Gerhard Lucian wears many hats: He is a hotelier, a hunter, cheese-maker, waiter, golfer; in short, a jack-of-all-trades. Of course all this comes with an amount of responsibility that would make it rather stressful for most of us. But Lucian, with his unwavering positivity towards life, has a very relaxed approach. For him, all the work is his return service for “being blessed with living in paradise.”
My family is my priority. If your family life works out, everything is in balance.
The hotel business is a service industry. It’s important not to forget that.
You have to meet people at eye level. And everything takes time - success comes with experience.
Humility. I started playing 5 years ago. It’s fun even if I don’t manage to hit the ball right. The best thing about golfing is that you can play with friends who would be ranked much higher in a competition.
We take a little break while Gerhard Lucian continues to stir the milk and explains that it is very high in proteins thanks to the great life the cows live up here. He shows us a list with all their names on it: Taube, Zelda, Trudi, Maria, Tanja, Nina, Doris, Theresa, Zenzi.
It’s just a part of my life. I have this big hunting lease and often invite friends and colleagues.
We live in paradise up here but of course you also have to work for that. I have travelled many parts of this earth but there is just no place like home. Gratefulness is a big part of my motivation.
Open your eyes, open your ears. There’s just nothing more important. And talk to people!
I am more of a practical person; I watch how others do something and usually, with a little bit of common sense, I can do it too. Before I became a hotelier I trained to become a chef. I didn’t like school so much. But at 25 I did a diploma study course for the hotel industry. My final thesis was about the tunnel system we now have here in Lech Zürs. I had first-hand knowledge of the matter because my father had initiated the project. In 1997, we could finally realise it. I like that the things you do not see here are the ones of most value. No more traffic, no noise. This also plays an important role in our guests’ happiness and sense of wellbeing here in Lech Zürs.
Before the tunnel system was built, all supplies and the guests’ luggage going to Oberlech were transported by over-snow vehicles. As a more environmentally friendly solution that also reduced traffic on the village’s roads, a 550 metre tunnel was built to the hotels and private homes up in Oberlech. Gerhard Lucian still stirs the milk. Behind him on the door there is an instruction sheet for making cheese.
I am a doer. Discussing stuff all the time leads nowhere.
This afternoon when I go to play golf. That’s time I take for myself without the urge to be productive. We’re being productive right now.
I get up at 6 AM. I work up here until the early afternoon. Then I go back to the hotel to my wife, have some coffee and take a one-hour nap. I read my e-mails, delete three quarters of them and answer the rest.
I go through the issues at hand with my son who runs the finances in our business. Then I drive to the central heating plant where I am the manager and check if everything is in order.
I return to the hotel for dinner service. I welcome our guests. Dinner. On most days, a neighbour or friend stops by for a glass of wine and we sit until midnight. That’s why I really try to fit in my afternoon nap.
Another little break. Gerhard Lucian now stirs the milk in the opposite direction to stop it. Since milk is so easily perishable you have to treat it with care, he says. Then he brings a glass of homemade yoghurt for tasting. “You like it?” he asks in his comforting, pleasantly calm voice.
You have to be happy with what you have. I often go to my hunting lodge, have a cigar and a beer and hope that nothing huntable passes by so I can just sit there and do nothing...
Passing on a family business
It was harder for my parents because they literally built up this business from scratch. It’s easier for me to pass it on to my son. I received a thriving business and run it according to the standards of our time. And then it’s his turn. One of the most important things, I think, is to show your children how to enjoy the beautiful aspects of the work you do.
Text: Sandra Pfeifer
Photos: David Payr // friendship.is
April 5, 2017