One factor that sets Les Gets and Morzine apart from many of the other resorts in the Alps is that it is not purpose built - it was not designed with the advent of skiing to service skiers, rather it is a town with its own history, something that gives it a unique atmosphere.
The First Mention Of Les Gets
The village of Les Gets is first mentioned some time between 1135 and 1140 in the charter of the Abbey D'Aulps, where a crest is mentioned overlooking 'Les Gets'. Before 1185 another abbey record mentioned the church and cemetery of Les Gets in a dispute between the Abbey and the Benedictine Monks of Contamines.
Origin Of The Name
There are a number of theories regarding the origin of the name Les Gets. The Latin Gitsum designates a lodging. The old French Getee means to slash or cut, which could refer to the wood industry that was one of the primary industries of the area for many years. A Savoyard variation on this word refers to 'A corridor for the descent of wood in the mountains', which again would refer to this industry. In The Franco-Provencal patois of the area a similar word refers to a ìcorridorî used to bring the cut wood down. This could refer to the 'corridor' down to Taninges in the valley.
Early industry included farming, similar to Morzine, including dairy farming and cheese making. But the main early industry, and one that continues to this day, is the timber industry, both for building and fuel.
The Ski Industry
With the advent of skiing, and in tandem with the new developments beginning in nearby Morzine, the first single person chairlift opened in Les Gets in 1938 on the Chavannes side of the village. The first chair lift On Mt Chery opened in 1954.