Stefano Artioli (62) at the Artisa Group headquarters. The Ticino native has handed over the presidency of the group in Manno TI to his son Alain. He remains vice president.
They are spectacular slow sellers. The Grand Hotel in Locarno TI is closed for over 16 years. The once historic noble hostel has degenerated into the Lost Place. At the San Bernardino Pass, the ski facilities are at a standstill. One hotel after another is closing. The southern Graubünden town of San Bernardino is disappearing from the map of popular Swiss winter sports destinations.
Funders are desperately sought. Interested parties but jump off again and again. Too expensive, too complicated, too daring. But since 2021 everything is different. Stefano Artioli (62) first buys the Grand Hotel, then half of San Bernardino. His vision inspires. And the money flows as if from the magical cornucopia.
Because the Ticino company does not pay a symbolic franc, as is often the case with bankrupt properties. He accepts the full price – and wants to pump in a multiple. At the Grand Hotel it is 80 million francs, in San Bernardino up to 300 million francs.
Made the first big money with retirement homes
Who is Stefano Artioli and what drives him to take such risks? In an open conversation with Blick, the new real estate king talks about his life. “My father had a steel construction company. I got into the business very early. So I learned to be a metal worker». Stefano Artioli wants to make money. “I recognized that early on,” he says. And he has visions.
At 40, Artioli enters the real estate business. He buys the business from his father and acquires two additional companies. Liability is based on private assets. This is how the Artisa Group is born. Artioli builds luxurious retirement homes and rents them out to Tertianum AG. The first big success. His microliving concept has made him famous: the City-Pop-Apartments, modern mini-apartments managed via smartphone. Over 1000 have already been built in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic.
Artisa Group has 135 employees and eight offices across Europe. Today it owns real estate worth CHF 535 million and around 42,000 square meters of commercial and administrative space. Sales are CHF 275 million and equity is CHF 170 million. The new Grand Hotel and San Bernardino projects will be financed from the so-called “Family Office”, i.e. from the family’s assets. “They’re just fun for me,” says Stefano Artioli. The courage to take risks is part of the business, “if you only see problems from the start, you are blocked”. However, he is not a gambler.
No turbulence in private life
His visions are well thought out. “I learned the business on the street, and now I’m familiar with all areas,” continues Stefano Artioli. He learned a lot from his father. “You have to be the first to work and the last to leave. My father helped out on the construction site and maintained direct contact with his employees,” says today’s real estate king. “I’ve learned to use the right people.” And, as the Ticino entrepreneur emphasizes, “I’ve always been lucky.”
In his private life, the self-made man does not allow himself any turbulence. He has been married for 37 years and has one son. “Straightforwardness in private life is also part of a businessman’s recipe for success,” says Stefano Artioli. And his son continues the empire. Alain Artioli (36) is already President of the Artisa Group. Stefano Artioli remains Vice President. He now has more time for his hobbies: good food, fast cars and lost places.