Club Med and Snowbasin have agreed that the all-inclusive international chain will not build a ski property at the Utah resort after all.
It’s not a real surprise to us ski industry insiders, who have long known about construction delays due to environmental issues, including water and electric power.
Snowbasin is one of my favorite places to ski, near Ogden, about one hour from Salt Lake City, and was the site of Olympic downhill races in 2002. It’s main downside is that it has zero slopeside lodging and nothing really desirable within ten miles.
The slopeside Club Med resort was supposed to have 300 rooms, an underground parking lot, three restaurants and even pickleball courts, and operate year-round, not just during snow season..
It was supposed to be built on the site of Snowbasin’s current Wildcat parking lot and day lodge, with ski-in-out access via the Littlecat Express lift.
But when I skied there in March 2023, I saw no sign of any construction whatsoever, not even a sign saying anything like “Future Site of Club Med” – which is why I’m not surprised this plan has been shelved.
BTW – Snowbasin is owned and operated by the same company which owns and operates Sun Valley, Idaho, and both areas have similar opulent base lodges – including gold fixtures in the bathrooms.
The 2022/23 season was the first one that Snowbasin was part of the IKON Pass system of resorts.
Club Med and Snowbasin announced their partnership in 2021, and the new resort was scheduled to open in 2024 and operate year-round – just like the Club Med resort near Canada’s Mount Tremblant which opened recently.
Snowbasin Needs Accommodations
It would have been the first hotel at Snowbasin, whose nearest sleepover possibilities are down the mountain, at least five miles away.
And those are low-frills brands like Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Motel 6 and Holiday Inn Express off the highway in one-stoplight towns like Layton and Clearfield. At least in Ogden there are some restaurant and nightlife options.
Yes – I’ve been there, done that – including a really fun ax throwing experience in Ogden.
“After extensive discussions, our two companies have decided not to pursue this project further,” Snowbasin General Manager Davy Ratchford wrote in his letter to passholders,
“Unfortunately, while we had hoped our first U.S. project would be at Snowbasin, there have been delays and Snowbasin is reassessing their development plans on the mountain, instead focusing on improving the skier experience,” Club Med said in a press release.
“As a result of these delays, Club Med is shifting its focus to other projects in its pipeline.” which include rebranding the Chinese-owned resort company.
Snowbasin to Develop its Own Guest Lodging
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Snowbasin now will focus on developing its own base-area lodging, as part of its Village Master Plan.
“In recent years, we have seen increasing demand at Snowbasin, fueled by the growing Utah tourism market and our continued significant investment in the resort,” Ratchford said in his letter to passholders.
“As we navigate this period of growth, we felt it right to reassess the path ahead, enabling us to focus on our central goal of providing a world-class ski experience to each of you.”
New lodging is expected to to break ground in 2025 and will also allow space for restaurants and shops.
Unfortunately for Snowbasin fans, breaking ground in 2025 is far different than opening base-area lodging in 2024.
Future of Club Med in the USA
For its part, Club Med said it is moving forward on a development plan to open new resorts around the world, and that mountain resorts are integral to that strategy.
“We have announced our intention to return to the U.S. ski market with a new mountain resort with a target opening date of 2025,” for the 2025/26 ski and snowboard season, Club Med said.
But not at Snowbasin.
The Chinese-owned company opened Club Med Québec Charlevoix, a four-season mountain resort that opened in Canada in December 2021.
Club Med previously operated Club Med Copper Canyon in Colorado for 21 years, until it sold the property in 2002.
In 2022, the company sold Club Med Sandpiper, its only all-inclusive in the U.S., located in Port St. Lucia, Fla.
Club Med said it plans to expand its international portfolio with as many as five openings or renovations per year, including a U.S. mountain resort targeted to open by the 2025/26 ski season, but has not announced where.
Club Med Guessing Game
My prediction is that it will be an IKON Pass or Mountain Collective pass resort, since it is unlikely that any Vail Resorts destination will welcome an all-inclusive Club Med interloper.
Jackson Hole? Steamboat? Mammoth? Killington? Stay tuned – I mean keep your skis and snowboards tuned.
Club Med said it plans to expand its international portfolio with as many as five openings or renovations per year, including a U.S. mountain resort targeted to open by the 2025/26 ski season.
In 2022, Club Med opened a new resort in Spain, Club Med Magna Marbella, and three new mountain resorts, Kiroro Peak in Japan, Tignes in France, and its first full Exclusive Collection mountain property in Val d ’Isère France. There are more than 20 mountain resorts worldwide – but none in the United States.
It’s an excellent product – in addition to unlimited food and alcoholic beverages, nightly entertainment and special activities for the kids, all-inclusive includes a licensed ski instructor as a guide.
It’s not for lessons as much as for guiding your group to the best snow.
My guide at Club Med Val d’Isere a couple of years ago took us to giant snowfields I would not have found on my own.
For more information, visit www.clubmed.us.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA) and is a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is an accomplished skier, and currently editor of Seniors Skiing, a website focusing on the 50+ winter enthusiast.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter
What do you think? We value your comments and love hearing from you.