Companies with Deep-Connect value

Events at mountain resort with overlapping value in “Greenstyle”

Source: White Arena Group and Adrian Beeli

The White Arena Group is a mountain resort company operating in the three Swiss villages Flims, Laax and Falera, and was already portrayed regarding its green ski hotel (see below). The Group organizes events offering value in overlapping contexts which correspond to the external demand interfaces of Deep-Connect value. These events are bundled under the brand GREENSTYLE which the Group launched in 2010 as an umbrella for all its many and varied sustainability activities.

An event in the resort with Deep-Connect value was actually a kind of “exhibition”. The LAAX Vintage Days took place on 24 and 25 August 2019 at the piazza of the shi hotel named rocksresort. The exhibition linked value for the visitor in several contexts, all of which embodied value in Deep-Connect. 

  • First, the visitor could choose from the offerings of 17 exhibitors, united by the theme of sustainable consumption. A unique concentration of used and sustainably produced garments was available, which could both cover existing as well as expand into new areas the preferences of consumers. 
  • Second, music and food – with a focus on vegetarian and vegan dishes – provided inspiration for an environmentally conscious lifestyle. 
  • Third, lectures, workshops and a film introduced the related themes of vintage clothes and sustainability. 
  • Fourth, the reuse of clothes was supported by a free mending service for clothes brought in by visitors, along with a demonstration of upcycling. 
  • Fifth, five percent of the exhibitors’ income went to the Greenstyle Foundation and is in turn used for the preservation and protection of the environment in the entire destination Flims Laax Falera. 
  • Sixth, visitors were invited to sell their old clothes. Clothing items delivered in advance were selected and prepared for resale. The proceeds from the items sold went 50 percent to the owner and 50 percent to the Greenstyle Foundation. 

Additional events of the White Arena Group were also designed according to the principles of sustainability and value in multiple contexts, as in the following

  • The meaningfulness of maintaining and upgrading the Unesco World Natural Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona above Flims was underlined by the networking of sport and culture. In the summer of 2019, 26 hammocks were strung on site to form the longest hammock chain in the world. Nearby, an 800-meter long highline – the longest in Switzerland – was set up, whereupon several top slackline artists from all over the world demonstrated their skills. Right next to it an art installation was realized. A crystal, built from slackline straps, ropes and hammocks, was mounted on the rock next to the waterfall. The crystal is symbolically based on a snow or water crystal and refers to the water erosion in the mountains.
  • Sustainability characterizes the “Sudden-Rush Banked Slalom.” The discipline combines casual snowboarding through steep turns with speed and is considered the original discipline of snowboard competition. The participants are a colourful mixture of hobby athletes, active professionals and former top athletes, whereby the latter can probably be called living snowboard legends. During the competition there were discussions with experts about sustainability; advertising media made of recycled wood as well as start numbers from old banners, produced without date to be able to reuse them; the course was completely hand shaped without machine support; Patagonia’s Worn Wear Repair Tour stopped in Laax so that outdoor clothing of all brands were repaired free of charge; wildlife protected areas were avoided in constructing the course; and part of the entry fees was donated to the Atlantic Rainforest Institution and the Greenstyle Foundation of the Group, which supports regional environmental protection projects. A casual and celebratory atmosphere overlaid the entire event. Xavier De Le Rue, former Freeride World Champion and for the first time at the SuddenRush Banked Slalom, summed it up wonderfully: “It’s totally satisfying that the snowboarding vibe is so alive here in LAAX. This event is so refreshing and simply heartwarming. I will certainly come back.“
  • The “Swiss Ice Challenge” generated new experiences or sources of value through the in-depth networking of digitisation, the touristic destination LAAX, the cooperation of two different organisations and the central role of communities – among participants, in the local area and in solidarity with non-profit organisations. In the event itself, it is simply a matter of the participants “lightly dressed” – in T-shirt and shorts – walking back and forth between Crap Sogn Gion and Crap Masegn in the depths of winter. What sounds like a teenage prank, however, primarily promotes awareness of the health-promoting aspect of “self-leadership”, which the Erna Foundation in charge is striving for. In a six-week online preparation programme, the approximately 100 participants are trained to control their own breathing, heart rate and blood circulation and thus to cope better with external conditions. Well-known personalities from cultural and sports circles took part and the six-figure donations collected were given to two charitable organisations. The ambience of the Weisse Arena Group was value-enhancing, as the Erna Foundation had chosen the company as the ideal partner for “somewhat different events” like this one and is striving for a long-term partnership.

In the context of the environment, the White Arena Group takes an extremely active stance. For the Group, a sustainable approach to nature is fully in line with its sustainable management as a company: “We offer our guests experiences in a unique natural environment. Our business activities are always in harmony with these natural resources and we are committed to sustainable use of them, because an intact environment is a guarantee for our future and for the next generation.” In order to emphasise this principle, the Group launched the GREENSTYLE brand in 2010 as the hallmark for all efforts in favour of the environment. The brand sensitises employees, business partners and customers to the environment. WAG is convinced that the positive ecological balance of a holiday resort will attract customers. 

In autumn 2019 WAG announced an ambitious vision for GREENSTYLE, in which Flims Laax Falera is to become the first self-sufficient alpine resort. The entire energy demand of the resort is to be covered by regional renewable energy. To this end, the Group has drawn up a comprehensive 7-point plan, ranging from the electrified mobility and decarbonisation of the buildings to expanding the production of renewable energy. As a groundbreaking thought-provoking impulse, WAG presents the cheeky closing remark: “Imagine our resort is transformed from consumer to producer of energy.”

