Almelo textile town
Almelo is a town where land and waterways come together. The city developed into a thriving textile town, with several striking textile barons. The rise of tyhe textile industry in the 17th and 18th century was good for the development of the city. From 1970 however, the increased competition from low-wage countries led to mass closures. Because there was little work in other sectors, the unemployment rate shot up. The city of Almelo was under the supervision of the rich in the 80ties because of a structural poor financial situation.
The Theatre Hagen
In those same years the city was also concerns about the heavily loss-making municipal theatre Hagen. Every year the theatre needed more invesments, leading towards 2.4 million guilders. People started pleading for the privatization of the theatre. The late Councillor Gerrit Stuivenberg hired a research firm to check the possibilities for privatization. It showed that through privatization about 50 percent could be saved in the annual municipal costs. He searched for appropriate parties. Ad van der Valk came into the picture when he acquired the bankrupt fries factory Tijhof.
Agreement Van der Valk
An agreement was signed with the Van der Valk group in 1986. For the symbolic sum of one guilder Van der Valk became the owner of the former theatre. One of the main conditions was that the theatre should be integrated into a large building, which is also a hotel, s restaurant and a conference center. This should give the then ailing economy in Almelo a boost. The agreement was a special one: until then all theatres in Holland were ownned by the Dutch government and the Van der Valk had no experience with the operation of a theatre.
Theatre Hotel Almelo
Van der Valk invested twenty-five million dollars in the construction of a hotel, an underground parking, an indoor swimming pool and the necessary inventory renewal. The front part of the theatere was demolished to make way for the hotel space. The theatre was kept intact, the hall was in fact in excellent condition with newly upholstered seats and excellent acoustics. The Old Men's Society was incorporated into the building. The gentlemen of the club received in exchange for this space a new society in the new part of the Theatre Hotel. The 'Oude Sociëteit' was converted into a restaurant. Cultural center 'De Hagen' was converted to Theatre Hotel Almelo.
The Article 12 status
Van der Valk integrated the theatre in a hotel and convention complex and also became theatre operator, to the satisfaction of both parties. This allowed the municipality considerable savings and they could spend more than 1.2 million guilders annually differently. Almelo municipality started an extensive urban renewal and attracting more investors to the city. Almelo finally lost the Article 12 status. In 1992, the Bronze Beaver was awarded because of the construction projects in the city .
On 21 January 1991, the new Theatre Hotel Almelo was opened. From its opening in 1991, the family Hammink is the owner. On January 22, 1991 Simone Kleinsma became the first artist who entered the stage of Theatre Hotel Almelo with the musical Sweet Charity. The Hammink family had no theatere experience until then, but did have hospitality industry experience. The young family left Bergen op Zoom for Almelo. The family lived in the hotel for the first years and therefore knew the concept of hospitality to perfection. The love for the profession and the town hit on the children and they are still in any way involved in the Theatre Hotel.
Restructuring Van der Valk
From the early 90s the Van der Valk branche was developed into the largest catering company in the Netherlands with 59 branches and 25 hotels worldwide. Just like the first hotels, all new hotels and restaurants are all in the hands of family members. The formula is based on 'clarity and affordability'. In 1996, a restructuring of the Van der Valk group followed and the family Hammink became the independent entrepreneur and owner of the Theatre Hotel. Van der Valk has been a collaboration of family members who are all independently manage their own hotel. The group does not have an office but on various committees and boards in which the family 's passion for and knowledge of the mutual sharing box and inspire each other to develop the individual hotels as well as the entire chain.
The interpretation of the theatre, hotel and restaurants under one roof was a success formula and became a household in Almelo and beyond. With the growing regional business in mind and faith in the development of the city, the family dared to invest in the hotel and catering industry significantly. On January 16, 2009 Theatre Hotel opened a new wing with 85 new rooms and a multipurpose hall of 800 m2 . The theater seats were also renovated and recently a new rigging system was installed in the theatre.
De Sociëteit, Dock 19 and Solera
The Hammink family saw several opportunities in the hospitality field and introduced Tapas Restaurant Solera Almelo in 2004, where one can enjoy authentic Mediterranean dishes. This proved a huge success and in 2010 Solera Borne was established. With trendy Dock 19, the family introduced a new concept in Almelo in 2006. Dock 19 is a fusion restaurant with trendy interiors and an inviting bar. Dock 19 was in the top 10 cocktail SpecialBite and received rave reviews from the editors of Nice.
The characteristic, monumental indoor restaurant 'De Sociëteit' received a new modern and attractive styling in 2012. In this cozy restaurant 'eating out' gets a new dimension.
The organization continues in continuous motion today. The Theatre Hotel was one of the first hospitality companies which received the HACCP, the verification process for the production of food. Theatre Hotel also received no less than a 4 hammer business and meeting classification for high levels of various facilities. In February 2014, The Theatre Hotel Almelo received the silver Green Key Certificate, the trade mark for Corporate Social Responsibility.
You are most welcome to come and enjoy in Theatre Hotel Almelo.