Tycoon’s ‘hytte’ proves costly

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Kjell Inge Røkke, the Norwegian industrialist who ranks as one of Norway’s wealthiest men, doesn’t seem to have made much money on the lavish holiday home he built in the mountains of Oppdal 10 years ago. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reports that it has instead cost him millions.

Kjell Inge Røkke has a costly retreat in Oppdal. PHOTO: Views and News

DN wrote this week that lighting, heating and staff at the palatial property has cost NOK 13.7 million (about USD 2.3 million) so far, according to accounts for the company Røkke set up to handle the so-called hytte (holiday cottage), Våningshuset AS.

Last year Våningshuset reported a loss, because property values fell as well.

The property, which covers 2,400 square meters, has 15 fireplaces, 20 showers and 22 toilets, so requires a fair amount of maintenance. 

Røkke, who went from being a fisherman to controlling one of Norway’s largest companies, Aker, has rarely spoken publicly about his retreat. He disclosed in a book written about the history of the area, though, that he initially launched the project when he wanted to build a hytte for his parents.

He favoured the ski resort of Hafjell, but they were keen on Oppdal, not far from the family’s original home in Molde. 

The warm welcome Røkke and his family received in Oppdal prompted him to build a complex for not only his parents but his own family and his siblings. He said he spends the equivalent of 20 weeks a year at the family retreat.

Views and News staff