Center Parcs

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Background

Center Parcs (http://www.centerparcs.com/) started out in a forest in The Netherlands as a new type of holiday resort. The idea was to combine relaxation in a natural environment with sporting and leisure activities. Over the years, Center Parcs has expanded greatly, and now has 19 resorts in The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany and England.

Accommodation in Center Parcs is traditionally provided in the form of villas. These are outwardly compact, spacious buildings, clustered together in such a way that no other villas are visible if looking from within any given villa. This design, combined with positioning in the heart of a local forest, leads to a feeling of complete tranquility. More recently, certain resorts provide hotel rooms, apartments and VIP and executive villas.

The facilities available at Center Parcs vary depending on resort. All locations offer the trademark Subtropical Swimming Paradise, a swimming complex maintained at a constant temperature. All manner of sporting activities are available for guests, along with restaurants serving food from around the World. If you get tired of sports, then spas, saunas, massages and many other relaxation facilities are available for you to indulge in. The idea that "you can do as much or as little as you like" is indeed very apt for Center Parcs.

Locations

Center Parcs resorts are currently situated in the following locations:

England

Another resort is currently being planned in the UK at Woburn.

France

Belgium

The Netherlands

Germany

UK Ownership

In 2001 during a move to concentrate on their core brewing business, Scottish and Newcastle sold the UK side of Center Parcs to venture capitalists. It was announced on 4 December 2003 that the then owners, Mid Ocean, would sell the UK resorts to Arbor for £285 million. Arbor is a company set up specifically to purchase Center Parcs, and will quickly float it on the London Alternative Investment Market (http://www.londonstockexchange.com/aim/default.asp). It is hoped that by mid-2004 the company can be moved into the main UK stock market, the FTSE 100 index.

During the sale, future growth of Center Parcs was hinted at by the Chief Executive, Martin Dalby. He said that the company might add a fifth village at some time in the future, but was also looking towards organic growth through investment in new facilities at the existing villages. Late in 2004 it was announced that the fifth village would be built near Woburn in Bedfordshire.

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