Copenhagen’s BC Hospitality Group, owner of the Bella Center and a number of hotels, has undergone a significant restructuring with new ownership and new management team under the new name Bellagroup. The ambition is to make Copenhagen a top destination for major events and conferences.
The COVID crisis meant empty hotels and conference halls and was a dramatic time for BC Hospitality Group, which had to close the majority of the business down and say goodbye to two thirds of the group’s employees.
“The severe crisis gave us an opportunity to rethink the business from a to z – much like a start-up. While we were waiting for the guests to return, the management reviewed all operations at both venues and hotels. This was crucial in getting through the crisis,” says CEO of Bellagroup, Christian Folden Lund and adds:
The new Group CEO adds: “We have always been great at hosting events and giving people a good experience – but not so good at turning a profit in operations. Therefore, the goal was to strengthen our commercial units with common marketing and sales functions while simplifying the operation of each venue and hotel. We’re not making money yet, but as long as we continue to see a slow reopening of the world, we have a plan to get there and can afford to make the necessary investments.”
Under the lockdowns the facilities in Bellakvarter, Ørestad were improved. In June Bella Arena opened with space enough for 8,000 standing guests. It adds new squaremeters to Bella Center and thus the opportunity to host several different types of events.
Now there’s space for both the very large conferences with keynotes or larger cultural events and concerts. Major events with up to 20,000 participants can be hosted, but the flexibility also allows for hosting three simultaneous but separate events with up to 5,000 participants each or alternatively a large number of smaller events.
In October, the group’s largest hotel, AC Hotel Bella Sky, finally opened after 1.5 year of lockdown and since the summer, Bellagroup have hired more than 200 new employees. With the current plans for hiring, half of the employees in Bellagroup will have less than 6 month’s seniority by new year. Of the 200 hired so far, half are former employees, who have returned.