Piet Derksen

Dutch businessman (1913-1996)

Piet Derksen (1913, Rotterdam - 24 February 1996, Westerhoven) was a Dutch businessman who founded Center Parcs. He was also a philanthropist. He donated all his fortune to charity.[1]


Piet's father thought he was reading too much, so he said to his son that he should go and play tennis. Pieter listened to the advice of his father, but he was more interested in making money from tennis. He borrowed money from his family and built a tennis court near Kralingen in Holland with it.

Later on, Pieter had the idea to sell his tennis course and start a sport store. It was called "Sporthuis-centrum" which means "Sporthouse-centre". He bought a tent factory in North Brabant. At the time, lots of people wanted bigger, better tents. Pieter decided to rent out tents on a piece of land he bought near Reuver. This was a great success, so the tents were replaced with bungalows. In 1978 Pieter decided to sell his sports stores - he did this so he could concentrate on "Sporthuis Centrum".[2] He built a house for himself on the Center Parcs site "De Kempervennen" near Eindhoven. He did this so he could see his company working and be close to his customers.


  1. RENE BOGAARTS. "Vermogen Center Parcs-oprichter fiks geslonken Kinderen Derksen halen twee stichtingen leeg". De Volkskrant. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  2. "1953 - 1979 (History)". www.centerparcs.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05.