Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Might Krapinske Toplice's Toplice Hotel Finally Get a New Buyer?

January the 26th, 2022 - The Toplice Hotel in Krapinske Toplice has been through the ringer and waiting a very long time for a buyer. Could it finally have a new one? Maybe.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, after the long-term plans for the Chinese investor to implement the announced project of re-doing the Toplice Hotel in Krapinske Toplice failed, this hotel in continental Croatia could finally get a new buyer.

As Poslovni dnevnik has learned, the sales process with a broad and public marketing campaign back in September 2021 was started by Colliers. As is already more than well known, the Spa Hotel is owned by the Spring spa Hotel, whose founders are a Chinese company representing Yongdong Wu and CSEBA, a business association that connects China with the countries of Southeastern Europe, including the Republic of Croatia.

In addition to the public media campaign, Colliers also advertised the sale of the Toplice Hotel on its website, sending the Colliers Newsletter out to more than 3,000 companies as well as directly contacting the target list of potential buyers.

“We've received offers from several interested buyers. The hotel has not been sold yet, but we're in an advanced stage. Krapinske Toplice is a well-known thermal spa and one of the most beautiful corners of Hrvatsko Zagorje. It is interesting to note that Krapinske Toplice has a less pronounced seasonality of arrivals and overnight stays than destinations on the coast. The Toplice Hotel has great potential primarily due to its location in Krapinske Toplice but also because of the spatial plan that allows for an increase in its capacity. After the renovation and market repositioning, we believe that the hotel can do great business,'' they said from Colliers.

In addition to the above, they see Croatia's entry into the Eurozone and Schengen as an advantage, which will have a positive effect on the future business of the hotel as well as on the entire health tourism sector.

In addition, investing in real assets is an excellent shield against inflation, they pointed out, but so far they cannot reveal who the interested buyers for the Toplice Hotel currently are, or whether the right one has already been chosen.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 20 September 2021

Pupil Back to School With Mask, Ending Two-Week Absence Over Face Mask Row

ZAGREB, 20 Sept 2021 - An eighth-grader from the Krapinske Toplice elementary school came to school wearing a protective mask on Monday morning, thus ending his two-week absence caused by his parent's decision to defy the face mask rule.

"The boy resumed attending classes, and e entered the school building, wearing a protective mask while being in the hall", the school's headmaster, Samson Štibohar, told Hina.

At the beginning of the new school year, the father of this eighth-grader had claimed that his child could not wear the protective mask. The rule applies only in common areas of the school building in this northern Croatian town.

The father and several people who supported him held a protest rally on 10 September outside the school and later raided the school building. The police responded to the unruly rally and filed reports against some of the demonstrators.

After that, the headmaster and local employees of the social welfare center held talks with the parents, and the headmaster said today that the only thing that was important was that that the student was back in school.

"We achieved an agreement that it is essential for the student to resume his classes as usual", Štibohar said.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

HND Demands Protection for Reporters Covering Anti-Maskers' Protest

ZAGREB, 16 Sept 2021 - The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) on Thursday condemned threats against reporters covering an anti-maskers' protest outside a school in Krapinske Toplice, calling for promptly "putting an end to the violence that threatens to turn into a lynching campaign" and for protecting journalists.

The HND said the violence outside the primary school in Krapinske Toplice jeopardized primarily students and teachers and that it was escalating into threats against reporters who were doing their job professionally.

"We condemn threats against our colleague Ivan Kovačić, who was the first to report about the situation in Krapinske Toplice, where protesters have been rallying in support of a father who does not want his son to wear a mask in school," the HND said, noting that Kovačić had been targeted for days on social networks where his name and phone number had been made public, with calls to contact and harass him.

The HND seeks protection for the school children, school staff, and reporters covering the developments in Krapinske Toplice.

"We ask the police to respond as they responded in cases when politicians and office-holders were exposed to much more benign threats, we ask the prosecutorial authorities to prosecute ex-officio perpetrators of such offenses and we expect courts to rule promptly in order to prevent future violence as a method of resolving social conflicts," the HND said.

It also condemned the conduct of the Zagreb-based Z1 television, whose editors and reporters it said were uncritically supporting one side, actively preventing students from entering the school and threatening its principal as well as staying on the school premises without permission for days.

The HND said it also expected a comment from the Culture and Media Minister and the Electronic Media Council.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Police File Reports Against Eight Anti-Maskers in Krapinske Toplice

ZAGREB, 15 Sept, 2021 - Police in the northwestern Krapina-Zagorje County have filed misdemeanor charges against eight persons protesting outside a primary school in Krapinske Toplice against the obligation for children to wear face masks in school. 

The police have filed 26 reports and they refer to an attempt to disturb the public peace, unreported public assembly in a place where public assemblies are not allowed, refusal to wear a protective mask indoors, and refusal to show police one's ID card.

