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This Dutch Entrepreneur Bought an Entire Village in Hungary

The rural village of Bedepuszta might seem like an unlikely setting for a Dutch lifestyle business but that's exactly what this tranquil collection of buildings has become for entrepreneur Elroy Thümmler.  As you can see from the video above, Bedepuszta is now a beautiful village – successfully operating as a wedding, corporate and events venue – but it hasn't always been like this for Elroy.

The Dutchman's personal story became intertwined with that of Bedepuszta back in 2002 when he travelled there with some friends who were exploring the idea of buying a house in the village. 

The full story of Elroy's village purchase is detailed on his website here but this is our summary;  after purchasing one property (which turned out to be the wrong house), he gradually set about purchasing all of the other properties in the village (not our recommended method of village-buying but certainly one we've heard of in various countries including Italy, Spain, Portugal and of course Hungary).  On this approximately 10-year journey, Elroy had to carefully manage (and ultimately became friends) with the families inhabiting some of the homes in the village.  His unconventional approach to those negotiations (involving house-swaps rather than cash transactions) was clearly successful and culminated in him, along with some of his Dutch friends, acquiring all of the properties in the village. 

Bedepuszta's first event – Sziget Detox – took place in 2013 and is an ongoing success together with other retreats and regular events held there.  As development works continued for a number of years (including house renovations and the addition of a large pavilion, bar and swimming pool), the village wasn't officially open for business until 2019 however in the intervening period numerous events were held there including a corporate retreat for WeTransfer – a hugely successful tech company.  Their desire to host an event in Bedepuszta ultimately led to Elroy arranging for the installation of a fibre optic internet connection.  Combined with the serendipitous decision to significantly upgrade the roads leading to the village, Bedepuszta went from being a remote and difficult to reach rural community to an extremely well connected village with significant potential for retreats and events of all types.

In recent years the village has hosted weddings, film festivals, music festivals, corporate retreats and much more so it's a useful example for prospective village buyers looking for inspiration to create a business from their own village, hamlet or ghost town.

Follow the lead of tech company WeTransfer and host a corporate retreat at Bedepuszta, Hungary.


To learn more about Elroy and his journey with Bedepuszta;

Click here for their Facebook page

Click here for their Youtube channel

For more information about weddings, events and corporate retreats visit their website (