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Shimano to open Experience Center theme park in Netherlands (+ video)

Site in Valkenburg will focus on cycling, fishing and rowing and hopes to attract visitors from around world

Shimano Europe has unveiled plans to build an ‘Experience Center’ – effectively a theme park centred on the brand – that will be focused on the Japanese brand’s main areas of specialisation, cycling, fishing and rowing.

Located in Valkenburg in the Netherlands, which hosts the Amstel Gold Race annually and was the setting for the 2012 UCI Road World Championships, the planned complex is on the site of a former brewery and is due to open in 2017.

According to the Japanese brand, the Shimano Experience Center will allow visitors to “engage in a fusion of interaction and function,” with themed areas “presented as a sensorial experience, encouraging guests to move, feel and live the Shimano moment.”

As well as showcasing the latest Shimano products in areas called, respectively, Riding the Moment, Reeling the Moment and Rowing the Moment, the venue will also have indoor virtual reality displays highlighting iconic locations from around the world, plus outdoor test tracks and ponds for fishing.

Shimano Europe Business Development Manager Gerrit Middag said: “The opportunity to create Shimano’s new Experience Center in an area with such a rich cycling history is incredibly exciting.

“We have designed the centre to support retailers of Shimano cycling, fishing and rowing items in the region, enhancing the brand and providing exciting testing opportunities.”

“We expect the site to draw cycling, fishing and rowing fans from around the world and of course be of tremendous benefit the sporting industry in the region.

“We firmly believe in promoting health and happiness through the enjoyment of nature and the world around us, and this Experience Center firmly fulfils that criteria,” he added.

It is planned that the 15,000 square metre site will also host a visitor and event centre named after the Amstel Gold Race, as well as a 60 bedroom hotel, among other things, and cycle hire will also be available.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Danger Dicko | 8 years ago

Velo-nh wins post of the year.

velo-nh | 8 years ago

Will it have rides where you can experience being hit by a Shimano service vehicle?

ledzep61 replied to velo-nh | 8 years ago

That's a good one!  24

WolfieSmith | 8 years ago

'Rowing fans'? Everyone who comments on Road.CC is fond of rowing. Rowing about disc brakes, rowing about helmets. Rowing about Rapha...

Not sure what the 'Shimano moment' is. Maybe that brief moment in the mid 1990'd when I thought a Shimano group set looked ok...before I went and bought more Campag instead.  4

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