Grey Rocks ski resort was Quebec’s first ski hill and was once the ski capital of the Laurentian Mountains. Gray Rocks was founded in 1905 by George Wheeler, an American from New Hampshire who arrived in the region in 1894 as a lumberjack.
Gray Rocks was a tiny mountain with only a few hundred vertical feet of intermediate terrain. Yet for decades, it was a favorite in ski school surveys. Grey Rocks made a name for itself thanks to its ski centre, its hotel establishment, and its famous Snow Eagle ski school.
The Gray Rocks hotel remained in the family for over three generations. George Wheeler’s granddaughter Lucille won the first Canadian Olympic medal in alpine skiing (bronze) in 1956 at Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. Funny fact, Montreal almost obtained the 1956 Winter Game as it came second to Italy. It was at Gray Rocks that Lucille Weeler used her first skis.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Gray Rocks was known as the dean of the Laurentian resorts. Many American families came for golf, tennis and swimming in the summer, and ski packages in the winter. Even if Philip Robinson, one of the former owners, was aware that the hotel needed renovations, the final uppercut came from New York. In the late 1980s, he had already lost over a million dollars and a half annually with the ski center. Gray Rocks ski resort and hotel closed its doors in 2009 after more than a century of operation.
70% of the Gray Rocks main building was destroyed by a suspicious fire on the evening of 25 November 2014. Flames erupted from the former inn around 9 p.m., forcing several fire departments in the area to rush to the site to put out the blaze. Only the two golf courses, LaBelle and LaBete remained in operation from May to October stayed open.