The Tirol gears up for 2009 ski season
8 September 2009
It’s that time of year when the mere mention of ski and snow creates a buzz and everyone’s asking the same question - what’s new for the ski season?
The Tirol region of Austria once again proves its worth as one of the top skiing destinations with a host of new additions from new hotels to improved resort infrastructure and more focus on families all in aid of making the whole ski experience more enjoyable.
ST ANTON’S NEW RENDL-BAHN OPENS
Major developments are currently underway in St Anton on the new Rendlbahn, with the opening still on track for December 2009. The key improvement is that the base station has been moved to a new location close to the Galzigbahn. The new 8-seater gondola, with heated seats, will be able to carry up to 2000 people an hour in only seven and a half minutes, making it over a third faster than the original 1974 Rendlbahn. Linking both the Galzigbahn and the Rendlbahn from a central location in the heart of the resort is a great triumph for skiers and boarders wanting to access the Rendl slopes.
For more information visit stantonamarlberg.com.
PEAK OF LUXURY
Opening this season at 2350m, the highest point in the Hochzillertal ski area, is a brand new luxury chalet and hotel with its own ski lodge. Nestled between the Wimbachkopf and Marchkopf, the Wedelhütte can only be accessed by gondola or on skis making this 5* luxury experience even more unique. Contemporary style and timeless tradition blend together to create the perfect harmony for escaping the stress and strain of modern life.
From the moment you wake and witness the view of the glistening peaks of the Zillertaler Alps, to the second you fill your lungs with the pure air your dream soon becomes reality. Gourmet-loving guests can enjoy fine dining at the Premium Wedler Lounge, which uses local, authentic produce. Even if you don’t stay, all guests are welcome to sun themselves on the terrace and enjoy a selection of local dishes at the ski lodge. Accommodation in one of the ten Junior Suites starts from 149€ per person per day, including half board.
For more information visit wedelhuette.at.
SKIWELT VOTED TOP RESORT 2009
The SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental has been awarded the best winter ski resort in the world by ‘Ski Resort Service International’. Recognising the continous improvements and modernisations both to the ski runs and lift infrastructure the SkiWelt came top over 70 resorts in 8 countries above Val Gardena in Italy , Val D’Isere in France and Mammoth in the USA. Last season alone three new eight-seater gondola lifts and a new six-seater lift with hoods were brought into service and Westendorf has now been fully integrated into SkiWelt.
The SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental also gained three further award for ‘Best Information’, ‘Best Lift System’ and ‘Best Parking’. For more information visit skiwelt.at.
KARWENDEL’S SILVER LINING
The Silberregion Karwendel is giving a helping hand to all families feeling the pinch this season by offering free ski school, lift passes and ski equipment for all children up to the age of 12. What’s more the Winter SILBERcard invites you to join in a free weekly programme, including snowshoeing, ice skating, skittle night and Tirol’s longest toboggan run in Weerberg. For more information visit: gratisskikurs.com; silberregion-karwendel.at
NEW LIFT SYSTEMS AND SLOPES
Time is of the essence when the slopes are calling so any additions to upgrade the lift network and speed up access is always welcome. For 2009-10 the Tannheimer lift company has replaced both drag lifts on the Rohnenspitze in Zöblen with a new modern 4-seater chairlift. Meanwhile the ski area at Rifflsee on the Pitztal glacier boasts a new lift system, taking skiers from the valley station up to the top at 2350m in only 4 minutes. From the top skiers can experience a new ski run, whcih has been specially designed for slalom training for race teams. The run has been graded a red to black but for those less experienced there is also an easier blue to follow. For more information visit pitztaler-gletscher.at
SHOOT MY RIDE
From the piste to the internet is the motto for the innovative Shoot my Ride project, which is taking place in Sölden this season. Boarders can film their jumps and tricks through the Funpark, which are then shown on the big screen in the Swatch Snowpark and uploaded on to the swatch.com so your mates can see you at your best! For more information visit oetztal.at/en
TRY BIATHLON AT SEEFELD
A new biathlon centre will open in Seefeld this winter for all to try. This exciting winter sport combines cross country skiing and shooting, skiers race with rifles strapped to their backs stopping at a target range every few kilometres ready to shoot their targets. Containing 10 of the most modern and newest shooting targets, the facility has been built as a training centre for the Youth Olympic team, in preparation of the first Youth Winter Olympic games, which will be held in Innsbruck in 2012. Guests will be able to try biathlon on Fridays, two hour lessons from noon to 2pm costs 50 Euros per person if you have your own cross country ski equipment, or 63 Euros if you require rental gear.
