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Master students from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Bluche, near Crans Montana, have been asked by Télé-Thyon to engage in a consulting project regarding the ski resort Thyon 2000.
Their original mission was to develop the accommodation facilities for tourists but Les Roches students ended up presenting a proposition to develop the resort globally.
Thyon 2000 is a well situated resort in Valais, in the heart of the ski destination called “Les 4 Vallées”. The real estate complex is comprised of around 450 apartments that are managed by Imalp Thyon SA, an agency that is part of the Télé-Thyon group. Seeking to increase the number of room nights in the region, the management had the idea to develop a hospitality offer but was uncertain of its impact. During Spring 2010, they decided to ask Les Roches to work on the case. Mr. Bruno Eeckels, the Dean for the graduate studies, engaged his Master students to work on the project, supported by Mr. Michael O’Dwyer, a consulting teacher working for Marriott and other big hospitality chains. The students have been working during six months and have visited the resort a few times. “I am surprised by the interest shown by the students during our meetings. In addition, coming from almost 30 different nationalities, it was very enriching to hear their different points of view”, explains Mr. Fabrice Haenni, Director Imalp Thyon SA.
In November 2010, the MBA students produced a full report with not only an adapted hospitality solution for Thyon 2000 but also other wider development propositions for the resort. These included a new restaurant development, activities and conferences. They even studied the possibility to create a wellness centre. If Mr. Haenni feared to receive propositions that were too expensive from students who are used to working for five-star hotels, the director is positively surprised. “The students have understood really well our concerns and proposed solutions that are financially adapted to our company. Their report is very high quality and we are thinking to adopt some of their measures in the near future”. Mr. Haenni is also very pleased to have introduced a new part of the Valais region to these students coming from all over the world.
This innovative collaboration between a company and students is beneficial for all as it allows companies to have consulting work from high-level students coached by professionals. It is also a unique practical experience for MBA students who are able to apply what they learn, innovate and develop a real project. Les Roches has always been working in partnership with international hotel chains and in the future will further develop more collaboration with local companies.