Something ‘grand’ for Le Grand Départ
As the Tour de France starts its final week of stages today, we look back at the 11.000 m2 of VIP hospitality space we built in 2015 when the world’s premier cycling event started in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Since few events are more prestigious than the Tour de France, we had to deliver something ‘grand’, for ‘Le Grand Départ’. And we did.
As our motto is ‘committed to your success’, every project starts with knowing what our client's goals are. Not what they want from us, but what they want to achieve, so we can help them be successful.
In this case, those goals were a perfectly hosted event, showing the best the city has to offer, boost Utrecht’s image as a cycling city, maintain good relations with the residents and all other parties involved, and hold an event worth remembering.
We want to know what keeps our partner up at night
“We made it a point to know how the city operates, what they envisioned, and what parts of this massive project kept them up at night”, says Barbara Hendrikx-Kalksma, Sr. Account Manager and project lead at Losberger De Boer. “We analyzed everything and devised a plan to steer clear of the dangers this project faced.”
For instance, one of the things the city feared most, was a deteriorating relationship with local residents and businesses, due to roads being blocked and an enormous amount of extra traffic. “With careful planning, we were able to limit the number of transports to and from the city center and keep the building process itself extremely tight and compact”, says Barbara. “Because a lot of parties needed to be in a relatively small area over a short period of time, we also continuously adapted our planning to that of the other parties involved. We did the same during the dismantling process, limiting the disturbance to the absolute minimum.”
All challenges met
“I am proud to say we were able to help with other customer goals too”, continues Barbara. “Throughout the project, we focused on safety and sustainability, underlining the city’s image as a sustainable, environmentally aware, and bike-friendly city. We also used a large number of different structures, which we adapted further to match the surrounding area, delivering non-intrusive space solutions that matched the cityscape wherever possible.”
On race day, there were five structures with over 11.000 m2 of luxury hospitality space available to accommodate all VIP guests and dignitaries. We built several large, multi-story hospitality structures that offered guests a great view of the action. We also provided ample catering space and equipped our buildings with airconditioning, sanitation, emergency facilities, carpeting, and additional hospitality trailers.
City of Utrecht reaction
"Losberger De Boer made an effort to truly understand the core values of the event and ensured that all locations were used to their best advantage”, says Martijn van Hulsteijn, Project Director Grand Départ Utrecht. “They always had the best possible experience for our guests at heart. Moreover, safety was paramount at Losberger De Boer during the work in the city center. Thank you for your fantastic contribution to what has been a major success for the city of Utrecht.”