On Wednesday 5 March 2014 TMR closed a deal to purchase 97% of shares in Szczyrkowski Ośrodek Narciarski (SON) – a ski resort in Polish Szczyrk. By entering the Polish market TMR moved to another stage of its growth in mountain resorts operation.
“With the purchase of Szczyrk we become a Central European company with key mountain resorts in Slovakia in the Tatras, in the Czech Republic in Špindlerův Mlýn, as well as in Poland in Szczyrk; and we believe in their mutual synergy. We are certain that long-term experiences in mountain business, combined with climate and accommodation capacity in Szczyrk, financial strength and professional management of TMR are the right choice for Poland with its 2.3 million skiers. The Polish represent a significant portion of visitors in our resorts; a lot of them have learnt to ski in the Tatras, and they hold our mountains for their own. We believe in Szczyrk’s success”, Bohuš Hlavatý, CEO and Chairman of TMR’s Board of Directors, commented on the acquisition.
The goal of this acquisition is development and modernization of the resort through capital investments and utilization of its potential. In Szczyrk TMR plans to build several new cableways, snowmaking systems and to develop other infrastructure, for SON to get to the level of the most developed ski resorts in Poland. In the medium-term horizon TMR plans to invest EUR 30 million in the resort.
“In Szczyrk we would like to repeat our successful investment strategy, which meant a new era for the Tatras in transportation and modernization of the resorts. Thanks to massive investments and our experiences we are so flexible and resilient that despite such an unfavorable winter as the one during this season, we are able to provide full operation of our resorts and offer high-quality skiing conditions, which have been praised even by champions of the just finished Alpine World Junior Championships in Jasná. We want to put our experiences to use in a resort that would be able to host major sports events in the future and mainly that would provide wide Polish public with skiing at a higher level than the local standard”, Dušan Slavkovský, Director of Mountain Resorts and a member of TMR’s Board of Directors, commented on the acquisition.
Szczyrk is a resort with a long history and tradition in skiing. Today there are 25 km of high-quality ski trails and there are 60 km of ski trails in the whole region. The resort has a strategic position in the Polish Beskid Mountains and in the proximity of other winter destinations. The town of Szczyrk has a solid accommodation capacity with 10,000 beds. More than four million people live in the 150 km radius, which creates a great potential for the resort’s further growth. Szczyrk is located only 50 km from the Slovak border crossing at Skalité.
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. is the top player operator in tourism in Central and Eastern Europe, which itself or via subsidiaries owns and operates attractive mountain resorts and hotels in the area of the Low and High Tatras. The assets in the Low Tatras include the resort Jasná Nízke Tatry and the following hotels: Wellness hotel Grand Jasná, Tri Studničky Hotel and Chalets Záhradky De Luxe. In the High Tatras, TMR owns and operates resorts Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec and the following hotels: Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica and Grandhotel Starý Smokovec, and hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso. TMR also co‐operates the ski area Štrbské Pleso and since the winter season 2012/2013 it has been leasing the mountain resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic in cooperation with SMMR, a.s. TMR owns Tatralandia, the largest Slovak aquapark with all-year operation, which offers a lot of water activities, the Fun Park, or relaxation in a special tropical hall with sea water. It also offers accommodation in bungalows and suites of the Holiday Village Tatralandia. TMR owns and leases out Hotel Liptov and Hotel Ski&Fun Záhradky and Bungalows, Kosodrevina Lodge, and Hotel Slovakia. Almost 190 million Euros have been invested by the end of 2013 in the above-mentioned resorts. These investments help to increase the standard and visit rate in the Tatras. Since 2012 the TMR shares have been traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague and Warsaw.