Elf Aquitaine SA, known simply as Elf, is France’s largest oil company and one of the world’s top ten petrochemical companies. Its more than 800 subsidiaries include hydrocarbon, chemical, and health care interests. At its core, Elf is a fully integrated oil and gas company, The discovery of gas at nearby Saint-Marcet in the summer of 1939 was made by a small exploration syndicate set up with public funding earlier in the decade to prospect for oil and gas in the region. Is uunsure when expansion of the site but the site by 1970 was already taking its current form.
The site as it was before expansion in 1960
After Expansion in 1970, Source Geoportail
In 1989, ELF Aquitaine installed a huge complex for the training of its executives in Boussens. Its design was then entrusted to internationally renowned architects including Pierre Lafitte. Realised in a few months, the appraisals were unanimous: “A superb architecture, beautifully integrated into the site”. The following year more expansion was made in the accommodation area.
Map of the Site in 1993, Source Geoportal
1993 – The management of the site Elf Aquitaine de Boussens (Haute-Garonne) would have, according to the staff, sponsored a study for the closure of the establishment. Boussens, a few kilometers from Saint-Gaudens, is the birthplace of the National society: it is quite nearby, in Saint-Marcet, that the first deposits of Elf Aquitaine was discovered in 1939. The decision to close the site should be formalized on February 5. Almost all of the 500 employees would be reassigned to Pau and Lacq, the two other Elf settlements in the southwest. Only the Central information Bank (the group’s archives), the “Bostock Core Library” (collection of geological samples) and the international training Centre would be on site, representing a total of 50 jobs.
1997 – We were not able to comply with our 1994 agreement. Today we have to stop the damage. “Michel Charles, the director of the site of Elf Aquitaine in Boussens, does not hide that the unit of the Haute-Garonne is condemned today: at the end of 1998, there will remain only a few dozen employees, those of the” Bostock Core Library “, the Archives and the centre of Training. Already, compared to the forecasts of the agreement signed two years ago, the number of employees is expected to rise to 140 by the end of the year, instead of the planned 200. “Management denounced the agreement at the beginning of the year,” says the CGT representative, Daniel Daude. The complete transfer of the site to Pau will be a reality before the end of next year. »
In 1993, the group had announced its decision to transfer the bulk of Boussens’s activity to Pau and Lacq, the project was finally cancelled by the Prime Minister Pierre Bérégovoy . An agreement had been signed, providing for the maintenance on the site of the France’s exploration activity, responsible for the follow-up of deposits found, about 200 people at the end of 1998. Boussens, who had employed 1,000 people just ten years earlier, had hoped to recover.
The disappearance of 250 jobs “Unfortunately our French deposits have proved disappointing,” explains Michel Charles. We went out with a production price of 40 dollars a barrel, while the market price was 1.6 dollar. Our budget plunged, from 200 to 20 million francs for next year, or just enough to liquidate the exploration activity. »
As a result, the discussions to be held at the beginning of next year no longer need to be, and the Directorate negotiates voluntary departures, age measures and financial conditions for the transfer of employees to Pau, Lacq and other ELF sites in France. As for the staff representatives, they have just sent an open letter to local officials emphasizing that the end of Boussens will result in the destruction of 250 jobs in the south of Comminges, a region already “heavily affected”, according to them. The union representatives put forward the destructive effects of the closure of this historic site, once the cradle of Elf Aquitaine.
It’s change from Scientific Centre to Hotel and Conference Complex..
In 1996, this magnificent complex was now looking for a buyer. Several solutions have been studied at the local, departmental and regional levels. One has, among other things, a time to install Airbus pilots and their training. It was only more recently, in March 2000, that the sale to the Actor company took shape. Since then, Bernard Cayzac and his team have embarked on administrative procedures, work on the development and implementation of a real policy to ensure that the place becomes a hotel and restaurant area open to all called Le Tolosan.
The company Actor and its managing director Bernard Cayzac, a buyer of the Cisfab (International Centre of Seminary and Training André-Bouillot) in Boussens, have just inaugurated a brand new hotel complex. It is undoubtedly one of the largest, if not the largest, of an entire area from Aquitaine to Languedoc.
It generates about thirty jobs while, out of the twenty or so subcontracting companies, fifteen are located on commingeoises communes close to each other.
Set on five wooded hectares, this unique complex in Midi-Pyrénées has a hotel capacity of one hundred and seven rooms and a total of one hundred and forty beds for the accommodation part. On the restoration side, a room of one hundred and eighty covered seat spaces and its gourmet restaurant are placed under the grand chef, Jacky Delalande, who is also a director of the complex. Trained at Pic in Valencia, then at Lenôtre, he is Michelin-starred (a first star obtained at the age of 26).
This new complex is expected to generate a significant interest for both companies and individuals, whether they are regional, national or foreign, in the Comminges area, a few steps away from the regional metropolis. The advantages are numerous especially since the 7,500 m2 of total reception area of the complex offer meeting rooms, seminars, an auditorium, a fitness centre, a squash room, a golf practice (three holes), etc. while nearby Caving, rafting, hiking, canoeing, casino… can be offered in turnkey activities.
The barely finished inauguration, Bernard Cayzac announced already the future installation of a swimming pool or the development of a high-level 4×4 training circuit. Meanwhile, Le Tolosan, “the complex that simplifies your life”, as its direction announces, will receive its first customers from Wednesday, January 2, 2002, it’s official opening day.
