Local Favourite Le Relais Ski Area Sold To New Owners

The future of a beloved local ski destination, Le Relais, is shrouded in uncertainty following its recent acquisition by a new ownership group. The sale has left skiers and residents of the surrounding town, Mont Saint-Sauveur, with a mix of apprehension and hope.

The third phase of Le Relais ski center development started when the CEO of Entreprises P.E.B., Laurier Beaulieu, became the owner of the resort on June 30, 1987.

He was a shrewd businessman and surrounded himself with the right people throughout the various stages of the ski centre’s transformation. He was a visionary, and his acquisition of neighbouring lots allowed him to double the number of runs. In fact, several runs at the new Le Relais bear the names of some of its builders.

Under his leadership, the ski lodge tripled in size, becoming a modern and welcoming building. For 30 years, Mr. Beaulieu has never skimped on investments and equipment maintenance: the lifts, the cutting-edge equipment for producing artificial snow, the lighting system for night skiing and the slope grooming machinery are a testament to this. For him, customers and employees satisfaction has always come first.

Over the years, Le Relais has continued to live up to its reputation as one of the top family ski centres. Then, Laurier Beaulieu passed his entrepreneurial passion on to a third generation. His son, David Beaulieu, now manages Entreprises P.E.B., and his daughter, Sophie Beaulieu, ensures his vision lives on by putting service quality and employee care first.

Le Relais has been a mainstay for winter sports enthusiasts for over 50 years, offering downhill skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country trails. The ski area has cultivated a reputation for its friendly atmosphere, family-oriented environment, and scenic views of the Laurentian Mountains.

However, the new ownership group, a Montreal-based investment firm with limited experience in the ski resort industry, has remained tight-lipped about its plans for Le Relais. This lack of transparency has fueled speculation and concern among the local community.

"We've been coming here for years," said Sarah Dupont, a resident of Mont Saint-Sauveur, in an interview with CBC News. "We love the small-town feel of Le Relais. We're worried that the new owners might turn it into a big, impersonal resort."

Adding to the anxieties, the new ownership group has yet to confirm the fate of the current staff or announce plans for the upcoming ski season. Employees are in limbo, unsure of their job security, while skiers are left wondering if lift tickets will become more expensive or if the character of the resort will be altered.

"We understand the concerns of the community," said a spokesperson for the new ownership group in a brief statement. "We are currently conducting a comprehensive review of the property and will share our development plans in due course."

Some residents remain cautiously optimistic. They hope that the new ownership will invest in modernizing the facilities at Le Relais while preserving its unique charm.

"Le Relais has so much potential," said Michel Tremblay, who owns a ski shop in Mont Saint-Sauveur. "With the right investments, it could become a year-round destination, attracting tourists and boosting the local economy."

Only time will tell what the future holds for Le Relais. The coming months will be crucial as the new ownership group unveils its vision for the ski area. One thing remains certain: the fate of Le Relais is a topic of much discussion and debate within the Mont Saint-Sauveur community.

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