The couple Inga Lísa Sólonsdóttir and Aron Þorsteinsson, who recently bought the old ski lodge Skíðaskálinn í Hveradölum on Hellisheiði between Reykjavík and Hveragerði, consider it an undeveloped ‘gold mine’ and have grand plans for its future.Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Their investment strategy states that the appraisal for the ski lodge’s operations and profitability is very promising. “The investment is a gold mine offering endless opportunities,” it reads. The ski lodge will now be open year-round, instead of primarily offering Christmas buffets.
Inga Lísa explained hikers and nature lovers will be welcomed with greatly improved facilities and repairs of walking paths. They will have access to three hot tubs using water from the surrounding geothermal areas, she added.
Moreover, musicians will perform at the lodge in all seasons and there will be in-house shopping facilities as well as an outdoor market, carrying a range of specialties, Fréttablaðið reports.
The lodge’s restaurant will be open year-round and its halls will be rented for all sorts of events. School children on science expeditions will be welcomed and the lodge’s owners plan to collaborate with the nearby Hellisheiði Power Plant.
Other ideas include developing a Viking Lagoon for bathing, a golf course and a helicopter platform to offer sightseeing tours from the air.
“A divine environment embraced by mountains gives Skíðaskálinn its uniqueness… along with hot mud and steam springs and other Icelandic natural wonders,” the strategy states. It will now be presented to future investors.
The plans have both been introduced to Reykjavík Energy, which leases land to Skíðaskálinn, and the planning committee of Ölfus municipality, which reacted positively to the project.
The current owner, Svavar Helgason, will complete the ongoing Christmas Buffet season and hand over the keys to Inga Lísa and Aron in January. Inga Lísa said she and her husband will live on site as hosts.
“Many people consider that we are bringing Eden back to life in a modern fashion,” she added, referring to a beloved pit stop in Hveragerði, which was destroyed in a fire after having been closed down.
“What’s better than a Sunday drive, outdoor recreation and a first-class feast in the country’s grandest castle?” Inga Lísa asked.
“Hveradalir is a place of love and culture, this is where Halldór Laxness rewrote Iceland’s Bell and he was a regular visitor in this world-class nature resort,” she concluded in reference to Iceland’s only Nobel Prize in Literature laureate.