Cowork Klitmøller and Guest House Klitmøller will soon be ready for use

The new Cowork Klitmøller will be ready for use in Spring 2017. We are happy to announce that the Guest House Klitmøller and thus ten quality double rooms will be part of the building.

The combination of coworking and accommodation will make it easy for you to decide to spend anything from a day to several days - or perhaps a lifetime - in Cold Hawaii. You can, of course, rent a room at Guest House Klitmøller without renting a space at Cowork Klitmøller and vice versa. To get an impression of before and after click through the slideshow below: 

Admittedly, it's been awhile since you've heard from us. It's a matter of priorities. We have chosen to spend the time figuring out and establishing the right model for the project. We're convinced that we've found it. From now on, you'll hear a bit more from us.

The path up until now has been a long and rather cumbersome journey. If you have a hard time remembering what this is all about, here's a recap:

The idea for Cowork Klitmøller was born in 2011. Cowork Klitmøller is – well – a coworking space and a Matchmaking Zone (hence an ‘open-ended’ coworking space) for people that live in Klitmøller and you, as a visitor. To learn more, watch the video below: 

Hence, the Matchmaking Zone is a place we can meet, connect, think, share and create things together. The purpose of Matchmaking Zones is thus to create value through relationships by providing the best possible conditions for support and cooperation and, above all, the (new) products and services this generates.

Flea market in front of Cowork Klitmølle - on a sunny afternoon, Spring 2016. 

Flea market in front of Cowork Klitmølle - on a sunny afternoon, Spring 2016. 

We're looking forward to seeing you in the new building. Until then, it’s already possible to visit us. It may be as a (short-term) tenant, during one of our Friday bar, or just as someone popping in to say hello. If you’re the latter, please come around midday - that's when we have lunch. There’ll probably be a bite for you, and we’ll have more time to talk.

Wait, there's more! Here's the incredibly long explanation:

Things take time – sometimes a lot more time than expected. We took the first serious steps in developing the idea of a matchmaking zone in Klitmøller, in 2013.

From 2013 to 2014, we participated in a contest organised by Realdania. The process culminated in the fall of 2014 when the project received five million kroner (672247 Euro) through the program 'Place Matters'. At the time, that was equal to 70% of the total budget for a building that was supposed to contain the first matchmaking zone in Denmark.

By Autumn 2015, we had managed to raise the remainder of the financing. We had found and negotiated the price for a piece of land, applied for planning permission, and established a business relationship with Ramboll, as the overall consultant on the project. Let it be said: This sounds (a lot) easier than it was.

As it turned out, we needed a dispensation for the town planning regulations to be able to use the piece of land for the purpose of a matchmaking zone. It turned out to be harder than expected. In fact, we ended up in a situation where we could expect negotiations for up to 12 months including (a lot) of writing back and forth before we could start building.

At this point, the circumstances of the project had pivoted from being about bringing good people with a heart for Klitmøller closer together to something that, most of all, was a struggle to realise a very complex physical construction.

We were in a crisis and seriously considering throwing in the towel – ultimately for practical reasons. All work related to the project was voluntary and eating up so much time that not enough was left to earn the money needed to survive.

There's a good chance that that was what I was thinking about one morning on my way to work at Ørhagevej 84. This is the place where the current Cowork Klitmøller is located. Up until the beginning of 2014, it served as the workshop for the local car mechanic. 

Find the place on the map below. Use the map controls to move closer: 

 

I'm Rasmus Johnsen. I was the first to introduce the idea of a matchmaking zone in Klitmøller. I'm an old windsurfer and have lived in the village since 2006. Together with the local surf club, I created the first masterplan for Cold Hawaii. Since then, I've been involved in several projects in Klitmøller. Among other things, I've helped organise the Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup since 2010.

Family selfie: from left – me, next to me my wife, Mette. Above her our son, Ejner, to the right our daughter, Ingrid (the elephant's name is Bodil). 

Family selfie: from left – me, next to me my wife, Mette. Above her our son, Ejner, to the right our daughter, Ingrid (the elephant's name is Bodil). 

Outside the building, I met Rasmus Fejerskov. Fejerskov is the owner of Westwind Klitmøller and has lived in the village since 2004. He told me that he was thinking about buying the building at Ørhagevej 84 with the aim of repurposing it for a guest house in Klitmøller.

Rasmus Fejerskov together with his wife, Helle. Helle will be in charge of Guest House Klitmøller once we're up and running.  

Rasmus Fejerskov together with his wife, Helle. Helle will be in charge of Guest House Klitmøller once we're up and running.  

I explained our situation to Fejerskov. It turned into a longer conversation, which slid into an agreement that the combination of accommodation and an open coworking space could be the perfect cocktail.

