A billionaire buys a historic hotel: – We let the chains take over the boring hotels

A billionaire buys a historic hotel: – We let the chains take over the boring hotels

The Glastad family, which has amassed billions of dollars in assets in everything from shipping to property and farming, secured another hotel.

Before, the family through the Heimr Collection company owned and operated the Sola Strand Hotel, Hotel Victoria in Stavanger, Radisson Blu Caledonien in Kristiansand and Hotel Klubben in Tønsberg. Recently, the company also entered into a 15-year lease on Jegtvolden Fjordhotell at Inderøy in Trøndelag.

The family also owns half of the Hotel Norge in Bergen and the Thon Hotel Kristiansand.

And now, in addition, the oldest hotel in northern Norway, Fru Haugans in Mosjøen, was founded in 1794 and has 128 rooms. Also included in the sale is the small 39-room Frøken Skjolds Hotel as well as the Blomsterbua Mat og Vin restaurant.

Billionaire Alvarsand Endre Gelstad, 52, bought the Fru Haugans Hotel in Mosjøen.

Billionaire Alvarsand Endre Gelstad, 52, bought the Fru Haugans Hotel in Mosjøen. (photo: Hampus Lundgren)

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At a general meeting on Wednesday afternoon, about 50 employees were informed of the sale.

– We want to build the hotel group further, Andre Gelstad (52) says to DN.

– But new members should be unique in their own way. We let the chains take the boring hotels, so we can focus on the special, unique ones that have the x factor we’re looking for. And I think we’re going to be the right owner going forward with that,” he says.

Glastad won’t say anything about what the family is paying for Mrs. Haugans.

The basics of construction are very good. There’s not much we need to do, but we’ll invest something in the old rooms and bathrooms, he says.

When DN wrote in February of this year that the hotel was for sale, hotel manager and owner Ellen Lovold Strand said it was both sad and bizarre. But no one in the family was interested in betting on a future in the tourism industry.

We simply thought too much about what we would use the rest of our lives for. It takes a long time to run a hotel like this. We have also chosen to stand in overseas chains and purchasing associations. We think it was right, but at the same time it made the operations more demanding. Then we see the competition become tougher and more global. In short, we have come to the conclusion that it may not be best for businesses and hotels to continue on their own, she said.

A section of the Fru Haugans Hotel in Mosjøen.

A section of the Fru Haugans Hotel in Mosjøen. (photo: D.N.)

Should you become a new woman?

Endre Gelstad says he thinks it’s fun to have the biggest hotel on the coast of Helgeland.

– Mosjøen as a very interesting destination to visit. There is also a lot going on here in the region. The salmon is back in Vefsna and there are big plans, among other things, for a battery factory here in the area, even if we don’t use it as a basis for the purchase.

Glastad will now start looking for a new exit. This will succeed five women principals since 1885.

– You hardly dare to hire a man, right?

– I think we should probably pay attention to that, yes, he says and laughs.

In 1885, Ellen Haugan became the first woman to own the Fru Haugan Hotel in Mosjøen.  Since then, four other women in the family have run the hotel until it has now been sold to the company owned by billionaire Endre Gelstad and his sister Sigrid.

In 1885, Ellen Haugan became the first woman to own the Fru Haugan Hotel in Mosjøen. Since then, four other women in the family have run the hotel until it has now been sold to the company owned by billionaire Endre Gelstad and his sister Sigrid. (photo: private)

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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