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A Mont-Tremblant Hotel Tradition Returns to the Mountains
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Copyright 2006 Paul Altobelli The history of Chateau Beauvallon is closely intertwined with the story and development of Mont-Tremblant. Both owe thanks to an adventurous Philadelphian named Joseph Bondurant Ryan, whose great vision, determination and love of the region left an indelible imprint on Tremblant and helped fundamentally shape its destiny. Born at the turn of the century, Joe Ryan was the grandson of Thomas Fortune Ryan, one of America's wealthiest railway tycoons. Along with his fortune, the younger Ryan inherited his grandfather's ambition. Ryan also possessed a love of exploration, wilderness and travelling. In 1938, Ryan visited Mont-Tremblant for the first time, and after an arduous, unaided climb to the highest peak, fell in love with the mountain. From that point on, his life's goal would be to make the mountain accessible to others, and to transform the region into a world-class alpine village. In 1939, Ryan married Mary Rutherford, and Mont-Tremblant was officially inaugurated.
By the end of the year, Time magazine noted the Laurentians were a popular destination for American skiers, and Mont-Tremblant was the newest fashionable meeting place. Joe and Mary Ryan opened the original Chateau Beauvallon in 1942. Initially meant to be a clubhouse for a golf course that was never built, the Chateau nevertheless became an important landmark in the Mont-Tremblant region. In 1949, the Ryans sold Chateau Beauvallon to Harry and Isabelle Stokes, who would run the inn for the next 11 years. Throughout the 1950s, Chateau Beauvallon became the destination for parties. It was known as the best late-night watering hole in the region, where friends came together to relax. Guests poured their own drinks, wrote their own bills and enjoyed great food and live jazz sessions. Chateau Beauvallon changed hands throughout the 1960s, but found more permanent proprietors in 1976.
Alex and Judy Riddell renovated the property and operated it as a country inn, one that slept up to 30 people. Actor Paul Newman was a guest during the 1980s, and Alex Riddell took him skiing for a day. In 1998, the Riddells sold Chateau Beauvallon to RHK Developments, who closed the aging inn. In 2003, the empty building was sold to Groupe Avantage, and plans were laid to resurrect the concept of the Chateau. Today, Chateau Beauvallon has undergone a complete renaissance. The brand new, 70-suite resort hotel evokes the charm and spirit of the original inn, while offering more a luxurious space and modern amenities. The perfect melange of past and present, Chateau Beauvallon remains a destination where family and friends can come together. .
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