The blues motels [PHOTOS]

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

The cases are very difficult for Jie Xu, who manages the motel Le Luxembourg, boulevard Hamel.

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May 23, 2020 4: 00

Updated 9h19

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The blues motels [PHOTOS]

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

Normand Provencher

The Sun

They can be found on the grands boulevards, in the outskirts of cities. The family getaway and the itinerant workers have made it their place of choice to spend a night at an affordable price. Couples, formal or informal, in search of discretion to attend on the occasion.

The motels, these establishments born of the american culture and the democratization of the automobile in the years 60 and 70, are being hit hard by the COVID-19, but nurture the hope of a recovery summer saving. The condition of the premises.

Jie Xu, owner of The Motel le Luxembourg, on the boulevard Hamel in L’ancienne-Lorette, has not the heart to laugh the last two months. Business is almost at a standstill. Its turnover has dropped from 75% to 80% since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Look in the parking lot. How do you see cars?” Not much. “One is me, another is the maid, and the other is a client. I have some clients who do not have a car or who are parties at work.”

Mask glued to the face, Jie Xu — “you can call me Jesus, it is easier to say…” — explains that it is primarily the workers who help keep the head out of the water in these difficult times. “I also have people who have bought a condo, but cannot move in because the work is not finished.”

Arrived in Quebec, there are a dozen years, “Jesus” works like a devil in holy water to meet its financial obligations. He has chosen not to close during the health crisis. “I can’t. I bought the motel a year ago. I have big payments to make. Most of my employees are at home. Either I work 18 hours a day, seven days a week, as I do, or I farm and it is the bankruptcy.”

The young owner has against the municipal taxes that are a burden. “I’ve had an increase of 28 % this year. It is amazing. The value of the land has not changed, but the building, yes. We don’t make any big renovations, then logically, it should decrease. The City does what it wants…”, lance-t-he, vexed. For the moment, only the federal loan of$ 40,000 can put a little balm on his financial situation.

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

Sun, Yan Doublet

The father of two children, cutting short the conversation, to talk in his native language with a compatriot, who came to give a helping hand. “It is a friend, we are like brothers. He is co-owner of the [motel] Monte-Cristo, a little further away. It is worse than here. It has removed the service 24 hours. It closes at 21h.”

“Jesus,” pianote on his computer keyboard.

“On Booking.com at the same date last year, there were 400 establishments in Quebec city. There, it is 56. Thirty has been added since march.” Then, he laid on the desk a binder containing all the cancellations of the last few months. A stack of one hundred sheets.

“It is very disheartening, it really is very difficult. I try to stay optimistic. It will eventually get better, but at what level, I don’t know.”

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

Johanne Daoust, new owner of the Motel, Knight, on boulevard Sainte-Anne, is confident that the business will resume this summer, with vacationers from quebec who will take their vacation in the province.

The Sun, Patrice Laroche

Exterior doors

At the other end of the city, on boulevard Sainte-Anne, near the river, the inflow is not at the rendez-vous non plus. “I maintain my expenses, I pass through. I make all my payments, thanks to the construction workers outside who have rented 7 or 8 rooms,” says Johanne Daoust, new owner of the Motel, a Knight from the April 15 only.

“I also have clients who have to undergo treatments at the hospital, people who are experiencing divorces because of the COVID. They come here in the meantime to find an apartment. It is not easy to find one currently.”

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

The Sun, Patrice Laroche

The architecture of its institution, like that of all the motels, with the absence of corridors that allow customers to avoid crossing, and rooms with doors leading to the outside, turns out to be a criterion reassuring for the passengers frightened by the sars coronavirus.

“Me, I’m positive. People who want to take a vacation this summer, will stay in Quebec, then they are going to maybe rent motels that have exterior doors. I hope that you will encourage us. All the rooms are well cleaned,” adds Ms. Daoust, who had to install planters around the swimming pool these days. “I’ll have to inform me on the rules of estrangement.”

Cross the parking lot, while she pushes a cart filled with the necessary Purell, cleaning products and towels, Chantal Dufour’s just back from clean a room. “I still have the hands in Bleach…” says the lady with the smile.

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

Sylvie Ouellet and her husband Eric Maheux, owner of the Motel Olympic boulevard Sainte-Anne, in the Beauport sector.

The Sun, Patrice Laroche

Disinfection max

A stone’s throw away, at the Motel Olympic, Sylvie Ouellet takes the air with his little four year-old son, Leo, who is walking around in a scooter in the entrance. The lady has her cell phone in hand to not miss a call from a client. “It sounds not much. If there’s something, that calls to cancel…”

“It’s been a good three years that I was rolling from morning to evening, from early June until the end of September, but here, we just take a fall.” She and her husband, Eric Maheux, are the owners of the motel for 32 years.

Closed for a few weeks, the establishment has reopened in the same time as the return of the workers on the construction sites of commercial buildings. During the passage of the Sun, only seven guest rooms on the 24 available were occupied.

“It disinfects at the max. It even gives workers their stock of towels for the week. It will fit practically non-existent in the rooms to avoid contamination, as much for us as for the customers.”

A hairdresser by trade, Sylvie Ouellet is looking forward to “go ” Legault” to reopen her salon on the boulevard Louis-XIV, in the Beauport sector. This will be the 1st of June, she learned the next day of the interview. “It must be that it moves at a given time”, but there also are many uncertainties.

“We have four hairdressers, so I don’t expect that we go all together. Work with a mask for 12 hours, I don’t think it is feasible. It will be necessary to separate the days into two and work in the evening. I also want to avoid having too many clients at the same time. We will not be able to make everyone happy.

It’s going to be something, the bass management…”

As to the motel.

Le blues des motels [PHOTOS]

The Sun, Patrice Laroche

Le Soleil

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