Club La Santa’s history
The foundation of Club La Santa was laid in 1968, when the Spanish savings bank La Caja had built a resort town on the northeast side of Lanzarote near the village of La Santa. An apartment complex with a total of 400 units was to be rented as tourist apartments, but because of the oil crisis, the project collapsed before completion.
For 10 years the resort was desolate and decayed due to lack of maintenance.
The owner of Tjæreborg Travel, Ejlif Krogager, also known as the Tjæreborg priest, became aware of the decaying holiday resort and he immediately saw the possibilities. Krogager wanted to create something new, something that the world had not seen before. At a time when the European travel industry mainly focused on beach and nightlife hoidays, he wanted to create a resort where sports enthusiasts and active people could combine a holiday with exercise and sport.
After quick negotiations with La Caja, the resort was taken over by Tjæreborg Travel in 1978, and in June 1983, "La Santa Sport", as is was first named, was ready for opening.
The early years
The early years were difficult years. The Danes were not adequately prepared to replace lazy holidays with the unfamiliar active holiday. The losses were significant and burdensome for the Tjæreborg Group’s total profit, but Ejlif Krogager was steadfast in his belief in the project and predicted: “Club La Santa is a goldmine. It is only a question of when we can dig the gold up!”
In 1989, when Krogager sold Prudhoe Travel to Spies Travel, Club La Santa was not part of the deal, and so ownership of Club La Santa remained in Krogager family’s hands.
A new management, with Leif Rasmussen as CEO, was introduced in the early 90s, and after a few years of rationalization and restructuring the resort's financial balance improved. 1995 was the turning point with the first profit.
Eilif Krogager died in 1992 and never got to see his gold from Club La Santa.
Club La Santa today
Since 1995, Club La Santa has made a profit every year, and visitors now come from all over the world. Half of the guests are Danish, 30% British and about 10% are German.
In 2012, the first steps towards a major modernization and expansion of Club La Santa were taken. In April 2014, a range of new facilities and 96 new suites were opened extending the occupational capacity from 1,250 guests to 1,600 guests. Read more about the new Club La Santa here.
At the time of opening in 2014, Executive Director Frederik Sohns stated:
"Club La Santa’s guests are a mix of very different people. There are guests of all ages, from the young at sports school to seniors, and with different objectives. There are athletes, serious exercisers and ordinary families and singles. And do not be surprised if you encounter a world champion or celebrity in the restaurant or bar; they just naturally fit into the picture here.
Frederik Sohns continues: ”There is a unique spirit and atmosphere at Club La Santa. Apart from the facilities and activities themselves, guests interact and socialise naturally and inspire each other, making new friends and feeling the contagious passion for life that radiates from both guests and staff. Once you have experienced what a stay with us means for your health, your confidence and yes ... with your satisfaction with life as a whole, you can't wait to come back. And the children just think that everything is so cool!”
”Our guests are very loyal and on average have been here 7 times. You do not see that with many destinations in the world, and it shows that we are doing something right,” concludes Frederik Sohns.
Club La Santa is owned by registered company A/S of 3 June 1986, which in turn is fully owned by the Krogager Foundation, formerly called the Foundation of 29 December 1967. The foundation is administered by Ejlif Krogager’s descendants, with grandson Rune Knude as Chairman.