After that, things moved quickly. It soon became apparent to us that we both wanted to pursue a partnership. I included the other coworkers. Everyone supported the idea. For a few days, we considered the pros and cons. The pros won, and Fejerskov and I decided to join forces.

Up to that point, Cowork Klitmøller had been a non-profit association. It isn't anymore. Instead, Fejerskov and I have founded a company called Ørhagevej 84 ApS. We each own 50% of the company. Through this company, we bought the old workshop at Ørhagevej 84.

Up until the beginning of 2014, Ørhagvej 84 served as the workshop for the local car mechanic. On my left (with the gray beard) is Jørgen Beck, the mechanic, who previously ran the workshop for 35 years. The garage, we're standing in, will be turned into the new Cowork Klitmøller.

Up until the beginning of 2014, Ørhagvej 84 served as the workshop for the local car mechanic. On my left (with the gray beard) is Jørgen Beck, the mechanic, who previously ran the workshop for 35 years. The garage, we're standing in, will be turned into the new Cowork Klitmøller.

The company is the focal point for the renovation and reconstruction that will convert the building into the new Cowork Klitmøller and Guest House Klitmøller, which will start in late September and be completed by April 2017. From then on, only basic building operations will be done through Ørhagevej 84 ApS.

I'll rent 40% of the building, and this part will become Cowork Klitmøller. The people who rent a space at Cowork Klitmøller, will, in essence, be my tenants. Helle Fejerskov, Rasmus Fejerskov's wife, will rent the remainder, and this part will become Guest House Klitmøller. The people who rent a room there will be her tenants.

Light blue is reserved for Cowork Klitmøller. Dark blue is reserved for Guest House Klitmøller and thus ten quality double rooms will be part of the building also containing Cowork Klitmøller. It's gonna be awesome. Right = south, facing Ørhagevej.  

Light blue is reserved for Cowork Klitmøller. Dark blue is reserved for Guest House Klitmøller and thus ten quality double rooms will be part of the building also containing Cowork Klitmøller. It's gonna be awesome. Right = south, facing Ørhagevej.  

In other words, Cowork Klitmøller and Guest House Klitmøller will be two different businesses working closely together.

Realdania doesn't support what – after all – are “for-profit companies”. For that reason, we withdrew from our engagement with them. Furthermore, we didn't buy the aforementioned piece of land – and finally ended our collaboration with Ramboll. 

Letting go of 5 million DKK was easier than expected. Also, we let go of 600.000 DKK (80690 Euro) from the Færch Foundation. Remaining is 350,000 DKK (47000 Euro), which we're grateful to have received from Fisheries Local Action Group. Everything else is our responsibility.

In exchange, we now have the freedom to manage the project and thus to focus on what we believe will become a cosy, warm-hearted, and super exciting place in Klitmøller.

Fejerskov and I will be in charge of the reconstruction of Ørhagevej 84. Fejerskov is a skilled craftsman and has previously been responsible for a number of construction projects. During the reconstruction we'll both be working full-time on the project. It feels good ...

The building will be simpler and less expensive - but still very nice. The original idea is the same. So are the values. The main driving force will be the things we all bring to the place. We hope to see you in Klitmøller – again and again.

Sing along during the legendary Cowork Klitmøller Christmas party (2015). Starting left, in the foreground, Anna Thorsager; behind her (right), Anne Werner; behind her (left), Benthe Boesen; to her right, Troels Schwarz; on his right, Tommy Røsholt; on his right (in the foreground), Marianne Søstrøm Storm; behind to her right, Anette Balker; to her right, Tina Bach; to her left, Susanne Steinfath; to her left, Berit Hansen; in front of her, Therese Thomsen. Playing was Heine Thomsen. What a lovely bunch of people! The guy in the jacket – well, that's me. 

Sing along during the legendary Cowork Klitmøller Christmas party (2015). Starting left, in the foreground, Anna Thorsager; behind her (right), Anne Werner; behind her (left), Benthe Boesen; to her right, Troels Schwarz; on his right, Tommy Røsholt; on his right (in the foreground), Marianne Søstrøm Storm; behind to her right, Anette Balker; to her right, Tina Bach; to her left, Susanne Steinfath; to her left, Berit Hansen; in front of her, Therese Thomsen. Playing was Heine Thomsen. What a lovely bunch of people! The guy in the jacket – well, that's me. 

Rasmus Johnsen

Cowork Klitmøller, 84 Ørhagevej, Thisted, 7700, Denmark

I am a philosopher and possess knowledge of new media, that allows people to effectively communicate and organize themselves into systems that are designed to support and profit from collective preferences, intelligence, and talent. I am an entrepreneur and I have several years of experience in managing innovation projects. I have worked with politicians and elected officials, public administration employees, for-profit companies, and NGOs.