Le Massif de Charlevoix took a huge step toward the future on New Year's Day when resort officials christened the new gondola that will whisk skiers and riders from base to summit.

The new gondola is a major amenity that represents the first four-season element in Groupe Le Massif's $230M tourism and recreation project, which resort operators believe will become the premier, year-round tourist destination in that part of Quebec.

Skiers and riders watched a ribbon-cutting, then were invited to board the gondola that conveys eight passengers per cabin to the summit on a full-comfort, 10-minute ride. Offering new loading options at the base and mid-mountain, the gondola is also poised to minimize wait times at peak hours.

Le Massif offers the highest vertical in Canada east of the Canadian Rockies, at 770 meters. The area has 401 acres of skiable terrain, including 99 acres of off-piste slopes, and 52 trails and glades that lead from summit to the St. Lawrence River.

The $230 million expansion also will include a touring train and rail shuttle, diversified lodging, and a 150-room hotel and multifunctional venue at The Farm in Baie St. James, which lies at the base of the mountain.

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