A preliminary agreement on major future investments in Himos was signed on 12 May 2015 between Lemminkäinen Talo Oy, Holiday Club Resorts Oy and HimosLomat. The preliminary agreement starts the preparations of the construction of a spa, hotel and holiday accommodations in the area between the Himos Arena and Himos Center.
The phase one investment is approximately €30 million and, by its completion, the entire project will amount to over €50 million. The €8 million spa investment requires a €1 million financing portion from the City of Jämsä and a subordinated loan of €1.5 million to the spa company. In addition, the development work in Himos requires infrastructure improvements on Säyryläntie, public utility services and the construction of two public car parks (LPA) by the city.
“After this preliminary agreement, the progress of the project will depend on the decisions of the City of Jämsä. The city has been informed of the obligations, which we consider very moderate. We await the city’s decision on the matter,” says Project Development Manager Janne Salonen of Lemminkäinen Talo Oy.
The project will have a large impact in Jämsä
The construction will directly and indirectly employ over 100 people for a few years. The project will directly create 50–60 man-years of permanent new jobs, and at least the same amount of indirect employment. The hiring of the spa hotel staff will generate approximately €250,000 in annual tax revenue for the city. Once the project is complete, the city will receive an estimated hundreds of thousands of euros per year in property tax revenue. The water rates at the resort are higher than in the built-up area. Once the spa, hotel and the associated holiday homes are complete, the water rate income to the Himos-Infra, which is owned by the city, is estimated to be slightly under half a million euros per year.
Holiday Club wants the spa that will be built in Himos to be a versatile and high-quality recreational spa with a surface area of approximately 3,000 m2. The spa hotel would have approximately 120 rooms. In addition, approximately 200 holiday homes would be built near the spa hotel in several stages.
“Himos will grow to be one of Finland’s most significant recreational resorts, thanks to its location and versatility. Holiday Club has experience with the impact of building a spa and other recreational activities on the attractiveness of the entire resort. For this reason, we believe that the project will launch several other investments and business growth in Himos. They will generate additional income for the City of Jämsä and create new jobs,” says Director Tapio Anttila of Holiday Club Resorts Oy.
He states that the company intends to come to an agreement with the City of Jämsä on offering residents of the municipality affordable weekday access to the new spa outside the high season.
Project to increase the attractiveness of Himos
Many operators, Lemminkäinen included, feel that Himos is a growing and developing recreational centre thanks to its existing attractions: central location, well-maintained ski slopes, year-round events, significant investments made in Himos Park and a full golf course – these are some of the strengths of Himos. The reputation of Himos as a year-round leisure centre has increased year by year.
“In recent years, we have invested over €7 million in the year-round services in Himos. The spa and its services will further increase the attractiveness of Himos. The spa will have an excellent location, with the Himos Arena, the events of Himos Park, golf course and the services of the School conference centre all at walking distance,” says Chairman of the Board Hannu Haljala of HimosLomat, which owns the site of the spa project.
Background of the development work
Lemminkäinen’s investment project in Himos started in late autumn 2012, when the company contacted the City of Jämsä. Over two and a half years, Lemminkäinen has reassessed the preconditions and commercial value of the construction in Himos. Early on, Lemminkäinen gave up the plan of building the spa on a plot owned by the City of Jämsä, which was previously planned for the spa near the slopes. As a result of the negotiations, Lemminkäinen moved the spa, hotel and holiday home construction to the area between the Arena and Himos Center.
In the 2012–2013 winter season, a joint customer satisfaction survey was conducted by entrepreneurs in Himos. The survey respondents reported spending, on average, €164 per family on the services of businesses in the centre of Jämsä on each visit. A similar survey conducted in 2010–2011 reported the spending of €184 on services per visit.
Last summer, Himos Festival Oy studied the customer behaviour of festival visitors, including the use of services in Jämsä centre. The spending of the respondents in the centre of Jämsä was split: Two-thirds of the respondents spent less than €100, and a bit more than one-tenth spent over €200.
The Himos region totals an average 200,000 overnight stays per year. The number of day visitors to the recreational centre is also significant, and the services offered are used on the slopes, at Himos Arena party nights and other locations and events of the service providers. There are higher accommodation numbers in winter than in the summer.
The ongoing port and port town project on the shore of Lake Päijänne will also make it possible for guests to come to Himos by boat in the future.
Video: Himos area
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: Holiday Club Resorts Oy
Holiday Club Resorts Oy
Director Tapio Anttila
tel. +358 40 732 3067