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Club Med leaving Copper

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Club Med announced it was discontinuing it's operations at Copper Mountain. Attached is a link to an article in the Rocky mountain News.

www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/skiing/article/0,1299,DRMN_31_1176485,00.html .
post #2 of 21
I wonder if Tiger was still working there? I haven't seen him since his parents moved back to Montana.
post #3 of 21

thanks for that. we'd planned on doing just that next february. guess not. looks like they're still running in crested butte...

[ May 30, 2002, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #4 of 21
Yes Ryan--as far as I know, the Crested Butte Club Med is still going strong. Next season will be its third. The facilities at Crested Butte are a lot nicer, too. Copper's Club Med was designed intentionally to be austere. The rooms were small, with small windows, and very few amenities. The idea was to encourage the guests to get out of their rooms and mingle in the common areas, on the mountains, and at meals. Apparently, that's a popular notion in Europe, but it never really caught on here in the U.S. where it seems that many vacationers prefer the amenities!

Club Med bought the Grand Butte Hotel in Crested Butte--one of the largest and finest in the resort. I haven't seen what they've done to it, but I suspect that it is a little nicer than the facility at Copper, which resembled more a prison than than a fine hotel!

It is not certain yet what Copper will do with the building, but much-needed employee housing is the front-running likelyhood.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #5 of 21
I watched a lot of the Club Med instructors at Copper. Most of them were pretty good skiers.

I never really did figure out if they were or weren't great instructors though. I will say their customers always seemed happy though (but I was always suspicious they'd been drinking ).

And, I never figured out how they relate to the PSIA and the rule about having only 1 ski instruction desk. How come they get to teach and somebody like Barnes or Harald can't?

post #6 of 21

They do usually have some good skiers on the staff of Club Med. They do virtually no training of their instructors, though. We have (had) a friendly relationship with them, and many of their instructors would join us for a weekly training clinic through the Copper Ski School.

Their pay system values certification from any skiing country, so I'm always impressed with how eager their new instructors usually are to get that pin. The senior staff has instructors from all over, especially France, and there is a heavy European influence in the ski school. You've seen them, almost always in a perfect line following their instructor's snaking tracks down the mountain!

I'm not sure of all the details of their arrangement with Copper Mountain, but Club Med had limited rights to conduct ski lessons at the resort. They could not teach private lessons, they did not have lift line privileges, and they could only work with their inhouse guests. It was all part of a contractual agreements spelled out with the Copper Ski School and the Resort.

The fact is, anyone CAN teach lessons at any resort--IF they arrange an agreement with the management of the resort. The resort can let them teach on whatever terms they agree to. Like you, I think a more open, competitve environment would benefit students, instructors, and ultimately the entire ski industry--including the resorts. It's not like that now, but it is not impossible for an outsider to teach at a big resort.

That is how I'm hoping we'll be able to arrange the Epic Ski Academy somewhere. If we can convince the resort that enough of us will be there, spending money on lift tickets, lodging, restaurants, ski shops, and such, to make it worth their while to let us use our own instructors, we're in!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #7 of 21
Yep Ant - Thredbo YHA is like that.
No TV & no stereo in the lounge either - so people have to be social or go out
post #8 of 21
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:
Copper's Club Med was designed intentionally to be austere.
The place certainly looked so uninviting & just that bit further away from the lift area - I always wondered why people would stay there.
I do hope it gets used for employee housing - So many staff seem to have to travel long distances to get to work at Copper - I thought I was back at Perisher!
post #9 of 21
Interesting. Before my US foray this year, I was eyeing Club Med at Copper with Intent. Some colleagues at Perisher fell over themselves to dissuade me. Since one was a flashy Italian boy and the other a flashy Oz boy, I listened to them. They reckoned your time is not your own, you are expected to party with the guests every night...Odd to hear to guys in their late 20s bagging that.

I was surprised to see how un-flashy the Copper building was. That idea of the bedrooms being uncomfy is repeated here in Oz in the club lodges that were built in the 50s and 60s, similar idea, bedrooms being for sleeping only, so everyone would have ot come to the communal areas.
My club's lodges are like that, but changes are inevitable, people insist on comfort and privacy (and ensuites!) these days.

Our communal area have seen some interesting social experiments over the years. When the oldies got sick of the youngies grunge music, they'd invoke the idea of equal access to the stereo, put on Wagner, wait for the youngies to vanish in disgust, and then turn it off!

Ski clubs centered around club lodges doesn't seem to have happened in America, but in Oz, they played a huge role in developing skiing in Oz.

I did wonder who designed the Copper Club Med uniforms though.
post #10 of 21
I don't doubt that Intrawest offered Club Med a TON of money$$$$$$ for their land. It is in a prime location between two of their own villages!

Knowing that CM has been in some financial difficulty over the past few years, it made sense for them to sell! I will miss many of my friends who work(ed) there, and going over to clinic them in the evenings.

