CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The proposed acquisition of Crested Butte (Colo.) Marriott Ski Resort by Club Med, expected to be finalized in April, would give the company its second U.S. ski resort. The firm already owns Club Med Copper Mountain, also in Colorado.

The Crested Butte resort would be closed from April to November to be converted into a traditional Club Med family ski resort, and would be reopened in time for the 2000-2001 ski season.

Crested Butte, which was ranked among the top 15 North American winter resorts by Conde Nast Traveler magazine for the past two years, is a natural choice for the acquisition, according to Ralph "Scout" Walton III, senior vice president of Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

Unlike resorts created around ski mountains, Crested Butte was a mining town and retains much of its Wild West charm.

Family-friendly restaurants and boutiques selling local artisans' wares are plentiful and are all accessible via free shuttle buses from the mountain.

The terrain at Crested Butte caters to all levels of skiers. Extreme skiers will find plenty of challenging trails -- such as the newly regroomed, 274-acre Teocalli Bowl -- and kids can hobnob with mountain mascots Bubba and Betty Bear, who act as official hosts to the resort's children's program.

The Crested Butte village will cater to families with supervised day and evening activities, including ski programs, for children ages 4 to 12.

Daily ski and snowboard instruction will be available for adults along with a range of other activities.

Lift tickets as well as ski and snowboard classes will be complimentary at the resort.

Other inclusive features will be lodging, meals, nightly entertainment and children's Mini Club Med activities.

Club Med Crested Butte will be marketed under Club Med's 3-Trident Family village segmentation.

The resort would be Club Med's third family village in the U.S.

The proposal comes on the heels of Club Med's Re-New campaign, aimed at revamping the company's image in the U.S. Calling the move "just the beginning," Philippe Bourguignon, chairman and chief executive office of Club Med, said more plans are on tap to add resorts and products in North America.

Club Med operates 114 Club Med Villages in 40 countries, drawing 2 million guests per year.

Club Med
Phone: (800) 258-2633

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