Snowbasin won’t be all-inclusive of Club Med hotel after deal sours

Ogden-area resort’s first hotel would also have been the first U.S. ski area location for the all-inclusive luxury chain.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Early powder enthusiasts ski at Snowbasin Resort, Nov. 21, 2022. The resort was expecting to welcome its first hotel next year, but Club Med called off the deal because of 'delays.'

A year before a Club Med was expected to open at Snowbasin Resort, the deal is off.

Snowbasin announced Tuesday in a letter to season passholders that it and the all-inclusive hotel chain had mutually agreed to end the project that would have given the Ogden-area resort its first hotel.

“After extensive discussions,” Snowbasin General Manager Davy Ratchford said in the letter, “our two companies have decided not to pursue this project further.”

Snowbasin and Club Med announced their partnership in 2021. The hotel would have been built on the site of the current Wildcat parking lot and Day Lodge. It was slated to consist of 300 guest rooms and 120 staff rooms and an underground parking lot. Its amenities were to include a pool, three restaurants and pickleball courts. Guests would have been able to access the slopes via Littlecat Express, which would have been upgraded to serve both skiers and foot passengers.

The hotel was scheduled to open in 2024 and operate year-round.

In a statement emailed to the Tribune, Club Med said the deal fell apart because of “delays” to the project.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Early powder enthusiasts ski at Snowbasin Resort, Nov. 21, 2022.

“Unfortunately, while we had hoped our first US 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,” the statement said. “As a result of these delays, Club Med is shifting its focus to other projects in its pipeline.”

If built, it would have been the first Club Med at a ski resort in North America. Worldwide, the hotelier has locations at 23 ski areas.

In its statement, Club Med said its intention is “to return to the US ski market with a new mountain resort with a target opening date of 2025.”

It is unclear whether Snowbasin will pursue another hotelier to partner with or whether it will ditch its plans for an on-site hotel. Ratchford declined to comment further.

“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. “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.”

Though not on the same scale as the Club Med hotel, Snowbasin does plan to create its own lodging as part of its Village Master Plan. That project is scheduled to break ground in 2025 and will also allow space for restaurants and shops.

A map of the first phase of Snowbasin's development plan. The resort planned to have a Club Med hotel by 2024, but that deal fell through the ski area announced Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Other on-mountain improvements scheduled to be ready by 2024 are also moving forward.

In his letter, Ratchford noted that the DeMoisy Express, a six-person high-speed lift, is on track to open for the 2023-24 season. That lift will give additional access to the Strawberry area of the mountain.

He did not mention, however, the expanded beginner area that was set to accompany the addition of the Club Med resort. The Ridgeline Beginner Area had been planned to encompass the terrain near where the new Squirrel run was built, to skier’s right of Littlecat, and eventually would include new lifts.