After leaving the Royal Canadian Air Forces, Michel Doyon goes back to his former job at the Petit Séminaire de Québec. Some time after that, he is promoted to the secretarial office of the Faculty of Science then situated on the boulevard de l'Entente, in the St. Sacrement parish. It is then that he learns about the courses for veterans that are paid by the Federal Government. He lives with his family at 2, Bourlamaque street, in the Notre-Dame-du-Chemin parish. He rides a bicycle to work, taking the chemin Sainte-Foy. It is a very busy street, one of the main ways to get downtown, a little like boulevard Laurier is today. Michel Doyon quickly notices how fast the area is being developed with new buildings rising all along chemin St. Foy.
One of his former colleagues at the Séminaire, J-Adrien Boivin, has made himself a place in the building industry. He is the one who built Lévis Tardif at the corner of Adolphe-Routhier, and later, Jacques Gagnon at the corner of Louis-Fréchette.
Michel Doyon notices that there are many tourists at Lévis Tardif. Once houses are put up on chemin Sainte-Foy, between Sir Adolphe-Routhier and Ernest-Gagnon, and seeing that these houses are for sale, he tells abbott Adolphe Doyon at the Séminaire de Québec about his idea and the abbott lends him $3,000.
He pays $15 000 for the 725 (1215), and gives the money he borrowed as a cash-down. As soon as he is set up, he quickly notices that he must absolutely buy the 735 (1223) too if he doesn't want to be caught between two neighbors who surely won't like the activities which will be going on in his new acquisition. This time, he manages to borrow the 6 000 $ he needs as a cash-down from the authorities at the Séminaire de Québec, thanks to his brother Jean-Luc. They are equal owners of this new property. Jean-Luc will hand his share over to Michel on March 13, 1972, copy registered in Quebec on March 15, 1972 (n. 714 131). The brothers promise to pay back the loans granted by the abbey Doyon and from the Séminaire de Québec . No mortgage, no garantee other than their word.
Michel Doyon does not have a lot of money set aside. He must now furnish his two houses and get them ready as soon as possible. One of them, the 725, is ready in early July of 1947; the other, one month later. All the furniture is bought on credit at Légaré's. Simone Coderre, his wife, makes the curtains and takes care of the decoration. Hiring people to help is too expensive. He therefore goes to his father, his brothers and sisters for help and convinces them to move from St-Benoît. He also asks his brother Jean-Luc and his friend François Marier for help.
For financial help, he goes to the Household Finance Company, to Moïse Darabaner, to the Provincial Bank, to the National Bank, etc. Soon a second mortgage, then a third; first on one house, then on the other. Simone Coderre leaves her job as a secretary at Laval University to dedicate all her time and energy to improve the business. Michel Doyon keeps his job to ensure a stable income since tourism is only seasonal in the "Vieille Capitale".
Indeed, the tourist season ranges from mid-June to mid-September. So, in order to keep some money coming in all year-round, rooms are rented out to students from mid-September to mid-June. Therefore, during the summertime the income is higher.
The summertime profits are systematically reinvested into the family business; the income generated by the students and by the "Librairie Philosophique Michel Doyon" with which his wife helps out a lot, allows the business to stay in shape during fall, spring and winter. The income generated by Michel Doyon's job as a secretary at the Séminaire de Québec, helps in making sure his wife ans seven children have everything they need. Because of the seasonal nature of the owners' income and because of their philosophy, which consists in reinvesting profits, the Motel evolves in the midst of chronic cash-flow problems. By looking closely at the principal projects which were accomplished throughout the years, we can grasp the scope of these problems a little better.
During the first 10 years of the auberge's existence, the competition is scarce and comes from the nearby houses that rent rooms and competes with the auberge to attract tourists. Simone's Haven is, by far, the auberge's biggest competitor. Tourist information agents send tourists to Simone's Haven, then, by 1956, to the Motel Doyon. When all the rooms are taken, tourists were taken to other auberges from whom the Motel Doyon collects a commission on the room and on the city tour that is sold.
As the tourism industry evolves, the Provincial and Municipal Governments establish their own information booths and highways are built. It gets more and more difficult, not to say impossible, to successfully exploit tourist information booths. The Motel therefore gets the kids that are old enough to pass out promotional pamphlets in strategic places : the Lévis ferry, government tourist information booths, traffic lights on boulevard Laurier.
As years go by, many new auberges appear, as much on route 2 as near the Pont de Québec and on boulevard Laurier. Passing out publicity pamphlets emphasizing the Motel's low prices is enough to attract tourists to the Motel Doyon; the cleanliness of the rooms and the warm greeting contribute to keep them.
The market aimed at during the fall, winter and spring also explains some changes. Student scholarships and loans, as well as easier accessibility to student work pushes away more and more the kind of clientele that is ready to sign a lease for the mid-September to mid-June period. Gradually, the Motel goes from "school-year rentals" to "monthly rentals". It gets more and more difficult to get people to sign a short term, non-renewable lease.
Therefore, in June of 1973, Michel Doyon has to leave his job at operating the Séminaire de Québec to work full-time at exploiting the business. The new rental conditions attract a new clientele: the working class. With time, he reserves units for daily rentals that generate close to 40% of the income without any need for solicitation nor promotion.
Auberge Michel Doyon
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