Shimano has opened a sort of testing ground for consumers in Valkenburg, in the Limburg province of the Netherlands. The so-called Shimano Experience Centre offers a fishing lake, a 100-room hotel, a fitness center, a product showcase, conference rooms and a food court. It is open to the public seven days a week, with no reservations necessary. The idea is to invite consumers to solicit advice from experts and try out the company's products in fishing tackle, cycling and rowing, as well as services and products from its subsidiary cycling companies, Bikefitting.com and Pearl Izumi. Workshops will be organized there by the Shimano Service Center. Conceived about four years ago, the center was inaugurated on April 12, in the presence of Taizo Shimano, the Japanese company's senior executive vice president, and Marc van Rooij, president of Shimano Europe.

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