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Sunday, June 23, 2024

New ski jump needs to earn money

Oslo’s newly rebuilt Holmenkollen Ski Jump shattered all budget estimates and now is costing much more money to operate and maintain than the old one did. That means the ski association in charge needs to start renting it out on a regular basis, in the hopes of generating needed income.

Those in charge of running Oslo's new ski jump and sports complex at Holmenkollen need to drum up more income from the site, also in the off-season. PHOTO: Views and News

Skiforeningen, the ski association that has responsibility for Holmenkollen’s operations, has already been offering the ski jump’s new observation platform as a venue for parties and commercial events. Now it needs to also sell Holmenkollen as a location for anything from concerts to corporate kick-off events to private sports competition.

“Everything is possible,” Skiforeningen boss Bente Lier told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Tuesday. “The only thing we don’t want to have are motorized sporting events.”

Not only did construction of the new Holmenkollen complex cost a whopping NOK 1.8 billion (around USD 300 million), roughly four times its initial budget estimate, the ski jump and its surrounding arenas and smaller jumps are costing three times what the old complex cost to operate. The City of Oslo, which formally owns the facility, is paying for most of the NOK 23 million in annual operating costs, but Skiforeningen needs to come up with around NOK 5 million.

Experts think that’s a realistic amount that could be generated from the commercialization of Holmenkollen. They envision various events they hope can spark more life and income potential from the sprawling sports complex year-round, not just during the winter.

Even the old Holmenkollen was used for summer concerts and other events. The new ski jump recently was used to launch a new car model for Hyundai, by hoisting a car up to the top of its tower. More of that sort of promotional activity is likely, and Skiforeningen is working with an events planning firm called Gyro to drum up business.

The timing is less than ideal, given the turmoil in financial markets and more caution on the part of business, also in affluent Norway. “But there’s always something companies just have to do,” Petter Sandberg of Gyro told DN. “They have a need to build up company culture, or engage in marketing, also in bad times. Think what effect it can have to gather folks at Holmenkollen at a private arrangement in the middle of the night! Even if they only get a sausage, it’s an experience that would be completely unique.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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