Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

The Village Vacances Valcartier recreational tourism complex, flagship of the Quebec region, as well as Calypso Park in Ottawa, were sold to US interests for the sum of 179 million dollars, it was learned. The newspaper.

The family business, established in the region in 1963, was acquired in a sale that took place this Thursday.

The mega-transaction includes the entire Calypso-Valcartier group: the Village Vacances Valcartier (VVV) water park and winter games center, the Bora Parc, the Valcartier Hotel, the Campground, the Ice Hotel, as well as the Calypso Park in Ottawa, the largest aquatic complex in Canada.


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

Management stays in place

The employees of the Village Vacances Valcartier complex are informed on Thursday morning. From the start, the new owners ensured that Quebec management would remain in place, including Sylvain Lauzon as president and COO.

They speak of a “new era of unforgettable experiences”.

They also insisted that all jobs will be safe. The VVV employs about 650 people.

Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

SCREENSHOT, VAT NEWS

Two companies whose headquarters are located in the United States are part of the transaction.

Listen to Simon Brière’s interview with Vincent Dessureault on QUB Radio:

It is the investment fund EPR Properties, a company listed on the stock exchange (NYSE: EPR), which buys the company and entrusts its management to Premier Parks. Headquartered in Kansas City, EPR specializes in entertainment and has movie theaters, ski resorts, amusement parks, amusement centers, casinos, hotels, luxury accommodations, and even a museum.


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

Oklahoma City-based Premier Parks has made its mark in theme park management. Several of its board members have already worked at Six Flags, which owns La Ronde, in Montreal, including CEO Kieran Burke. Premier Parks currently operates 13 amusement or water parks in North America, but during its 35-year history, it has been involved in managing 75 such venues. This will be his first foray into Quebec.

“Quebec is a very special market whose specificity we know. We are committed to honoring the legacy of the Drouin family, not changing the essence of what was built here and embraced by so many in eastern Canada,” said Mr. Burke.

Mr. Lauzon says he is happy to join the experience group. “There is simply no other group in our industry that combines more experience in the design, construction, and operation of tourist attractions.”

keep calling

The buyers do not intend to change the vocation of the site, but to make it grow, and that weighed in the balance when the Drouin family decided, according to information from the Trunk. The Drouin brothers, owners of the company, will start personal projects.

The VVV was founded in 1963 by the family’s patriarch, Adrien Drouin. The site was initially a very popular center for sliding. Under the aegis of his son, Guy Drouin, the VVV has grown to become the largest complex of its kind in Eastern Canada.


Guy Drouin in 2012

Archive photo, RENÉ BAILLARGEON

Guy Drouin died in 2016, at the age of 69. After his death, his three sons, Mathieu, Simon, and Jérôme, took over the business.

At the time of his death, Guy Drouin was considering early retirement but had turned down purchase offers in the past. He had died as a result of a “flash” cancer, a few days before the inauguration of Bora Parc, his great dream.

1963

Foundation of a small winter sliding center by Adrien Drouin, on his land in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, called Les glissades du Village. Later it will become the Sports Village.

1971

A succession of the company by the son of the founder, Guy Drouin.

Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

FILE PHOTO, BENOIT GARIEPY

1980

Start of summer activities with the roller skating rink, the artificial lake, and some water slides. The expansion will continue every year thereafter.


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

FILE PHOTO, SERGE LAPOINTE

1987

Everest inauguration


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

FILE PHOTO, DANIEL MALLARD

1989

Inauguration of the wave pool

Guy Drouin in front of the wave pool in 1998

FILE PHOTO, LEOPOLD ROUSSEAU

Guy Drouin in front of the wave pool in 1998

1993

Inauguration of the Amazon


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

Photographic archives, Benoit Gariépy

1994

The great expansion of the winter games center with the addition of the Avalanche sector and Snow Rafting.

Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

1998

Opening of camping and rafting on the Jacques-Cartier River. The Village des Sports becomes the Village Vacances Valcartier.


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

FILE PHOTO, CAMIL LESIEUR

2010

Opening of Calypso Park in Ottawa

Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

2016

Death of Guy Drouin and succession of his three children.


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

2016

Inauguration of the 4-star hotel, the Bora Parc indoor water park, and the first seasonal opening of the Hôtel de Glace. Village Vacances Valcartier becomes the largest resort of its kind in Eastern Canada.


Village Vacances Valcartier passes into American hands

2022

Purchase of Groupe Calypso-Valcartier by EPR and Premier Parks

EPR properties

  • Real estate investment trust based in Kansas City, USA.
  • 6.4 billion in investments
  • Present in 355 locations in the United States and Canada
  • Specialized in the leisure, entertainment, and experiential market

premier parks

  • Entertainment Facility Manager, Based in Oklahoma City, USA
  • $200 million in annual revenue
  • 5 million annual visits to its facilities
  • It currently operates 13 parks and attractions, including Hawaii, Santa Monica, Orlando, Nashville, Virginia Beach, and Toronto (Wet ‘n’ Wild).
  • The company is specialized in the management, but also the revitalization of “mature” parks, in otorease their profits.

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