Police also reported that a child's parents were reported for offences against the Identification Card Act and the Act on the Protection of the Population against Infectious Diseases, and that the competent social welfare service had been informed accordingly.

Police said that over the past few days, several people had continued rallying outside the school in Krapinske Toplice in violation of the Public Assembly Act, which was why police presence there was required.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Monday, 13 September 2021

About 10 Anti-maskers Outside Krapinske Toplice School

ZAGREB, 13 Sept 2021 - Several protesters gathered outside Krapinske Toplice Primary School on Monday morning to support a parent who does not want his child to wear a protective mask while attending classes, and also an expert team is expected to arrive to provide psychological assistance at the site.

The pupil concerned on Monday again came to school without a protective mask and was denied access to the school building.

The first protest of this kind was held on Friday when about 20 people rallied because that boy, who refuses to wear a face mask, had been banned from entering the school. The protest was organized by the boy's father, who says a mask makes it difficult for his son to breathe and that the school does not allow him to use common areas without it. In that way, he said, his son is being denied the right to an education.

Education Minister Radovan Fuchs is also expected to visit the school today.

The school's headmaster, Samson Štibohar, said today that they had asked the parents to obtain from doctors the medical explanation that the child should be exempt from the mask-wearing rule on medical conditions.

I find all this escalation unnecessary, the headmaster explained.

On Friday he said that children's health and safety came first and that the protest was the result of one parent's refusal to comply with the measures, protocols, and decisions under which headmasters had to create work guidelines for the new school year.

"The problem is that the pupil and his parent refuse that he wears a mask in the hall and the toilet and when entering and leaving school, which takes maybe two minutes," he said, adding that he saw nothing positive in the protest.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Natural Disaster Declared for Krapinske Toplice Due to Quake

ZAGREB, 11 January, 2021 - Krapina-Zagorje County prefect Zeljko Kolar on Monday declared a natural disaster for Krapinske Toplice municipality where damage from the 29 December earthquake in the Petrinja area has been estimated at over HRK 4.2 million.

Speaking to the press in Krapinske Toplice, Kolar said the tremor caused "very big damage" to the local primary school and that the medical rehabilitation hospital and homes also sustained damage.

Municipal head Ernest Svazic said the damage to the primary school was HRK 2 million.

By 8 January, 36 homeowners reported damage to their buildings.

27 county schools damaged in earthquake

Kolar said 23 primary and four secondary schools in the county had reported damage from the 6.2 earthquake.

As for the medical rehabilitation hospital in Krapinske Toplice, he said the damage was not structural and that it did not affect its work.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Could Construction of Hotel Toplice in Krapinske Toplice Begin in Winter?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 2nd of October, 2020, the bankruptcy of the management of the Krass Hotel and the closure of Hotel Toplice in Krapinske Toplice in this day and age could actually end up being a good way to accelerate the announced investment of Chinese investors who bought this hotel from ACM two years ago. So far no concrete progress with the announced investments in the modern 4 star Hotel Toplice has occurred.

However, if the investors who paid 4.3 million euros for the facility back in 2018, having invested more in paperwork, don't start the works this winter, another season will fail and thus the profitability of the investment will become questionable.

The building is in a great location, it has great potential but is very neglected and dilapidated. It's worth mentioning that the Chinese investor is the Hong Kong company Zhongya Holding, which, although it boasts a very similar name, has nothing to do with the company Zhongya Nekretnine, which expressed its intention to buy the former political school in Kumrovec from the state in 2019, but never paid the requested money.

''There were two options with Hotel Toplice, reconstruction that is possible with the existing permits, but the facility no longer meets the standards in the hotel industry, and it wouldn't pay off, so instead we'd see the demolition of the entire facility and the building of a new one, in dimensions that will suit the local community. The demolition could start this autumn, after the end of the bankruptcy proceedings, which has already been agreed in principle with the company Tehnika. If the weather conditions allow for it, and if the project is approved, the works on the construction of the new Toplice hotel could start in the winter,'' explained Mario Rendulic, president of the CSEBA association, which connects investors from China with the countries of Southeastern Europe. CSEBA and Zhongya Holding are the founders of the company Spring Spa Hotel, which should realise this multimillion investment in Krapinske Toplice.

Rendulic explained that the investment didn't start being realised until the company Krass Hotel, owned by Autocentar Merkur (ACM), concluded a pre-bankruptcy settlement, which was approved back in 2016 according to the Court Register. The pre-bankruptcy, however, hasn't yet been signed, and the current coronavirus crisis has ruled out the already weak business of the company, which decided to file for bankruptcy on October the 1st, 2020 and totally close the hotel.

