
Then, why wouldn’t that work? Only because renting a place there is very expensive (don’t even think about buying). As an owner, offering a place for rent on a weekly basis is way more profitable than turing it into a permanent or even seasonal coliving space.
What is next for Alpine Booster?
There are 3 options:
1. An unhoped for space in Chamonix fits the budget
2. A space in another location meets the same criteria but also fits the budget
3. Discard one or more criteria and widen the possible locations for such a place
According to your experience with coliving spaces and the concept of a coworking and coliving space in the mountains, is there a specific criteria from the previous list you would discard first?