Locals from yacht owners to luxury villa rental vacationers anticipate proposed eco-inspired changes to one of the world’s most exclusive strips of sand
Well-heeled jet setters look forward to their summers in St. Tropez and don’t mind paying exorbitant sums for sun chairs, not to mention hundreds of euros for drinks and food, at the exclusive local beach clubs in the area. While this has made St. Tropez a glamorous haunt for the rich and famous for decades now, that the glitzy nightlife of St. Tropez’s club scene is now threatened by a new ruling by the council that oversees the area. These exclusive clubs, like the famed Club 55 on Pampelonne beach, are facing being shut down in the light of this ruling and are making the option of a private pool in your own luxury villa rental seem like a better option every day.
|According to The Australian, the council of Ramatuelle, which rules over matters that affect the St. Tropez area, has decided that the beach clubs that cater to the likes of Paris Hilton and Eva Longoria Parker are an environmental hazard. The twenty-seven businesses located on celebrated Pampelonne beach are thought to be damaging the nature in the region. The plan is to reduce the businesses on the stretch to twenty-one and to make the structures both smaller and portable, so that they can be packed away in the winter months. Not surprisingly this has both the business owners and locals, many of whom depend on tourist dollars for their livelihoods, steaming mad.|
|The chairwoman of the owners’ association, Carole Balligand, spoke to The Australian about her outrage at the proposed changes. According to the paper, Save Pampellone, Balligand’s organization, is not going away without a fight and is determined to block the proposed changes, which will not only change the look of the beach, but will also turn this land of sun and relaxation into a building site for the foreseeable future. For now only questions remain–about whether this proposal will indeed go forward and what, if anything, this means for businesses and vacationers in St. Tropez in the future–and will only be answered by the final ruling, which will be made by the French government.
Regardless of the decision that is made, it seems clear that St. Tropez will always be a favourite vacation spot for those looking for a little glamour and exclusivity to go with their sun and sand. Perhaps, though, it will mean pulling up stakes from the beaches, and leaving the €20 beach chairs behind, for some real privacy and first class service at a luxury villa rental, where a pool can be enjoyed without the threat of cranes or protests.