Companies with Deep-Connect value

9 interconnected value contexts in a green ski hotel

rocksresort is a complex owned and operated by the White Arena Group, located right next to the skilift in the village of Laax in the Swiss Alps. It has a hotel and holiday apartments, playgrounds for children and young people, as well as sports facilities such as badminton, skate boarding, trampoline and slackline. The complex also offers a comprehensive range of services with shops, restaurants and bars, and is increasingly becoming a location for events. In short, rocksresort offers everything one needs for a holiday in the mountains. Combining a residential residence with sports facilities, an event location and a shopping mall, rocksresort represents the entirety of a holiday destination in a microcosm of approximately two hundred metres. Nine networked contexts for the guest form Deep-Connect value, starting with the guest and including more and more communities, as shown in the graphic and outlined below.

1. Group feeling despite divergent activities: A group of guests with different preferences, whether family or peers, can pursue their own preferences and still stay connected because they are in the same place. The guests enjoy their own activities more, because they know that they are part of a travel group, while the others in the group follow their preferences and are just around the corner; due to the physical proximity the group feeling of joint activities is preserved.

2. Low-emission holiday: For the duration of the holiday stay at the rocksresort, the guest can partially or completely do without a motorised vehicle. Many holiday activities are immediately available in the complex or can be easily reached by walking or the free shuttle bus in the village. 

The offers 1 and 2 are linked: From the two contexts of group feeling and environmental friendliness a further value is created, namely conscious, considered and thoughtful holidays. Value in Deep-Connect comes from guests experiencing themselves as more aware of their self, the group and the environment by organising the holiday accordingly. 

3. Aesthetic embedding in the locality: The aesthetic sense of the guest is stimulated by the value of an architecture that takes up the forms and materials of the region and reinterprets them. The architecture and design of the complex is of great value to the guest in the context of the aesthetic embedding in the area through the authentic atmosphere both in terms of the landscape and society. 

4. Low energy consumption in the buildings: rocksresort was built to optimise energy consumption and conserve resources. At the heart of the energy supply is a central woodchip-fired heating system for heat and hot water, fired by wood waste from the locale, thereby minimizing transportation costs and emissions.

In offers 3 and 4, the architectural concept of the complex links authenticity and sustainability. Together with offer 2, the contexts of activities and architecture are unified in the overall design of the complex to be sustainable, creating additional meaningful value in Deep-Connect.

5. Hotel service or self-catering in the apartment: In rocksresort there are only suites with kitchen and living room. The services of a hotel are available, or the guest can cook and clean on his own, or choose a mixture of both. In the rocksresort the apartments can be purchased, which means that the guest can become a co-owner of the holiday complex. As the owner of the holiday apartment, the guest can also choose from the same services as for the hotel guests: Living like at home with all the comforts of a hotel. Linked with offer 1, the planning and execution of the activities in rocksresort can be arranged as a whole with many alternatives that can easily be coordinated, e.g. two guests play badminton while two cook. The value created for the family or group of friends as a “Community” by linking the two contexts represents further meaningful value in Deep-Connect.

6. Events on the doorstep: rocksresort increasingly organizes events and happenings of various kinds, e.g. an outdoor market for sustainable clothes, concerts, and sports competitions. The events link with offers 1 and 5 as another context in which the holiday activities are enriched and coordinated. Furthermore, rocksresort is becoming an “in” place to be and the guest enjoys the privilege of being on-site where exciting things are happening.

7. Social community of regularly returning guests: Both owners and hotel guests visit rocksresort regularly, creating the possibility for bonding. Together with offer 1, there is a sense of an active community at rocksresort: the guest can look forward to encounters throughout the stay, which may be planned, imagined or a welcome surprise.

8. Apartment owner is a co-entrepreneur: A condition for the purchase of an apartment is participation in the novel “buy-to-use-and-let” concept. When the owner is not in the suite, it is rented out by the White Arena Group as if it were a hotel room to guests. Each owner makes the suite available for rent during a minimum number of weeks in the year. The proceeds from the rental are shared out equally amongst the owners, who thus collectively act as landlords.

Because the rocksresort is designed to be ecologically, aesthetically and economically sustainable and thus focused on value retention, the owner can consider himself an investor in an environmentally friendly and financially sound property in a future-oriented holiday resort. And this in a community with other owners, where the pooling model means that there is no competition but cooperation. Thus contexts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 reinforce each other, creating Deep- Connect value. The owners experience themselves in a community of people with shared leisure, business and environmental interests and the same taste in architecture and interior design.

9. Promoter of regional development: The “buy-to-use-and-let” concept represents an important contribution to the business development of the White Arena Group, the rocksresort complex and the village of Laax as a touristic destination. Both owners and hotel guests can stay in the suites, raising the number of visitors during the year to the destination, from which all local businesses potentially benefit. Thus the owners gain value from contributing to the regional development of an area which they have chosen as a kind of home. The regional development in turn is supported by the attractive value in rocksresort of offers 1 – 8. In this way the owners gain value in Deep-Connect through the personal and economic connection to the entire destination.

Summing up, the meaningful value in Deep-Connect from the rocksresort complex forms a tightly interconnected structure of value generated in nine contexts. Thanks to this interconnected value rocksresort stands for a new, alpine lifestyle. In November 2017 rocksresort was awarded World’s Best Green Ski Hotel at the World Ski Awards, in November 2019 it was awarded second best. With its modern architecture and innovative concept, it generates social and aesthetic as well as ecological and economic value in the nine interconnected contexts.