The Beachclub will live its last summer

After 30 years of existence, including almost a decade under the leadership of entrepreneur Olivier Primeau, the popular Pointe-Calumet Beachclub will begin its last summer in May.


“Beachclub is dead!” Long live the Beachclub! », says the 38-year-old entrepreneur. “We are going to come back with a concept that has never been seen in Quebec or Canada. In business, there is nothing more profitable than retiring or renewing yourself at the top. We are working on the plans. »

Olivier Primeau receives The Press in Laval, in the headquarters of the Midway Group company, described above all as a “marketing agency”, with its squad of influencers, its brand new talk show set and its productions exclusively dedicated to social networks.

The group notably markets ready-to-drink drinks Beach Day Every Day (BDED), manufactured by Labatt, and until very recently produced the Metro Metro and Fuego Fuego festivals, sold to evenko last January.

With the announced end of Beachclub, “the largest outdoor club in North America” ​​which has seen David Guetta, Tiësto and Martin Garrix, Olivier Primeau almost completely takes off his promoter’s hat. Only the Escapade festival in Ottawa will remain in its fold, in partnership with Live Nation.

PHOTO MATHIEU WADDELL, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Festival-goers at the Beachclub

In the last year, Oliver Primeau has also withdrawn almost all his marbles in the restaurant business, including the Slice Gang Pizza franchise, whose Sainte-Thérèse establishment was targeted by two fire attempts in May 2023. A few days earlier , the entrepreneur’s condo, in Laval, had been riddled with bullets.

He still does not know who ordered these attacks. “There’s so much excitement in Quebec,” he said. I’m a public figure, but it’s not just me. We hear about fires and gunshots in restaurants every day. (…) Was the message passed and someone else responded to it? I don’t know and I don’t think I will. It’s better like that. I focus on the positive. »

A professional card

By focusing on marketing and retail, the businessman says he wants to give himself peace of mind. The world of events, by definition, exposes us to “negative sides”, he says. In Pointe-Calumet, the media will have in turn pointed out the presence of organized crime, complaints from neighbors, problems with the Régie des alcools, late payments to suppliers, a dispute with the Deux-Montagnes police and even unpaid taxes.

“We have the spotlight on the rest of us, that’s correct, that’s part of the game », comments Olivier Primeau.

The Beachclub, yes, it’s a club, but it’s also a mini-festival every weekend. There are negatives at all festivals. I always lived with it and always answered the questions. But was there any misinformation, let’s say with the tax thing? 100%.

Oliver Primeau

The entrepreneur claims to have never made “a cent” with the Beachclub, which he quickly considered as a professional card. “I lost millions there. Except that on the other hand, BDED cans were created thanks to that, we were able to have big artists at our festivals, launch Escapade, catering, events. It exploded. It will have been a loss leader (leader product) for the rest of us. »

The adventure, however, promises to be profitable thanks to the increase in the value of the land on the Lac des Sables peninsula, “bought cheaply in 2015”. “I really thought about selling it, but as a scholar once said, the good Lord is never going to create land again. I often say that I don’t do real estate, but my biggest move is there. »

Olivier Primeau explains that he declined purchase offers. For the moment, he prefers to remain the owner of the site, which he intends to operate differently. The discussion included an adults-only establishment, catering, real estate development and a metaphorical “highway sign” to promote its ready-to-drink beverages.

The project, which requires a zoning change, is expected to be announced next fall. “It took me six months to convince my partners (of the Beachclub). We will have to reinvest another 2, 3, 4 million. »

In the meantime, the hyperactive entrepreneur views Beachclub’s final chapter with the proverbial feeling of mission accomplished.

PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Hundreds of retirees aged 70 and over during a gathering at the Beachclub in Pointe-Calumet, in 2018

“The image that people had of Beachclub, and that many still have, is the big douchebag. At the same time, we also host the initiation of McGill doctors. My favorite activity is inviting people who have never been to Beachclub and who have reviews. They arrive and see that no one is looking at anyone, that everyone is having fun and that there is everything. It has become a multi-genre outdoor performance venue: hip-hop, Latin, electro. We really expanded the brand. »

The first DJ to use the decks in 2024, who will be announced this Tuesday, promises prestige and nostalgia.

