Snowbasin is one of the best ski resorts in the country, used as a venue for competition in the 2002 Winter Olympics, outside Salt Lake City.
But over the past 2 decades, Snowbasin has become a skiing location mostly for locals since there is no housing or hotels at the resort.
That’s all about to change with the entry of — of all companies — Club Med.
The hotel, slated to open in 2024, will be built on the site of a parking lot and day lodge at Snowbasin. It will include 320 guest rooms, 120 staff rooms, an underground parking lot, a pool, and three restaurants. Guests will have instant access to the slopes via an express from the hotel.
Club Med offers an all-inclusive experience, giving guests a hotel room, lift tickets, all-day dining, and nightly entertainment. The goal is for guests to have no need to leave the resort for anything other than skiing or snowboarding.
“Club Med Utah will give travelers additional opportunities to discover Utah’s natural beauty and welcoming communities through a transformative mountain getaway experience,” Carolyne Doyton, CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean, said in a statement to Forbes.
Snowbasin officials said Club Med was selected for the first development because it can serve visitors year-round and not just on weekends during ski season.
“I think what it really does for us is it puts us on the map on a different scale,” general manager Dave Ratchford told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Ratchford said officials liked the idea of Club Med because it caters to families, who typically book resorts for week-long stays instead of just overnight, adding a “high touch” to the resort.
Club Med, best known for its beach resorts all over the world, actually operates 24 other mountain resorts. Eileen Kett, senior vice president of development, said the company thought Snowbasin was a perfect fit.
“We love to create destinations,” Kett told the Tribune. “Snowbasin has got a great reputation. It’s an amazing destination, but internationally nobody knows about it.”
This will be the first Club Med all-inclusive resort to open in the United States in nearly 20 years.
“Our pioneering spirit has allowed us to successfully introduce our distinctive all-inclusive model to ski destinations worldwide and reshape what a traditional ski vacation looks like,” Club Med President and CEO Henri Giscard D’Estaing said in a statement. “Looking ahead, we are delighted to bring Snowbasin their very first lodging property.”
The Club Med hotel is just the first of the planned expansion of Snowbasin, although plans have been drawn up and discussed for many years.
Other developments, including condos near the resort, are penciled in to begin in 2025. But Snowbasin plans to move slowly, just like it did with Club Med. Ratchford told the Standard-Examiner that plans for the hotel have been in the works for more than 2 years.
“We’re a very patient, methodical, well thought out company,” he said.
Snowbasin is located about 30 minutes east of Ogden, Utah, in Weber County. The area is also home to Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley, two other ski resorts. Neither has a hotel, although there are cabins and townhomes nearby.
Ratchford said the Club Med hotel will benefit the entire region.
“It’ll be a complement, for sure, to northern Utah,” he said.