Storgata Camping: summer fun all year round
By Molly McPharlin | Photos: Storgata Camping
Summer is one of the best times to visit the Nordics. The long days, light nights, and warm (but never stifling) temperatures are idyllic – the perfect conditions for exploring, holidaying… and mini golf! In Tromsø, Norway, Storgata Camping offers this favourite summer activity under cover, all year round. Despite the name, Storgata Camping is not a camping ground – though it does have the same community feel. Besides mini golf, visitors can enjoy the bar, dance in the nightclub, and sing karaoke. Just, please don’t bring a tent.
Anders Gudmundstuen launched his camping concept in 2016, with Oslo Camping in the centre of the Norwegian capital. Gudmundstuen, previously an art director in the advertising industry, is also a Norwegian champion in miniature golf.
“After many years in the advertising industry, I wanted to try something different, so in 2015 I asked Trøbbelskyter (the company behind several of Oslo’s most popular meeting places) if they wanted to help create a mini-golf bar,” says Gudmundstuen. “As I had zero experience with bars, it was natural that I took responsibility for the development of the mini golf while Trøbbelskyter took care of the rest. We also had valuable input from a small group of advertising and culture professionals.”
The combination of indoor mini golf and a bar saw the venue quickly become popular. In 2018, Camping expanded to other cities around Norway, including Trondheim, Drammen, and Stavanger, and two venues opened in Denmark. In Tromsø, there was already a real campsite named Tromsø Camping. The street name was used instead and Storgata Camping was created.
Storgata Camping has 18 indoor mini golf courses, making it the largest indoor mini golf venue country. Across 1500 square metres is a nightclub, bar, stage, karaoke, and plenty of room for people to enjoy themselves, as well as delicious food by Pizza Kiosken.
A unique Nordic design
Gudmundstuen thinks that using camping as design inspiration is distinctly Norwegian. “In terms of appearance, Storgata Camping probably looks more like a place you would find in Berlin than in Norway, but we are called “camping” because Norwegians associate miniature golf with campsites. In addition, many Norwegians have a strong relationship with camping and camping holidays,” he says.
As Tromsø is a university town, Storgata Camping has become a popular going-out venue. “We naturally have many students and tourists visiting,” says Gudmundstuen. “Our camping sites attract a lot of business people and companies too and, during the daytime on weekends, families with children dominate. In the evenings, it’s mainly groups of friends and dates. Mini golf is a good icebreaker and we’ve always been popular with Tinder dates!’
Mini Golf is not the only draw
Though mini golf plays a major role at Storgata Camping, the nightclub is also very popular. “We have DJs playing every weekend and on stage we’ve had visits from some big names in the Norwegian music scene, including deLillos and Jonas Alaska,” says Gudmundstuen.
Karaoke is also a huge draw. Before Storgata Camping, karaoke establishments were limited in Tromsø. “We tried karaoke in collaboration with another local venture,” says Gudmundstuen. “We had free space, they wanted to test karaoke; it has worked well and we’re happy to offer an alternative activity for those guests who want to stay a little longer. Karaoke is fun!”
Plans for the future
In 2019, the Finnish restaurant group, NoHo Partners, acquired Trøbbelskyter and today they are the majority shareholders of the camping concept bars. Plans are underway to open a site in Helsinki in autumn, 2023, and further bars are slated for Malmö, Sweden and Kristiansand, Norway.
For Gudmundstuen, trying to pick a favourite venue is tricky. “That’s like asking you to pick your favourite child!” he muses. “They are all different and each has its own good sides.” However, with its extensive mini golf courses, inventive karaoke, and popular music scene, Storgata Camping is certainly well loved.
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