History of the Camping Park Maurettes established in 1950

1 place, 1 man, 1 idea

At the heart of the Côte d’Azur, the opening of a professional camping park in 1950 by the sea in in Villeneuve-Loubet (Alpes Maritimes) was the result of an unshakeable faith in the future. The founder, Guy Monferran (20 years old in September 1945), was hiking across Europe with a rucksack on his back, and had passed through Austria, Denmark and Sweden, as well as France. In 1948, when he was looking for a place to pitch his tent between Nice and Juan-les-Pins, he was struck by the absence of an organised place to welcome campers.

The following year, with faith in his convictions, he left the town where he was born (Puteaux, a suburb of Paris) to live life in the great outdoors and to create a place where Europeans could come together. As early as October 1949, his exploration took him to a place known as “Les Maurettes” where the wooded part of some agricultural land was deemed to be unsuitable for cultivating, but which had everything he was looking for: the land was surrounded by forest,, was not liable to flooding, could be accessed directly, had nearby access to tap water and part of the land even enjoyed a sea view. The price to purchase the land was also affordable, and for good reason…

An ideal location

The gamble was risky: at the time of his purchase, Guy knew that in 10 years’ time, the A8 motorway would be cutting through the lower portion of the land! But the spirit of adventure spurred him on. At Easter 1950, the first clearing was created to welcome campers. It was done with just a few materials, tools and American army surplus but with plenty of courage.

Season after season, the quality of the welcome and the functional amenities fostered a loyal and amiable clientèle. Then, in 1955, the FFCC (French Federation of Camping and Caravanning) presented the park with the cup for the “Most beautiful week in France”. Although rewarding, these trophies mean little, but the real reward came in 1959 when the state decided that the motorway would cut through the the mountainside 800 metres higher to avoid the wetlands of the future Departmental Park of Vaugrenier.

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A wide-open future!

Now that the gamble had paid off, comfortable and convenient amenities could be developed to attract a clientèle of caravanning and campervan enthusiasts who would appreciate the geographical location of the Camping Park Maurettes. The environment developed too. In the 1960s through to the 1980s, transformation of the surrounding areas accelerated: a railway station was built 300 metres away (for which the camping park actively campaigned for a safe pedestrian crossing), an avenue leading directly from the camping park to the RN7 was opened, shops and supermarkets set up in business… Faced with a coastline destined to be lined with concrete, Guy convinced his son Yves that they needed to preserve this green oasis and relaxed atmosphere enjoyed by a clientèle that was devoted to the same values.

The aim for quality

Since 1978, Yves Monferran has been managing the seasons and playing an active part in the various amenities: a modern refurbishment of the three washroom facilities, heated in winter, creation of a huge service station for campervans, the installation of bungalows, a more spacious layout for pitches (all separate!), Modern management, trilingual reception staff, the list goes on. And all of that was achieved by maintaining simplicity of contact for young people in the summer and for retired people wanting to spend a few weeks in the park in the winter.

In 2004, the decision was made to open an indoor, heated spa, which would be in full operation whilst the camping park was open. This area for relaxation (fitted with a sauna, 3 jacuzzis and a common room with boardgames and a television) was better suited to the park’s clientèle than the usual standard swimming pools and noisy bars. The Camping Park Maurettes thus distinguished itself by its efforts and in 2007, was awarded the national label of “Quality Camping”, which is a hallmark of “Quality Tourism”.

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The operation continues

In parallel, Yves’s son, David Monferran, became a collaborator and put forward his point of view. Communication and internal management would be geared more effectively towards new technologies, particularly with the new website with its rich multimedia content (photos and 360° panoramas). Given the increasing importance of administrative tasks, David’s support provided a discreet bedrock for the business structure, which was vital to continue the necessary professionalism in welcoming camping quality. For this reason, the Monferran family has long since been involved in the department’s organisational life associated with open-air accommodation in order to maintain a certain professional philosophy with the specific aim of satisfying campers.

In concluding this history of the Camping Park Maurettes, it is also important to thank those people without whom the project would never have happened. So our thanks go to all our employees, from our long-serving staff to our seasonal workers, from our maintenance staff to our receptionists, for having contributed their skills for the benefit of the organisation. And finally, a huge thank you to YOU, our loyal customers and those of you who are just passing through! Thank you for your continuous feedback and your appreciation of our wish to give you a wonderful holiday!