In late 2021, Club Med will debut the company’s first resort in Canada and first mountain resort in North America. The Club Med Québec Charlevoix also will be its first mountain property to operate year-round.
The project, said Carolyne Doyon, president/CEO of Club Med North America, represents a $93 million investment in the region from both Club Med and local partner Groupe Le Massif. The resort is the latest development in the Massif de Charlevoix project, which was launched by Québec-based developer Daniel Gauthier in 2002.
Club Med and Groupe Le Massif expect the resort to attract an average of 50,000 guests each year, with half of those guests from Canada. “We are also working hand-in-hand with the [Québec City Jean Lesage International] airport to develop air traffic infrastructure to support the anticipated rise in tourism,” she said, noting that the airport—a 90-minute drive from the resort—expects to see a nearly 6 percent increase in flights due to the resort.
While Club Med’s beach resorts often operate year-round, its mountain properties typically are only open for the ski season. The Charlevoix resort will take a cue from the recently renovated Club Med Alpe d’Huez in France as one of the brand’s first mountain resorts to have year-round activities and accommodations. Skiing, sledding and snowboarding will dominate the winter months while hikes or guided bike tours will be available in summer.
And in a hat-tip to the “authenticity” expected by millennials, Club Med is working with local partners to offer expanded experiences beyond the resort and into the broader Charlevoix region. Guests will be able to go off-site to try ice-skating, dog sledding or visiting maple sugar shacks in the winter, and in warmer months can look for whales in the St. Lawrence River. The resort also is developing a customized culinary tour that will take guests throughout the region to try local fare.
Doyon expects ski/snowboard season and summer vacation to be peak demand times, and said that as with the brand’s year-round beach resorts, “rates will be consistent with demand.”
When it opens, the debut Canadian property will have 302 guestrooms and two restaurants, built using local wood, stone and tile.
The resort's dining concepts, developed with Montreal-based architecture and design firm Lemay Michaud, are meant to tell a story about the Charlevoix region. In the main restaurant, the buffet is presented like a large local market while the dining rooms reflect the region’s natural, maritime and agricultural heritage, with color schemes meant to evoke wheat fields and a locally constructed schooner. The Gourmet Lounge, meanwhile, is meant to feel like a private chalet with exposed wooden beams and a large central bar topped with large branches.
In a bid to promote its sustainable efforts, the company also is looking to secure Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method certification for the resort. The building’s bioclimatic design and small footprint are designed to make this certification easier to accomplish. The resort also will seek Green Globe certification, and will partner with food-waste-management company Solucycle to implement a sustainable system that turns waste into green energy or compost/fertilizer.