The Casino de Charlevoix is one of three gaming houses operated jointly by one of Loto-Québec’s subsidiaries (Société des casinos du Québec). The other two facilities are the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau and Casino de Montréal.
While the consortium owns the hotel, Loto-Québec owns the casino building and the gaming equipment, and runs the day-to-day operations. The slot machines, like those at Loto-Québec’s other casinos, are certified by the Ministry of Public Security’s laboratory of forensic sciences and forensic pathology before being put into service.
Loto-Québec says it is leading the way in implementing effective initiatives to combat excessive gaming. During fiscal year 2004-05, it allocated more than $26 million toward preventive measures.
Outdoor activities abound at this resort. In winter, guests can enjoy a sleigh ride in the charming nearby town of La Malbaie, or ride through the forests on dogsled or snowmobile on one of the many trails. In summer, they can hike along the river bank, or go sea kayaking, whale watching or white-water rafting in the Parc des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie, a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
For golf enthusiasts, the resort completed construction in 2004 of 27 new and challenging holes on dramatically different elevations. Little wonder that a few years ago, the Fairmont Le Manoir Richielieu’s golf club was designated “Golf Resort of the Year” by Canada’s Golf Ranking magazine.
Since the region has long been known for its rich produce, it’s only natural that this be showcased in the restaurants.
The resort’s three restaurants offer a wide selection: regional gourmet cuisine at Le Charlevoix (60 seats), where diners can enjoy their meal in a unique setting featuring period furniture and original artwork, while taking in a panoramic view.
For casual fare, there’s the Bistro Le Bellerive (200 seats) and the Saint-Laurent (also 200 seats), a buffet that offers choice grill, fresh fish and salads.
The hotel features musical duets in the lobby bar in summer and on weekends in the winter.
“La Timonerie Bar, which seats 100, is known for its great live blues, jazz and pop music. Bands and singers from all over Quebec entertain audiences here on weekends,” said the casino’s Patrice Lavoie.
Since opening in 1994, Casino de Charlevoix has become a serious economic engine for the region. The annual revenue for the casino was $47.6 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006. With 400 employees and a $17 million payroll, the casino spends $5 million a year on purchases of products and services and draws 1.2 million visitors, who generate an estimated $40 million in tourism benefits.
By Lisa Kopochinski