And the meals weren't bad either!!!

post #11 of 21
Ant, back in the 70s, I was offered a job as a G.O at Club Med Playa Blanca. I was told that the "rules" were "no personal relationships amongst staff" because you were expected to be "available" to the members. Would have thought things would be different at a ski resort, though.
post #12 of 21
Whaaat! Available as in available or as in available? :
post #13 of 21
Said with subtlety, avec un accent francais, but yes, that was the gist.
post #14 of 21
post #15 of 21
Well, in their recruitment guff, there was some stuff about having to act in their evening plays, singing and such like. yuck! But these 2 chaps had both worked at Club Med ski operations (not Copper) and both were adamant that it was NOT FUN.
They give you a grog allowance, and you have to spend a certain amount of hours in the bar, chatting with the guests (not other staff).

A mate at Keystone (French qualified american) also worked for Club Med, in fact he might have been at Copper come to think of it, he didn't mind it.

Copper needs staff accommodation. They suffer in that regard, as people will often choose other resorts that have it, rather than lob into a strange place loaded with luggage and nowhere to go. (that idea put me right off).
post #16 of 21
I knew it.
Some of them were bagging the guests.

From the Godfather.
Fredo to Michael:

"He was banging cocktail waitresses - two at a time"!

post #17 of 21
More employee housing set for Copper

By Lu Snyder

COPPER MOUNTAIN - Intrawest's recent acquisition of the Club Med building at Copper Mountain provides the company with enough employee housing units for years to come.

Club Med sold the building - which it's owned since it was built more than 20 years ago - to Intrawest for $8 million dollars at the end of April, said Nicolas Boudet, Club Med's vice president of development and asset management.

As part of the agreement, Club Med has signed and entered into an option to purchase five acres of land in one of Intrawest's other resorts, Boudet said.

Valerie Bihet, Club Med's director of communications, said the company decided to sell their building at Copper after an evaluation of the accommodations at their 32 resorts worldwide. The evaluation reviewed the location, accommodations, facilities and activities available to Club Med guests.

Though Club Med guests consistently praised the location and activities at Copper, they complained the accommodations were too small, Bihet said.

"When people go on vacation, they really need comfort," she said. "The size of the room and the decorations are very important to vacationers."

According to Bihet, the company is in the process of choosing one of three ski resorts as the site for their new Club Med destination: Winter Park, Mammoth in Calif., or Mt. Tremblant in Quebec. No dates have been set for the final decision, she said.

While the Copper building no longer met Club Med's needs, Intrawest officials seem pleased with the purchase, as it will provide the company with at least three times the employee housing units as was planned for next year. According to Intrawest chief financial officer Dan Jarvis, the company planned to spend $8 million on employee housing facilities next year.

The Club Med property "will be very valuable as we go forward in Copper, in terms of relieving us of further requirements for employee housing, and in response to a very real need that we have in the resort to have significant employee housing," Jarvis said recently during Intrawest's third-quarter conference call.

Jarvis indicated a large portion of the building will be converted into employee housing units, leaving room for the company to consolidate their administrative offices - which currently are in several different locations - into one space.

Additionally, the consolidation of the administrative offices will allow Intrawest to use the other locations for commercial space or even condominiums, Jarvis said.

The ground floor of the Club Med property also is well-situated for commercial opportunities, he added.

"In terms of $8 million now on this, versus $8 million next year on a purpose-built facility, we get dramatically more employee housing and administrative space and commercial - so a very high return on investment on this $8 million," Jarvis said.

No further information on planned renovations or when the employee housing units will be ready are available as yet, said Copper Mountain communications manager Ben Friedland
post #18 of 21
Hi, I'm back.

As some of you know, we spent a week at the Club Med in Copper in January. The food, entertainment (by the staff) and the general atmosphere was great, the rooms were spartan as prescribed by the Club Med phylosophy of not spending any time but sleeping in your room.

While that idea originated and works great in exotic warm climate resorts where there is much to do in and around the swimming pools and the area,in a winter resort where folks stay inside after dinner there is not much to do even in the community rooms and the bar until show time, so many guest, especially americans who are used to room comfort, would complain.

All in all though we enjoyed the Club Med in Copper a whole lot.

post #19 of 21
Hi Ott! Welcome back! Good to "see" ya!
post #20 of 21
Originally posted by SCSA:
I knew it.
Some of them were bagging the guests.

From the Godfather.
Fredo to Michael:

"He was banging cocktail waitresses - two at a time"!

Actually, it was Mo Green to Michael about Fredo.
post #21 of 21
Well, Copper will certainly be a different place without the Medflies. Really hope that Copper will convert the place over to employee housing.

Mais oui, I am ze, how you say, farm boy from kneebraska, 'owever; at ze Club Med, wee all talk like zis! C'est neccesaire!
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