His three key moments

Opening day, May 17, 2015

“The day before, I was selling oranges at my father’s IGA. And there, there are 6000-7000 people at the Beachclub. I saw a club like in Miami, with big DJs like Tiesto. I saw the clientele and I said to myself: oh my god, I have work to do to attract young people. This is not at all what I had in mind. It really struck me. »

Kylie Jenner’s 18th birthday, August 16, 2015

PHOTO MATHIEU WADDELL, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Kylie Jenner at the Beachclub in Pointe-Calumet for her 18the birthday

“Not because it’s her, but because the whole world is showing up: all the TMZ, the paparazzi through the fences. The world was fading. We had a whole star system arriving, it was crazy. That’s what put us on the map. »

Tiësto’s “bachelor”, August 5, 2019

“Guys like Tiësto and David Guetta have been doing this for over 30 years, they make millions, they are superstars. Tiësto, who came five or six times, had his bachelor party at our house. He flew all his friends on jets. Not in Vegas, not in Ibiza, not in Mykonos, not in Dubai. At home, at the Beachclub. »

Olivier Primeau on…

Threats from organized crime

PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

Another Molotov cocktail at Olivier Primeau’s pizzeria, Slice Gang

In May 2023, Olivier Primeau’s condo was the target of gunfire and his Slice Gang pizzeria in Sainte-Thérèse – he is no longer a co-owner – was targeted by an attempted fire on two occasions. “It was very difficult: friends, family, colleagues. I became paranoid. I was hidden for two or three weeks. My mother called me crying. (…) It’s rough, the restoration. It made me realize that it was so much work for such a small return. I love the restaurant business, but with the price tag, I wanted to put my energy elsewhere. » Who could have blamed him? “Is it me, is it a partner?” Is it the fact that it’s a pizzeria? I have no idea and I have lots of ideas. Will I ever find out? I do not think so. It seems like people don’t believe me when I say this, but in the restaurant business, I had a lot of partners, I worked with a lot of people, and I was a bit of the mascot of it all. The investigation is ongoing. »

Marketing of drinking water

PHOTO GETTY IMAGES

In 2022, Olivier Primeau and a partner invested 3 million in the public company Dominion Water Reserves, now Prime Drink Group, which holds 7 of the 42 groundwater capture permits in Quebec. These rights, unexploited for the moment, could result in the commercialization of more than 3 billion liters per year, or more than a third of the drinking water under license in the province. “I had plenty of options for buying an empty shell. I said to myself: “As long as I buy a mining company that has gone bankrupt, I will pay a little more, but I will never lose money on water.” It makes no sense why I could have bought this. As a population, in Quebec, we decided that state corporations controlled the biggest companies. Water, one day, will either be sold to the highest bidder or nationalized. I don’t understand why the government doesn’t understand that tomorrow morning, my public company can be bought and all that water will no longer belong to Quebecers. »

Its public “shell” and the purchase of a factory

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

Olivier Primeau

For its first major acquisition, Prime Drink Group has set its sights on Triani Canada and its Terrebonne factory. “It’s not very exciting when I say I bought a factory, but I finally got into a listed business. People see what you do and judge you directly. Each announcement has a direct impact on the value of the company. In one day, you make 10 million and in the other, you lose 12.” The Terrebonne establishment is part of a “vertical integration” project and must notably accommodate BDED spirits and energy drinks, while that the contract with the Labatt factory for malt drinks runs until 2026. “In Quebec, we are in 4,500 points of sale for approximately 30 million business. In the United States, we will enter 20,000 points of sale. It’s crazy business. It’s getting too big. I’m a year or two away from having to sell. Is it my public company that will buy it or a big brewer? ” To be continued…


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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