Welcome to this special edition of Walker Talk in Europe. In 1977, when we designed the first Walker, we were not thinking of market potential in Europe. In fact, we were not thinking about market potential anywhere. The Walker design was approached from the starting point of making a machine to do a job (mow and vacuum landscaped areas) rather than designing to fit a market. When marketing was started in 1980, we stayed close to home in Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma. But to our surprise, the markets began to open quickly across the United States, Canada and overseas. We found that the job the Walker was designed to do had wide application and wide market potential.
The rich color of its buildings and grounds represent more than just a well-kept piece of Baroque history. They serve as a beacon to the largest cultural center in Europe. About 80 km outside of Vienna along the Danube River sits Stitt Melk, a monastery built in the 8th century, which now serves as a gathering place for tourists throughout Europe.
Belvedere and Schōnbrunn castles are unique places in Vienna, Austria. Combined, these two castles draw nearly 10 million visitors a year. It is easy to see why visitors are charmed by the beauty of these venues.
GMV in Hooglede opened its doors in 1978. Owned and operated by Patsy Verplanke, GMV is unique in two ways. First, Verplanke is very creative and aggressive, tells Erwin Vander Putten, commercial salesperson for the Walker master distributor in Belgium, Depiere. "The commercial market has a lot of potential here, and she is willing to do what it takes to capitalize on this potential."
There are 300 campsites in Park Pollentier, Middlekerkel, Oostende. Mowing the area used to be a never-ending task for camp owner Martin Gernaey. In fact, he and another operator would never finish the task using two walk mowers; it was literally never-ending.
Visitors of the Vissenbjerg Church can't help but marvel at the old architecture, some of which dates back to the 12th century. Inside, the eye beholds several 15th century wood figures, a magnificent altarpiece that dates back to about 1525, and the baptismal font from around 1200, the oldest item in the church.