Thalmar Center to Close October 31 for Renovation and Expansion

Thalmar Center to Close October 31 for Renovation and Expansion
Thalmar Center to Close October 31 for Renovation and Expansion


Modeling of the future building.

DR

LThe building permit granted on June 14, 2024 to SCI les Thermes marins was immediately discreetly posted on the gates of Thalmar. In the process, Patrick Arrosteguy, the owner of the premises, informed the thousand subscribers of his fitness center as well as the thirty employees of the company: the definitive closure is set for October 31, 2024. The opening of the new complex is scheduled for spring 2026, after a period of 18 months of work.

The architectural project was entrusted to the Estaun firm. The sketches appearing on the building permit show a more massive building than the current one. On the ground, it only occupies an additional 300 m² but the total surface area increases from 2,400 m² to 4,500 m², gained on the floors. The future building will not be higher than the old one: 13.62 meters. The type of architecture, with horizontal lines and a set of stepped roofs, recalls the 70s. The roof will remain in tiles while the base will alternate between Rhune stones and light gray bonding.

25 m pool

The thalassotherapy and spa area will occupy the ground floor. There will be a 25-metre long pool suitable for swimming and a second pool with entertainment such as a fountain, waterfall, swan necks, bubbling bench, etc. The fitness area will be installed on the first and second floors. On these two levels, the rest of the surface area will be occupied by 46 hotel rooms, stamped 4 stars with a restaurant area. On the third floor, the roof terrace will be converted into a solarium. If the head of the company remains discreet about the amounts invested, the envelope would amount to 20 million euros.

On the garden side, the landscape notice notes that the town planning regulations authorize a footprint of 5,600 m²; however, the choice was made to occupy only 1,800 m² of the plot. The rest will be taken up by a 127-space car park and planted with 63 trees. Currently, 55 tamarisks grow on this land. The obligations imposed on builders provide for a total of 63 trees for this area. Some tamarisks will be felled and 37 preserved and supplemented by 27 maritime pines and 36 cork oaks.

Patrick Arrosteguy announces having recorded a loss of 6 million euros in six years

Traditional thalassotherapy, with weekly treatments, is no longer a success. Patrick Arrosteguy announces that he has recorded a loss of 6 million euros in six years, due to Covid and the energy crisis, but not only. “Without on-site accommodation, like at Thalmar, thalassotherapy is not attractive,” insists Patrick Arrosteguy from his hotel Le Biarritz, which became Ibis Biarritz Plage a few weeks ago, located a few hundred meters from Thalmar. “Customers want to be able to go from their room to the treatment rooms in their bathrobes,” emphasizes the man who also runs Atlanthal in Anglet, in addition to many other hotels on the coast (1,500 beds in total).

“Despite everything, I have not sold, not filed for bankruptcy and we are still working on a thalassotherapy project,” says the business leader happily. His enthusiasm for the prospect of renewal does not, however, make everyone happy. Employees are worried about losing their jobs (see below). Subscribers, some of whom have been paying for 20 years, feel orphaned even though they have been offered the opportunity to continue their subscription to Atlanthal while waiting for the new centre. It may change its name but it will continue to be open to subscribers, as well as to external customers.

Layoffs are not going down well

A group of Thalmar employees wrote an open letter to Patrick Arrosteguy to express their outrage over the upcoming layoffs. They wrote: “The closure for works becomes a cessation of activity with the dismissal of all employees. You invited us to contact France Emploi to find out the provisions inherent in the new situation. Your lack of empathy for the chaos that this creates in the lives of some, or even of thanks for the work carried out by employees over all these years, creates unease. The violence of this announcement… is in total contradiction with what you announced to us a few months earlier, namely: jobs and salaries will be maintained for the entire duration of the works.” The employees are asking their boss “to end our suffering and to proceed with the immediate closure of Thalmar with payment of salaries until the end of October, immediate payment of severance pay, as well as the extension of the employment contract for those who wish to remain within the group.”

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