For more information visit xc-academy.com. For more information on Seefeld visit seefeld.com/en.
NEW HOTELS AROUND KITZBÜHEL
On 15 December 2009 – just in time for Christmas – Kitzbühel’s first Leading Hotel of the World will open its doors to its guests. Located in the neighbouring village of Jochberg, the 5* Royal Spa Kitzbühel will offer guests a modern and luxurious stay with direct access to the slopes, state of the art spa area and individually styled dining rooms offering exquisite regional and international delicacies. kitzbuehelroyalspa.com.
In the village of Fieberbrunn, close to Kitzbuehel, is another new hotel for winter 2009/10, the new 4* Austria Trend Alpine Resort is due to open in December 2009. The hotel features modern design, good value and blends comfortably with its surrounding alpine landscape. austria-trend.at/alpine-resort-fieberbrunn
Best Season Openers 2009-10
KATY PERRY TO LAUNCH 2009-10 SEASON IN ISCHGL
Internationally famous for its high profile concerts, performed at the beginning and end of the season, Ischgl’s legendary Top of the Mountain Concert will be performed live by chart topper Katy Perry on Saturday 28th November. Kylie Minogue, Scissor Sisters, Pink, Elton John, Lionel Richie, The Sugababes and Bon Jovi have all performed live concerts there.
Entrance to the concert, which kicks off at 6pm, will be by valid lift-pass. A one-day lift ticket for 28 November will be 55euros (covering skiing and the concert). A two-day lift ticket will cost 86euros. Skiing opens at Ischgl, one of Austria's highest and most snowsure resorts, on Friday 27 November. For more information visit ischgl.com
EARLY KICK-OFF IN KAUNERTAL
The Kaunertal glacier will officially open for the 2009-10 snow sports season on October 16th, with the legendary opening festival weekend running through to the 18th. It’s one of the earliest opening dates for a northern hemisphere resort with snowboard and freeski contests, concerts and parties as well as the "Testival" which includes brand new material for the 09/10 season. The full programme is now online at kaunertal-opening.at.
ST ANTON OPENS IN STYLE
The waiting is almost over as St Anton opens in style on 27th November with a VIP-competition to win pole position and carve the first line of the new season with ski legend Karl Schranz. The prize also includes 2 nights in a 4* Hotel and 2 lift passes. On the morning of the 27th the lucky winner will ride the Galzigbahn to the top with a glass of champagne and canapés to hand before becoming the first skier to ski the piste and officially open the season to all. Enter online at stanton-ski-open.com.
The celebrations will include a party kicking off 8.45am, a spectacular ski show by the Arlberg Ski School and the chance to try out the hottest new trends for free during three days of testing for the new season’s ski, snowboard and Telemark equipment.
TRADITIONAL START IN THE ÖTZTAL
Sölden’s season will commence in traditional form with the FIS Ski Worldcup opening. On the 24th October, it will be ladies first for the Women's Giant Slalom and on Sunday the Men's Giant Slalom competition will take place high above Sölden on the Rettenbach Glacier.
From 9th- 11th November, the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glacier is the venue for the MAXXX mountain glacier launch with three days of free ski and snowboard equipment test, live concerts and
What’s New in Tirol for Tour Operators?
- Thomson has introduced the new resort of Bergwang, a quiet and traditional village close to the Bavarian border. Great for beginners and intermediates with access to the Zugspitz Arena and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
- Neilson has introduced the resort of Seefeld, just a short transfer from Innsbruck and great for families and beginners.
- Crystal has introduced the resort of Itter, linked to the huge Ski Welt circuit - Austria's largest, fully integrated, ski area and offers a quieter alternative to Söll.
For more information on the Tirol region see – visittirol.co.uk