SnowWorld Expands

SnowWorld is taking overs more indoor snow centres in the Netherlands and Germany

SnowWorld, which already runs two major indoor snow centres in the Netherlands (and has plans for more in France, Italy and Spain) has announced it is taking over the operations of another Dutch centre: SnowPlanet in Amsterdam, as well as Alpenpark Neuss in Düsseldorf, Germany. The company says this move means SnowWorld will become the European market leader in the world of indoor winter resorts.

These acquisitions follow a complete refinancing of SnowWorld, which has provided the company with what it describes as: “an extensive acquisition line.”

Within the negotiation process, SnowWorld reached an agreement with the shareholders of the indoor ski park SnowPlanet Amsterdam to buy 100% of the business. They will take a 25% stake in the Alpenpark Neuss in Germany; but SnowWorld also has the right to extend this collaboration to a majority participation in the medium-term.

CEO of SnowWorld, Wim Hubrechtsen said:

“We want to put the SnowWorld brand in an even stronger market position as the absolute benchmark for the complete, qualitative, customer-oriented winter sports-fun experience. After the complete integration of all acquired sites within the SnowWorld concept, we will be aiming for as many as 2 million visitors, an increase of 80% compared to the current number of SnowWorld visitors.”

In May 2018, 83% of SnowWorld was acquired by the Public Limited Company Alychlo – a family investment firm owned by Belgian entrepreneur Marc Coucke.

SnowWorld Landgraaf (pictured above) is currently the largest indoor snow centre in Europe

Hubrechtsen went on to say:

“In the first months of the new financial year* SnowWorld already achieved significant growth in comparison with last year. On top of that, we are now expanding our range. Thanks to these acquisitions, we have jumped from 2 to 4 sites.

“SnowWorld Landgraaf was already Europe’s largest indoor ski resort. SnowWorld Zoetermeer was chosen as the best ski-hall of 2018 and, now, in one swoop, we will be adding two locations with a wide geographical reach. SnowPlanet is appealing due to its location close to Amsterdam. And the stake in Alpenpark Neuss provides us with access to the vital German market. It is by far the benchmark hall in the region, offering the best experience.”

According to the company, SnowWorld wants to use this expansion to continue providing the experience of indoor snow for families with children. Obviously, indoor skiing on fresh, high-quality snow remains a key factor, but SnowWorld wants every visitor to be able to enjoy a completely authentic ‘ski resort vibe’. The Alpenpark site in Neuss will serve as a launch platform into Germany for this model.

Reflecting on this ‘family experience’ and ‘ski resort vibe’, CEO Hubrechtsen said:

“This increase in scale benefits everybody. With our partners, we’re able to seal more relevant deals and create one large winter-sports community for our visitors. They can travel from site to site, just as they would travel from slope to slope in the mountains. Each site will have its own specific character, but at the same time it has to offer the typical SnowWorld quality and experience.

“People should be immersed in a typical winter experience from the moment they reach the car park, because they’ll easily be visiting us for at least half a day. So we want to give them a pleasant holiday atmosphere.”

In terms of plans for increasing visitor intake, the CEO said:

“At the moment SnowWorld is still working on a masterplan with substantial investment in terms of organisation and infrastructure. Technical adjustments, catering services, preparation and routing of the various sites, online marketing, incentives for businesses and group activities, digitisation, e-ticketing …. We are striving for the harmonisation of all SnowWorld sites.

“Over the coming months we will continue to phase and budget further and develop new ideas. Indoor ski halls are becoming ever more relevant. Due to climate change, the snow line in the natural ski areas keeps rising, and therefore our ski slopes offer an alternative experience.”

Currently, SnowWorld welcomes around 500,000 skiers a year to its slopes. Taking into account all other customers, the two ski villages are visited by over 1.2 million people. When the new centres are in full swing, SnowWorld will aim for a good 750,000 winter-sports fans and close to 2 million customers. In total, around 300 people will be employed in the group, which will possibly increase to 500 employees further down the line.

Over the coming years, the group will look at further acquisitions, expansion and the development of additional activities, a SnowWorld statement says.


*Running from October to late September the following year