Florida Trend
Get FREE Business News Updates


October 9, 2015

Florida Resorts

Joining the Club

Club Med has a new, upscale strategy in St. Lucie County

Mike Vogel | 6/13/2012
Club Med Sandpiper Bay
The 307-room Club Med Sandpiper Bay is the company’s flagship premium-sports resort.

Club Med, the iconic French brand known to a certain generation as the low-budget place for young couples coupling, has found vindication for its new upscale strategy in St. Lucie County, the out-of-the-way site of its only U.S. resort.

Club Méditerranée retreated from the U.S. after the post-Sept. 11 downturn in tourism and disappointing results companywide but is rebounding with its new strategy. The 80-resort company turned a $6.3 million profit last year.

Club Med Sandpiper Bay, which at 292 employees is one of St. Lucie’s larger private employers, was the second to the last of Club Med’s resorts in the hemisphere to be upgraded as the company targets affluent families. Club Med spent $28 million over two years making Sandpiper a flagship in its premium-sports resort segment. Among other amenities, it hosts golf, fitness and tennis academies with tennis led by Gabriel Jaramillo, who has trained a load of No. 1 players, including Andre Agassi.

Xavier Mufraggi
Xavier Mufraggi
Revenue per available room — the standard industry measure — went up 3.8% last year after the renovation, says Xavier Mufraggi, CEO of Miami-based Club Med North America.

Revenue growth “was much more than we were expecting,” he says. Particularly gratifying for Mufraggi was that industry experts have for years advised Club Med to give up on Florida because it’s not an all-inclusive resort market.

Nearly two-thirds of Sandpiper customers now are families, up from a third in 2003. Kid clubs are offered along with lessons in several sports. The new look, which harkens to both South Beach style and Florida nature, is meant to be “the right example of what Florida is all about,” Mufraggi says.

Tags: Southeast

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Size, scope and offerings of one of Florida's largest hospitals
Size, scope and offerings of one of Florida's largest hospitals

James Burkhart, president & CEO of Tampa General Hospital details the medical center's size and service area, expresses the hospital's commitment to dispersed access care and expounds on the expanding use of electronic medical records.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

About the proposed open-carry gun law: Are you in favor of allowing Floridians with concealed-handgun permits to openly display their weapons?

  • No
  • Yes

See Results

Ballot Box