18 May Hooper: Live Like A Rockstar
EDMONTON SUN – Having grown up in Alberta, I’ve met some tough guys in my life. In fact, this great province was built by tough guys (and women). People who dream big and put their back into it.
I think back to when my father was active in the Alberta oil patch, at various points in his career selling heavy equipment, industrial camps, pipeline coating, safety supplies, and such.
Back in the day, more deals were written on cocktail napkins than in corporate boardrooms. And most of the guys doing the deals, many of whom would go on to become not just multi-millionaires, but industry icons, didn’t slow down long enough to worry themselves about such things as MBA’s.
And risk? Hell, that was nothing to fret over. If you got knocked down, you simply got up and dusted yourself off, then came out swinging a little bit harder.
Guys like that are a dying breed. But they haven’t all died.
Take my buddy Alex Lambert , who at age 44 has started a new company called The Garage Sale Luxury Auction House.
Alex and his brother Dave grew up in Drayton Valley, the sons of an iron-fisted oil-patcher named Ralph. Now Ralph was old school, and in 1979 gave his boys a simple option, go to university or get to work.
They opted for the latter, and borrowed $100,000 off the old man at 14% interest to buy their first half dozen oilfield storage tanks.
The rest, as they say, is history. When the boys finally sold their company in 2010, Alex might have taken his BIG pile of chips and sailed off into the sunset. But such is not the way of an Alberta boy with knackers as big as beach balls.
Rather, he made a bee-line for the sunny Okanagan, where he is working on his next dream, that being to sell high-end ultra-luxury homes. But that’s been done before you say? Not the way Alex is doing it.
He believes there’s a better way to move an expensive home than just listing it with a realtor and waiting. And waiting. And waiting…
“The fastest, most efficient way to establish true market value and bring a buyer and seller together is by unreserved auction with no minimum bid,” said Lambert when I met with him last week at Nautica Vista , a breathtakingly unbelievable lakeside mansion he just built in Kelowna.
The 6500 sq. ft. 5 bedroom, 5 1/2 bath residence has been built to the construction standards of a luxury hotel, and probably features more amenities, including a yoga studio with its own healthy choice kitchen, a 5,000 sq. ft. outdoor kitchen featuring an il forno pizza oven and Argentine grill (quick, somebody find me a goat!), Zen garden, and a 1200-bottle wine cave that has actually been augured into the cliff behind the home (at present, it’s stocked with $200,000 worth of vino!).
And of course there’s all the stuff you’d expect, like a jaw-dropping view, an infinity pool, a mind-blowing home theatre, commercial kitchen, etc.
I’ve seen many a luxury property in my time, but never anything like this. It’s worth taking a look at the website. Check out luxuryauctionhouse.com if you’d like to see how rockstars live. Or maybe the odd NHL hockey player or team owner.
On June 25th this house goes on the auction block completely unreserved with NO minimum. Wow. That means that whatever it sells for is what it sells for, despite being valued somewhere north of $6 million!
“You mean to say if it only brings a million bucks you’ll let it go?” I ask Lambert.
“I’ll take my chances,” he replies with a calculated grin and a gleam in his eye.
Like I said, big as beach balls!
I’ll be there to emcee the event, as well as sell a few incredible charity auction items for the local hospital.
This promises to be one of the most interesting and exciting auction events of the year, and I can’t wait.