When we arrive at Mountain Hub, we’re asked to take off our shoes or put on some slippers. The atmosphere is studious. “We like things calm,” we’re told straight away in hushed tones. “Even though there’s plenty of interaction between users.” Maarten is convinced that with the emergence of new technologies, young entrepreneurs from the local area and further afield are on the lookout for open and informal spaces. His client base is highly diverse, hailing from Switzerland, England and even Norway. There are bankers, web developers, marketing specialists and even a start-up specialising in sports eyewear. Some live in the region seasonally or all year round; others are just here for a stay in the resort, but find it impossible to switch off completely.
But what exactly is a coworking space? Here’s a quick explanation from the founder: “We offer a workspace with printers, very high-speed WiFi and a meeting room. There’s also a café area with free tea and coffee, so caffeine addicts can have as much as they like,” jokes Maarten. “Basically, it’s a place that’s much more suited to work than an internet café is. People can focus on their projects, chat with other members and even share their individual skills.”
The thing that strikes us the most during our visit is the view. One question keeps pestering us: is it hard to work when you can see all those skiers heading up to enjoy the pistes? According to Maarten, one of the space’s big advantages is flexibility: it’s open from 8.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday (and Sundays on request). This means users can organise their day to include a morning on the slopes before they sit down at their computers again and get back to work. At Mountain Hub, the house motto is very much “Work & Play”.
The coworking space has a lively events calendar too. Activities are offered to both members and non-members and include the “Inspire Verbier” evenings, which cover a range of current topics (the last one was about Bitcoin), as well as yoga sessions every Tuesday morning.
After spending half a day at Mountain Hub, we almost feel like settling in for good. And who said Verbier was all about freeriding? Just another experience to get stuck into at the heart of Verbier...