Noted in 2001 from their website, source webarchive
“This hotel complex, seminars and conferences, has the most sophisticated facilities. Its 22 meeting rooms thought to adapt to your needs, are modular, fully equipped, they can easily pass from simple workspace to the computer lab, providing at your disposal a network N.T. and 40 stations Multimedia with Internet access, Intranet. An exceptional structure complemented by a large auditorium of 120 places. 107 rooms, a gastronomic restaurant that seats 200 people and a dream location between Toulouse, the Pyrenees and Spain are all assets that make the rarity and charm of this site.
A contemporary architectural ensemble of 7500 square meters placed in a green setting of several hectares that allow to practice all the sports (golf 3 holes, gym, sauna, health course, climbing wall, squash, mountain bike…) , to imagine all the activities (Night Challenge, Bivouac, Theme night, adventure games, caving, hiking in 4×4, canyoning…) or to realize your dreams (balloons, casino evenings…).”
Noted in 2008 from their website, source webarchive
Le Tolosan is a unique concept in the area that gathers all on the same complex, hotel, restaurant, conference space and leisure centre.
Hotel Complex, of six pavilions, located in the heart of a green park brings you calm and comfort. 107 rooms equipped in a simple and comfortable way : shower, toilet, colour television (with foreign channels), telephone and radio alarm clock. The warmth of their colours evokes the friendliness of the region. From your private terrace, contemplate the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains.
The reception is at your service to help you in your steps: reservations of planes or taxis, sending of faxes, photocopies, laundry or any other information ensuring you a pleasant stay. Parking for 100 cars. In the Tolosan restaurant, enjoy your meals in a spacious and air-conditioned room in warm colours, offering panoramic views of the Pyrenees. Our chef will make you discover a gastronomy that varies according to the seasons. Organization of family meals (wedding, Baptism,…) All our meeting rooms are air-conditioned, they benefit from daylight, from blackouts. They are equipped with 2 whiteboards, a projection screen, a retro-projector and two paper-boards, and are all connected by a computer network allowing to connect up to 40 micro-computers into the Intranet and Internet network
The Tolosan is set on a green setting of several hectares which allow to practice many leisure sports: Golf practice, health center, petanque and volleyball courts, climbing wall, A.T.V. The Sports Centre also offers a wide range of indoor activities: Gym, sauna, squash, ping-pong, billiards, board games.
With a team of experienced and attentive professionals, your activities are varied: Olympics, Theme night, adventure games, caving, 4WD, canyoning, rafting, hot air balloons…
Let’s not forget your evenings. A dance party at our bar, a wine tasting, a Casino evening, a dinner-show or cabaret”
Advert of 2010/2011
Noted as having in 2011
“The hotel complex Le Tolosan, 45 minutes from Toulouse, in the heart of a 6-hectare park, halfway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
102 rooms. Single room from €49; Double room from €59; Triple room from €65. Full board: €65. Half board: €55. Breakfast: €6.50. Catering (150 people). 1 Auditorium (Amphitheatre). Wifi available in the areas.
Bedrooms with private terraces are found in a green setting et into the front of the Pyrenees Mountains, Restaurant and terrace, Bar, Heated outdoor Pool, Gym, Spa, Squash Room, Ping Pong Room, Billiard Room, Conference Rooms
12 bright, air-conditioned conferance rooms.
They can be arranged in U, in a circle, in grid.
1 Amphitheatre with a capacity of 120 seats.
1 exhibition hall or multi-purpose room of 130 m².”
A Mystery Buyer
May 2010 – Hotel Le Tolosan – 2 Etoiles – was bought by a Israeli investor, born in Morocco in Rabat, Michael. The man is known to have been campaign director of the Chief Rabbi of France, having bought in December 2008 the newspaper “Jewish Tribune” and being the right arm of Elie Ishay leader of the party Sephardic Shas, former minister.
Michael has invested, according to information, thirteen establishments in the region such as the Hotel du Lac in Samatan, the Hotel de la Tour in Saint-Lizier, or the flora in Angoulême, others in Ronchamp, Chateauroux, Saint-Girons, Bayonne, Montauban etc. Many of these institutions are now closed. Closer to us, Michael is the head of the Auberge Audressein in the Ariège and the hotel the Olympic in Luchon. The requests for maintenance with M made at this establishment were not followed by any effect.
Faced with a situation that worsened several people alerted the investor who was accustomed to reply: “Don’t mind the cash, let me do it.” Always according to our sources, the investor invested a lot of money in marketing and commercial instead of putting the establishments like the Tolosan
For his part, Philippe Joré regrets the closure of the site: “It makes trouble.” It’s a wonderful work tool. But it is going to need some work to revive it..
Finally in 2011, Le Tolosan goes into liquidation. 15 people lose their jobs finally putting closure on the Tolosan Dream.
During 2014, the municipality acquired a part of the former administrative site of ELF, or 7000 m² of floorspace. In this structure it was believed that ERDF Technical Services for the south of the Department and the CONTINENTAL company would open office spaces at the site but at present it only appears that Airsofter’s enjoy the seemingly abandoned complex, Only afew years before the site was still in good condition, it’s tables laid out waiting for customers, now after numerous fire’s and vandal damage, will it ever recover.