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Riding the wave

Jochen Schweizer has stepped down from his position as operator of the Mall of Switzerland wave machine. However, surfing is expected to begin this summer. Image: Jochen Schweizer PR

Indoor surfing and shopping seem to be perfectly suited to one another.

The “Hasewelle” sports center in downtown Osnabrück provides guests with ample opportunities to “ride the wave”. In summer 2018, indoor surfing will finally be available at the Mall of Switzerland, near Lucerne.

In an effort to successfully position themselves against online retailers, commercial property operators increasingly rely on new entertainment concepts. Since the beginning of March of this year, Lengermann und Trieschmann (L&T), located in the center of downtown Osnabrück, Germany, has offered a special attraction.

“Surfing in the City” is the motto at L&T. Sports enthusiasts now have the opportunity to try their luck on a so-called indoor wave machine at the company’s new sports center. The Hasewelle, named after the Hase River, which flows through the old town of Osnabrück, is expected to become a major public attraction in the future. To enjoy the thrill of surfing, enthusiasts can book time on the wave machine in 20-minute increments, and wave height can be set to a maximum of 1.4 meters.

A member of the recreation industry

The company sees itself not only as a provider of shopping facilities, but as a member of the recreation industry as well, explains L&T regarding the reasoning behind the installation. “The sports center is our response to online retailing. We firmly believe that attractive shopping experiences will keep people enthusiastic about brick-and-mortar retail,” says Thomas Ganter, a member of L&T management. Avid mountain climbers can also take advantage of a new gymnasium, housed inside the sports center, that offers training conditions at a simulated altitude of 2,500 meters.

The Mall of Switzerland postpones the opening of its indoor surfing attraction The situation in Switzerland is running somewhat less smoothly. A wave machine was scheduled to become the main attraction at the Mall of Switzerland, which opened in November of last year. Following the postponement of the opening of the wave machine to March 2018 last year, event guru Jochen Schweizer stepped down from his position as operator. The attraction has been rescheduled to open in summer 2018. Event agency Point Break is set to take over as the future operator.

Water will likely play a major role in future entertainment concepts put forth by retailers. A Cologne branch of outdoor retailer Globetrotter offers a water area in which water sports equipment can be tested. Indoor surfing is not available.

 


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