Club Med The Original All Inclusive Resort Evolves From Socialist Tent Camp To Total All Inclusive




Club Med evolves from socialist tent camp to sex haven to total all inclusive. Founded in the 1950's by Gerald Blitz as a not for profit organization, Club Med’s history is a fascinating story highlighting the evolution of how we vacation. It‘s first village was located on an island off Spain, with pit toilets, family style meals, surplus army tents lots of activities and staff members known, as they still are, as G.O.s for “gracious organizers.” There was no distinction between G.O’s and the guests known as G.M.s for “gracious members.”

The French magazine Paris Match said “in these villages, money is superfluous. We live in a perfectly socialist economy. This is a natural state that everyone can aspire to.”

In the 60's, Club Med dropped its not for profit status and went public. It expanded throughout the world. Club Med operated 34 resorts by 1970. In the midst of the sexual revolution Club Med evening entertainment featured matchmaking games for the G.M's. As tastes changed from hedonism to fitness so did Club Med’s focus.

All-inclusive vacations really caught on among singles during the '70s and helped make Club Med the world's dominant resort in the category. That's when the competition started. In Jamaica in the late '70s, executives founded the chain that would evolve into Super Clubs. They began by targeting Club Med's weaknesses, according to a 1980 case study by former Babson College professor Rudolph Winston Jr. Some guests found Club Med's rooms too spartan. The price didn't include liquor. Some found activities too regimented and the mealtimes inflexible; the combined effect made it feel a bit like summer camp. So the new resorts offered better rooms, included drinks, and gave guests more flexibility. Some of the first all-inclusives also prospered by targeting couples, who wanted to avoid the meat-market feel that some Club Meds had taken on. Soon other all-inclusives were sprouting around the Caribbean. The chain that became Sandals launched in 1981.

Club Med has undergone a radical make over in the past decade or so. No longer is it known as a playpen for the singles crowd. Today, two-thirds of Club Med's business comes from families. Club Med has at least 10 family clubs spanning the globe, and more than 40 of Club Med's 120 villages offer some facilities for children.

To improve quality, Club Med has spent $350 million renovating 70 of its resorts. It's adjusting its pricing scheme, offering a one-price option that includes unlimited drinks. Much of the renovation has been centered on facilities geared toward American visitors. Today's Club Med features excellent food, smaller than others rooms, but much improved from where Club Med started, and activities that fit the bill for any age or interest. Pricing is a little more than others, but still rate good value with our clients.

Club Med Sandpiper Port Saint Lucie Florida



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