CLUB MED EXITS
Looking west up the St. Lucie River
at sunset, the Club Med complex
created an exotic and romantic
backdrop for visitors.
European company offers a new vision
for a longtime resort and development
BY ANTHONY WESTBURY
After almost 40 years in the city, Club Med Sandpiper
Bay is leaving Port St. Lucie. The 200-acre resort and
golf course on the St. Lucie River has offered laidback
vacation experiences since the company bought
the property from the original developer of Port St. Lucie,
General Development Corp., in 1986.
The complex has long boasted superior sports and leisure
amenities that include a marina, golf course, tennis courts,
and soccer and other field sports areas. These assets are seen
as vital to its mission by new owner Altitude International
Holdings Inc. The company operates sports and academic
academies all over the world and offers training facilities for
both youth and adult athletes seeking to excel in their sports.
Altitude actually has occupied part of the Port St. Lucie property
for the last 15 years.
Altitude’s plans for the complex are fluid for the moment.
Beyond informing the public that the property sold for $55
million and that the real estate changed hands as of the end
of July, details have been sparse. Altitude CEO Greg Breunich
issued a statement that the company intends to continue
operating both as a resort and a sports academy.
Breunich said he would like to retain as many of the 225
Club Med employees as possible, but has released no details
about numbers employed. He said the company plans a
two-year renovation program at the 335-room complex, but
intends to honor existing guest reservations after Sept. 6.
What is not clear is how the company will market the
property. No new name has been announced and it’s unclear
how keeping visitors flowing into the property aside from
sports-related clients will be achieved without the clout of
the Club Med branding.
Yet the company’s sports training programs will continue
uninterrupted, according to the Altitude website. The programs
are not for the light of wallet. For example, a youth
athlete attending both sports and academic classes in the
fall-winter semester can expect to pay $87,105 for full room,
meals and instruction. Rates in the spring and summer are
considerably cheaper at $22,366 for the full board option and
private school rate.
Summer and holiday camps run at $2,256 per person per
week full board. There are also classes available for active
adults. These range in cost from $125 for a two-hour session. >>
10 Port St. Lucie Magazine
ST. LUCIE COUNTY OFFICE OF TOURISM