In the meantime, from the purchase of the building until today, the Chinese presented the first idea of ​​the building designed in China to the local community, but the building in the style of "Wuhan" didn't fit the views of the place and the proposal was of course rejected. Rendulic claims that the new project, designed by local designers, is in line with the spatial plan, although the mayor Ernest Svazic claims that he hasn't actually seen it in person yet.

''The investor is certainly familiar in detail with what can be built, and we're looking forward to a new project in order to start the realisation as soon as possible. The municipality doesn't enter into relations between two private companies, it's up to us to provide them with the right conditions for investment, which we are, but I believe that bankruptcy could speed up the investment process, which would be useful,'' said Mayor Svazic of the future Toplice Hotel.

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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

German with Croatian Roots Invests in Krapinske Toplice's Bellevue

One of the most famous symbols of Krapinske Toplice has been stood neglected and entirely abandoned for years, but could a young German who is partly of Croatian origin who moved to the area a couple of years ago be the solution this old continental gem needs?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of March, 2019, David Krauss (35) moved to Croatia, more specifically to beautiful Krapinske Toplice in the continental part of the country, just over two years ago. He decided to invest in the renewal of the long abandoned Bellevue and restore its former glory. The technical review has been announced for March the 7th, after which, Zagorje will get a new face in its blossoming tourism story, according to a report from Zagorje portal.

A relatively short (at least by Croatian standards) fifteen months of construction work and two years of preparation of the project saw one of the most famous symbols of Krapinske Toplice, Restaurant Bellevue, get some new life breathed into it and a brand new beginning. A young German of the Croatian Roots, 35 year old David Kraus has been coming to Krapinske Toplice for years to the property once owned by his parents.

"My mother is Croatian and my father is a German, and we always said that we were so sorry that such a beautiful building is collapsing, so I decided to start investing," Krauss told the Zagorje portal, adding that they wanted to give the building a modern twist but remain loyal to the facility's old outlines.

The old facility, due to the very poor condition it has been in for a long time, unfortunately had to be completely demolished, even though that certainly wasn't the original plan. Namely, during construction, the walls they thought they would endure the process began to fail, so the decision to demolish everything for safety reasons was reached. Despite this, some of the old material and clay were preserved to fit into the new facility.

Restaurant Bellevue's investment was realised entirely by the Krauss family alone, and although the young investor didn't want to talk too much about the exact amount he invested, he noted that it was a large figure. He is not sorry for the move, having replaced his life in Germany for that in the beautiful rolling hills of green Zagorje, where he has been living for more than two years. He is also trained and experienced in the hospitality industry and is more than happy to work a job in the profession in which he was educated here in Croatia, too.

"For the time being, we have thirteen employees, mostly made up of the local population, which I think is very important if you're in the hospitality industry because they know the area you're in well, the customs, gastronomy, the people... The capacity is about 150 to 200 places, and we have a large outdoor terrace of almost the same capacity,'' Krauss said, astonished that people had already begun asking about their offer for weddings.

He is particularly pleased about the great reactions to the restoration of Bellevue the local population, with whom he communicates daily, have had. The older people remember that they once went to school right here.

"It's really nice when people tell me that they were once taught here, and now in their older days they intend to come here for a coffee or a beer," he said, pointing out that the project was supported by the municipal government.

When it comes to Bellevue's gastronomic offer, Krauss says the facility will offer dishes made from old Zagorje recipes, but crafted in a somewhat more modern way. They're planning and organising evenings full of live music performances, and access to their facility is specially tailored for the disabled.

"The Toplički pedestrian ring is near us for the people who are on rehabilitation to walk on, so we're glad to be here for when they're walking to come and have a bit of cake and some rest. I think we'll really have something for everyone,'' Krauss, who has always been madly in love with Zagorje, stated.

His only regret is that tourism in Zagorje and Krapinske Toplice is still not yet sufficiently developed, but fortunately, foreign tourists are increasingly recognising it as an interesting and different type of destination.

"Austrians and Slovenes increasingly choose rural tourism as a form of holiday, not just the sea. I'm sure that in a couple of years, our Zagorje will be dominated by such tourism,'' Krauss said, feel optimistic, announcing that the technical review of Bellevue will be on March the 7th, after which the grand opening will take place.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business, travel and lifestyle pages.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Wellness in Croatia: Villa Magdalena and the Rise of Krapinske Toplice

December 11, 2017 - Croatia has a long history of spa tourism, with some of its spa towns dating back to the Romans. It is a sector of tourism which is very much on the rise, as TCN discovered on a visit to award-winning Villa Magdalena  in Krapinske Toplice, home to the sixth-healthiest waters in all Europe. And much, much more. 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Chinese Invest in Krapinske Toplice and Rimac Automobili

An office of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce opens this week in Shanghai! 

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