1863 - 2013: MONTE-CARLO SBM celebrates its 150th anniversary

In 1863, under the auspices of its founder, François Blanc, the « Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers à Monaco » is born, known today as Monte-Carlo SBM. Its founder had accepted an invitation from Prince Charles III of Monaco, following a visionary inspiration from his mother Princess Caroline.

Through the development of the establishments included in the Société des Bains de Mer, a new neighbourhood will emerge, on the top of the Spélugues plateau, named Monte-Carlo in 1866. The inauguration of the new Casino in 1863 is the founding act of the Société des Bains de Mer. Adjacent to the Casino, François Blanc then creates a Palace (Hôtel de Paris), a social gathering place and restaurant, the Café Divan (future Café de Paris) and a spa dedicated to health and well-being (Les Thermes Marins). His successors will further develop and sustain his vision by providing for pleasure-seeking clientele new offerings up to par with their expectations. Arts are sublimated on the newly built Casino Square, the Golf Club and Monte-Carlo Country Club celebrate land-based sports, the Monte-Carlo Beach will devote itself to seaside pleasures, while the Sporting d’Eté will celebrate the world of show business. Simultaneously, new palaces are refurbished (Hôtel Hermitage) or built (Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort) to preserve the spirit of innovation and magic of the stay. Finally, new venues dedicated to festivity, such as the famous Jimmy’s nightclub or the Buddha-Bar.

François Blanc and the teams now perpetuating his work at Monte-Carlo SBM, are the first entrepreneurs to offer a « total » resort experience not simply a holiday spot. Today, Monte-Carlo SBM group is one of the leading players in the European gaming sector and leaders in luxury tourism in Monaco, all the while collaborating with the most important sporting and cultural events in the Principality. Visiting Monaco is a unique experience, consecrating the SBM as the precursor of modern tourism, now offering a complete 'Art de vivre' package. While the immortal words of François Blanc « here, we must present the dream » remain as true as ever, his message inspires the perpetual evolution of the company that invented the resort concept and which, throughout the generations, continues to evolve with creativity and expertise. To celebrate its 150-year anniversary, Monte-Carlo SBM will honour its institutional and trade excellence, magnificently illustrating the conductive lead of this eventful year: «1863 : And Monaco invented Monte-Carlo. 2013: the legend lives on...».

Since its creation, the group has imposed a persona of extremely high standards, audacious and inimitable, in the universe of luxury tourism. In this spirit and to perpetuate the history of the Société des Bains de Mer, a calendar of events has been developed throughout 2013. It conveys the founding philosophy of the resort complex: « everything, immediately, in one place ». The entire team of employees have implemented their talents to make each moment unique. Every client, guest or visitor in Monaco thus benefit from a few moments or several months to… dream.

The major highlights of the festivities At the initiative of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM), the anniversary will begin with a cultural event: MONACOPOLIS.
This unique exhibition retraces the various steps taken in the urbanisation and expansion of a legendary city, entirely dedicated to pleasure and entertainment. Villa Sauber presents the birth of the emblematic neighbourhood of Monte-Carlo. 600 historic plans, mainly sourced from the Monte-Carlo SBM archives, demonstrate the permanent state of renewal of the territory. Villa Paloma concentrates on architectural planning submitted since the 1940s, both by renowned architects and visionaries (Eugène Beaudoin, Le Corbusier) and remarkable newcomers surpassing one another in ingenuity (Henry Bulgheroni).

On March 23rd, the Bal de la Rose will launch the celebrations on the theme « Bal de la Rose du Rocher», an evening paying tribute to both past and present, an invitation to celebrate the perpetuation of the dream that Monte-Carlo SBM has created for over 150 years, this year under the artistic direction of Karl Lagerfeld. For over 25 years, is at the Louis XV that Alain Ducasse creates an environmentally respectful cuisine. A cuisine of the essential, seeking to renew the manner with which Haute Cuisine is perceived. He will bring his own personal touch the 150 years of Monte-Carlo SBM celebrations where culinary arts are ceaselessly fine-tuned, thanks to the talent of all the chefs.

On April 2nd, actual birthday of the company launch, Monte-Carlo SBM tells its tale, revealing the treasures of its archives in a book-event: « Rêves, de la Société des Bains de Mer à Monte-Carlo SBM ». Conceived as a “concept book”, a book to day dream with combined with a history book, the volume pays tribute to great figures, including mythical guests, and to heritage in the broader sense: general arts, architecture, music, and cinema, in particular. The book also includes a chapter « Mains de Maître », dedicated to the trades and “behind the scenes” work of employees in the Group. The book will also feature a portfolio by Italian artist Gea Casolaro. Her photograph series, original and unpublished, entitled: “Passé/Présent”, plays with mythical figures of past and present: John Wayne puffing on a cigarette in front of the Casino, Peter Sellers impersonating a muse on the Opera steps… Her work will also be shown during a specific exhibition in one of the Monte-Carlo SBM venues during the “Week-End d’Exception” (July 5th, 6th, 7th ).

July 5th, 6th, and 7th: a « Week-End d’Exception » will highlight the uniqueness of Monte-Carlo SBM resort. The weekend will also mark the opening of the summer art season. For this very special year, the Sporting Summer Festival, more than ever placed under the sign of the stars will be launched with Rod Stewart, followed all summer long by an wealth of internationally acclaimed performers who will share in the celebrations from the stage of this unique venue, previously host to some of the greatest voices in Entertainment. Monte-Carlo SBM establishments will create special offers and surprise themed around Well-being, Gastronomy, Nightlife, Performing Arts, Culture, Sport… The official program will reveal an exceptional concert performed by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra with special guests on July 5th at the Opéra Garnier. © RR Press release Brothers Fernando et Umberto Campana, the famous Brazilian designing duo, will unveil their universe in the salons of the Sporting d’Hiver during an exhibition especially created for Monte-Carlo SBM: Dangerous Luxury. The opening of the exhibition will be held during the Week-End d’Exception.

Throughout the summer, the Casino terraces will hold an open-air cinema. « Monte-Carlo fait son cinéma », a film compiling clips from various productions, all shot in Monte-Carlo, will be shown every day. Directed by the students of the cinema school Factory (Lyon), and with the participation of the Audiovisual Archives of Monaco, the film is conceived in the “manner of” artist Christian Marclay, creator of « The Clock » (Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 54th Venice Biennale). To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Monte-Carlo SBM, it was only fitting that strong initiative was used to honour and promote this unique audio-visual heritage. Grace Kelly, Sacha Guitry, Audrey Hepburn, Jeanne Moreau, Pierce Brosnan, Vanessa Paradis, will successively grace the silver screen in an astonishing audio-visual compilation, where style and eras collide. Monte-Carlo SBM history is an extraordinary human, industrial, cultural, and urban adventure. In 2013, Monte-Carlo SBM will continue to look towards the future, anticipating new trends and new… dreams.

Discover the program of festivities of the Monte-Carlo SBM 150th anniversary at www.150montecarlosbm.com