6 minute read
Like a phoenix, Murdochville rises from its ashes. After being on the edge of the abyss, this former mining town, located in the heart of the Gaspé Peninsula, is enjoying a new lease of life. The reason? The great outdoors.
« When people think of the Gaspé Peninsula, they think of beaches, rivers and mountains. In Murdochville, we’re right in the middle of it all. »
Guillaume Molaison has been CEO of Chic-Chac, a company specialized in 4-season adventure tourism, for more than a decade. Originally from the region, Guillaume has always been a great sports and outdoor enthusiast. A semi-professional hockey player, he returned to the Gaspé Peninsula in the early 2000s after a brief stint in Saguenay.
After studying as an adventure guide at the Cégep de Gaspé, Guillaume headed for Murdochville, an hour’s drive from the Gaspé “capital”. Accompanied by his girlfriend, Éloïse Bourdon, the young man wanted to work in tourism, but opportunities were scarce.
« I realized that we could start a project without capital in Murdochville, he explains. But when we first went there, it wasn’t to set up a project, it was to have an inexpensive place to live between Gaspésie National Park and Mount Miller. »
While setting foot in Murdochville, Guillaume and his wife realized that the tourism potential was not at all exploited. The locals had experienced the industrial downfall following the closure of the mine and they expected the economy to be revived in the same way.
« Recreotourism was considered utopian and insufficient to revive a town like Murdochville, says the entrepreneur. Some even wanted to prevent the restructuring of the town, because they preferred to close the town to receive compensation rather than attempt projects that would be difficult to support. That’s when I realized that our mission was perhaps more important than our personal happiness. »