Le Massif de Charlevoix on the St. Lawrence River east of Quebec City is particularly pleased with its Massif Express gondola, says Isabelle Vallee, but there lots more in the works for this season.

Vallee said the eight-passenger gondola is the centerpiece of a $16 million makeover, and will speed the ride from base to summit to 10 minutes, starting in December.

[R211R, Le Massif] also is happy with its new Donald Bouchard Beginner Area, two trails with low-gradient vertical drop on 8 acres, served by two lifts, a magic carpet and a platter lift.

"The area is designed to smooth out the experience for small and tall people trying a slide sport for the first time," Vallee said.

Another piece of summer work that will make skiing and riding easier at Le Massif, Vallee said, is work on the main road in Petite-Riviere-Saint-Francois by the Quebec Highway Department to improve skier and rider access to the base of the mountain.

As part of this project, 8,125 truckloads of fill were removed from the road and used to widen and regrade trails at the base of Le Massif.

Le Massif de Charlevoix is a four-season tourism and recreation development representing a $230 million investment. Beyond Le Massif Ski Area, the territory spans from Baie-Saint-Paul to Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, in the Charlevoix. Among other features, the offer includes a touring train and rail shuttle, diversified lodgings of which a 150-room hotel, and a multifunctional venue. The site is destined to become a genuine experiential laboratory focused on tourism.

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