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Abandoned gas station and rest stop to become vintage park in heart of France

Plans are underway to create a vintage-themed recreational complex as an ode to the golden days of automobile travel, at a disused gas station on one of France’s most iconic routes.

The Bel Air service station on the former N6 route (now renamed the D973) was once a popular – and necessary – stop on the journey from Paris to the French Riviera. However, when the A6 connecting Paris and Lyon opened in 1970, the old scenic route and its rest stops were left deserted.

A small group of investors aims to recapture that retro holiday feel by restoring the service station and opening a 30-hectare leisure park. The outdoor complex would include some 20 permanent attractions such as vintage cars and paraphernalia, a drive-through cinema, food and beverage outlets, a maze, a comic book installation, a vintage-themed shop, and parkland with picnic areas.

The project, dubbed Vintage Bel Air, is located on the road between La Rochepot and Beaune. It will be used for pop-up and regular events, such as collectors meets, cinema nights, concerts, special events, and more.

According to the website, visitors to Vintage Bel Air will “discover the environment totally saturated with the spirit of the 50s to 70s – architecture, decorations, road facilities, cinema, advertising, music, automobiles – every single detail will match the epoch.”

There’ll also be a permanent indoor exhibition, On the Holiday Route, exploring the themes of travel, vacation and adventure in this era.

The project is the brainchild of local representative Alain Suguenot and associates. The privately-funded project is being developed in consultation with regional government officials and it’s hoped Vintage Bel Air will encourage tourism and investment to this part of Burgundy.

Designer and scenographer Frédéric Jangot has been collaborating on the project.

It’s scheduled to open in 2018.

vintage  theme park  travel  france  burgundy  beaune  rochepot 
Plans are underway to create a vintage-themed recreational complex as an ode to the golden days of automobile travel, at a disused gas station on one of France’s most iconic routes. The Bel Air service station on the former N6 route (now renamed the D973) was once a popular – and necessary – stop on the journey from Paris to the French Riviera. However, when the A6 connecting Paris and
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The Bel-Air plateau in La Rochepot on the Nationale 6 used to be a vital rest stop on Parisians' holiday journey
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Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
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