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Job profile! Cirque Du Soleil Founder: The Man Who Bought a Mountain

A man buys a mountain, installs a luxury train, and builds a modern luxury eco hotel out of the ground. And invested 150.000 million Canadian dollars in the process.

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From street artist to billionaire

In the case, the man is Cirque-du-Soleil co-founder Daniel Gauthier. And while his business partner Guy Laliberté is flying into space as a space tourist, Gauthier has just bought a mountain called Le Massif. When I first heard about the story, I spontaneously thought: I have to go there.

And exactly in the region from which the two come: Charlevoix. In 1983, Laliberté received $ 1,5 million from the provincial government to organize a street show in several cities for the 450th anniversary of Quebec. The Cirque Du Soleil, now worth billions, was born. It seems as if the two of them had the big picture in mind even then.

The big picture in view

Today, Gauthier has said goodbye to Cirque Du Soleil and is just going back to his Mamut project: he reactivated the already existing train line from Quebec City to Baie-Saint-Paul or La Malbaie and built old train carriages from the 30ers into luxurious companions with technical equipment refined interior trim around.

In the next few years he wants to transform the area between Le Massif and Baie-Saint-Paul into a four-season resort: new hotels, spas, renovated ski slopes and outdoor activities - but all as green as possible. Accordingly, he also wants his Hotel la ferme, in English “the farm”, to be understood as a replica of the farm that originally stood at this point: It consists of the main house and four pavilions, each of which is assigned a different farm theme: There is one Mill, a sheepfold, a chicken yard, a barn - and even a herb garden in the inner courtyard.

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As green as possible

All buildings are operated with geothermal energy. The solar cells, which, as can be read in the star, were originally planned, have been omitted in the final version. "We have decided to only rely on geothermal energy," says the press office of Gauthiers Le Massif Group.

I found the generally prevailing, hyped mood a little annoying: It seemed as if the employees were supposed to present not only the hotel, but also a message sell. It remains to be hoped that both will subside a little over time.

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Exchange with the inhabitants

In general, the term get-together in the la ferme is to be taken literally: the hotel is not a demarcated building reserved for the guests, but also a meeting place for the inhabitants of Baie-Saint-Paul.

Including them and creating a place for exchange was part of the process from the start Concept ABC School Joke Oud besides, it was practically a condition for construction. The buildings of the hotel are therefore laid out around an inner courtyard, which on Sundays mutates into a small marketplace for local products and a concert stage.

Richard Lambert, who works at Laiterie Charlevoix in Baie-Saint-Paul, remembers how the two started over 30 years ago: “They were street artists who wanted to entertain people. But nobody took them seriously, people just laughed at the crazy ideas. Today they have to prove them wrong. "

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How much has been invested?

Charlevoix was previously a very touristy region, by the way one of the oldest tourism regions in North America, predestined with its location only an hour's drive from Quebec City for the summer visitors from the capital. But with this investment, it is hoped that the region will become more important on the international market.

In general, the investment: Gauthier invested $ 150.000 of his money, and another 60.000, it is said, came from the Quebec region. However, the exact investment amount is not quite clear: No further details were given when asked. Somebody on site told me that the entire project has now far exceeded the original $ 200.000 and has reached 300.000 - and that further payments are now being negotiated with the region.

the farm

Criticism of the project

The size is also what is disturbing so many on the spot - only admit it would really not want anyone, because most also profit financially somehow from the project. The one complain that it is now over with the rest and the region is now too much change.

The others speak contemptuously of a hotel "for rich people" that has nothing to do with the people here. And quite practically, some restaurant owners are annoyed that the hotel poached all the good employees when it opened. But the success seems to prove Gauthier right: The hotel is fully booked well into next year.

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One answer to “job description! Cirque Du Soleil Founder: The Man Who Bought a Mountain ”

  1. Joesph M. says:

    Cirque de Soleil is probably very big crap and for the employees just lethal. Incidentally bad page, bad menu, bad spelling and this dull popup. That's it, you've lost me as a reader.

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