Arthotel Tornedalen: The art of finding the right investor

In small Risudden by the banks of the Torne River, Gunhild Stensmyr has had a big vision since 2009: To build Konsthall Tornedalen, a facility and art gallery that will showcase the cultural history of the local area with the help of contemporary art, and make Tornedalen an international cultural destination. To find the right partner and secure the last part of the funding, LTU Business has helped her develop an investment prospectus.

It all started with the vision of an art gallery. Gunhild Stensmyr grew up in Tornedalen but has spent most of her adult life in Skåne. She shares:

– This idea came to me in May 2009. I bought a forest property that runs down to Torne älv, an incredibly beautiful place, and I thought: I will build an art gallery here. With my background from the art world, the idea was perfect. I moved up in the fall of the same year and immediately started planning.

– I saw myself as a guest in my hometown. I had not lived here as an adult and discovered that many wanted to come here – it is untouched, undisturbed and fabulously beautiful.

“Finding the right partner is a challenge and important for the long-term development of Arthotel. Someone who wants to develop the tourism industry through art and culture, like me.” – Gunhild Stensmyr, owner

”There must be somewhere to stay”

The long-term vision of the art gallery led Gunhild to another and more immediate initiative: to create a housing. She renovated the house that belonged to the forest property and soon bought more and more old houses in the village. Arthotel in Vitsaniemi/Risudden today consists of a total of eight buildings, four of which are completely renovated. The houses are decorated with shapes and and designs by prominent designers and decorated with a museum-grade art collection.

– I thought that if you are going to build a high-class art gallery to attract a global audience, then there must be somewhere to stay, and it should be in an accommodation of the highest quality.

In 2019, Svenska Dagbladet named Arthotel one of the world’s eight foremost art hotels.

The final piece of the puzzle

Gunhild is close to the goal of making Konsthall Tornedalen a reality. The plans, permits and most of the funding are in place. To reach the goal, she is looking for a co-owner of Arthotel who, together with her, can further develop the hotel experience and contribute with the final financing for the construction of the art gallery.

– It is a challenge and important for the long-term development of Arthotel to find the right partner. Someone who wants to develop the tourism industry through art and culture, like me.

“When we develop an investment prospectus, the most important thing for us is to focus on what investors are interested in. What is unique about the business and what it offers? What does the target market look like, both in Sweden and in the world?” – Niklas Grönberg, strategy consultant at LTU Business

LTU Business developed an investment prospectus

To get help in her search, Gunhild turned to Invest in Norrbotten, which supports companies in the region. They in turn turned to LTU Business and strategy consultants Niklas Grönberg and Lisa Ek for help in developing an investment prospectus, a packaged presentation of the offer for potential investors – something they have extensive experience of from both small and large companies in Sweden. and internationally, often for the larger investment companies. Niklas explains what it means:

– When we produce an investment prospectus, the most important thing for us is to be objective, to have a clear process and that we focus on what investors are interested in. What is unique about the business and what it offers? What does the target market look like, both in Sweden and in the world? We demonstrate what kind of company Arthotel is and what values ​​it has.

In their work, Lisa and Niklas have analyzed the hotel’s pricing and revenue in relation to costs. With that as a basis, they have created a business case with scenarios based on different growth opportunities.

– Gunhild has a unique facility in just the right location with an international appeal. She is good at seeing what is unique for an international visitor, which the rest of us up here might take for granted. When Konsthall Tornedalen is built, it will expand the customer base and make it possible to scale up the operations in Arthotel, says Niklas.

For Gunhild, the whole business idea is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

– I am very pleased with the commitment from LTU Business, she says.

– I needed help to turn the business idea into an attractive offer for potential investors. Niklas and Lisa have given me what I need to move forward.

Do you lead a company in the tourism industry? Right now we are looking for more participants for Besöksnäringens Tillväxtakademi, a development program that gives you practical tools and new strategies to increase your competitiveness and growth. You join the program along with seven other entrepreneurs.

We also have a few places left in Turistanläggningars Form & Funktion – a development program with a focus on the visitor experience led by star architect Josefina Nordmark. Treehotel, Camp Ripan and Årrenjarka are examples of previous participants.

The dates for the two programs are determined in consultation with the participants.