The word Clusaz comes from cluse which means "passage between two mountains". There are several explanations for the addition of the "z":
For aesthetic reasons, the employees of the land registry would have added this letter in order to finish the name of the village by a small arabesque.
We must look for the second explanation from the Franco-Provençal side of which the Savoyard dialect is a part. A "z" was placed after a letter to emphasize that the latter does not pronounce itself, is atonic, which naturally leads to an accentuation of the penultimate syllable. The elders pronounce "La Clus'".
La Clusaz is situated at an altitude of 1040 metres. The commune has notably remarkable belvederes, like the Aravis pass with its view on the Mont Blanc. The landscape is quite tormented because of erosion, which has led to the formation of suspended valleys called combes: the combe de Balme, de Torchère, des Juments, du Fernuy. La Clusaz is also a ski resort whose ski area is spread over 4 area: Balme, Aiguille, Etale and Beauregard.
The main economic activity is tourism (tourist office, hotels, restaurants...). One of the specific features of life in a mountain environment is pluriactivity. This consists of carrying out at least two activities during the year, either successively or at the same time. This multi-activity is mainly justified because the ski professions (alpine or nordic ski instructor, alpine or nordic ski patroller, ski lifts employee) can only be practised during the winter. It is quite common to find a wide range of skiing/building professions. Other forms are present, like ski instructor and mountain leader, or farmer and tracker...
There are many small businesses that build and renovate chalets. There is also still a good agricultural activity with about twenty farms which are mainly devoted to the production of Reblochons. Two farms are specialized in the breeding of goats and the manufacture of the Chevrotin, a farm in the production of cheeses of sheep, the famous Persillé.
The little history of the emblem
To understand the origin of this emblem, it is necessary to speak of the end of 1601. The Duke of Savoy, Charles-Emmanuel I, visited the inhabitants of La Clusaz for the first time. He took the opportunity to raise the village to the rank of "bourg", granted the inhabitants the right to hold a weekly market, two annual fairs in spring and autumn. It was important because the market was very lucrative. Every merchant had to pay a fee to sell his products on the shelf. The two fairs were used to regulate the livestock of the commune. Farmers could sell animals before the winter and buy them before the summer, when they could feed more.
On this occasion, La Clusaz was given an emblem which was originally a white sheep on green background with a diagonal.
Why a sheep?
It turns out that La Clusaz's primary vocation was pastoral activity. Since ancient times, shepherds have herded their flocks to the green meadows of La Clusaz in order to give them the benefit of the fresh grass and the pure air of our mountains.
The sheep is also the symbol of gentleness and belief. However, the inhabitants of La Clusaz had for reputation to be very pious.