'Pyramid Scheme': Project for Women-Only Island in Finnish Archipelago Fails to Materialise

Vacation  - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.10.2021
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The project for an island off the coast of Raseborg ran into difficulties as it raised both environmental issues and questions about gender equality, before ultimately devolving into was has been described as a "pyramid scheme".
So-called Supershe Island on Fjärdskär in the Ekenäs archipelago in southwestern Finland, marketed as an exclusive holiday paradise for women with luxury accommodation for ten people only, is now for sale for 2.4 million euros ($2.8 million).
Nearly four years ago German-American businesswoman Kristina Roth started marketing the concept of Supershe Island as a private holiday resort reserved for women only. The plans for a women-only luxury island made headlines around the world and, according to Roth, thousands had applied to come there. However, the plans to turn the 3.5-hectare island into a getaway spot have since come to an ignominious end.
Sven Holmberg, the chairman of the planning committee, said he is not surprised that the island is now up for sale.

"It was a castle in the air and in the end it was a question of a pyramid scheme", Holmberg told national broadcaster Yle, referring to the changes made in the Supershe company in 2019. Then, a paid application was launched and the first ten individuals who managed to get a hundred others to download the app were promised to be allowed to come to the women's island for free.

At Raseborg City's tourist department, the tone was initially very positive and the project was seen as a vehicle to market the town internationally. Since then, however, the project has run into difficulties. Among other things, Kristina Roth has expressed frustration over the rigid bureaucracy and the electricity supply to the island. Furthermore, both the environmental impact and the principle of gender equality in the archipelago have been discussed with local politicians.
Yet, the key question was the amount of housing to be built on the island. When Kristina Roth first bought the island, there were four smaller buildings from the 1970s. Her wish was to expand, therefore she applied to increase the building rights from 340 to 690 square metres. Raseborg City's planning committee, however, ruled that this was not sustainable.
Furthermore, Kristina Roth also had some buildings erected on the island of Fjärdskär without permission. According to Raseborg's leading planning engineer Niklas Skog, an application for an exemption permit was submitted afterwards, but the case has not been processed yet. Skog emphasised that if the island is sold, it is up to the new owner to sort it all out.
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