The rush varies. There are no vacationers, locals used the day off in partly wintry weather for their first turns.
Rush to Salzburg’s ski areas
In Salzburg and Upper Austria, the start of the season was photographed in changeable but snowy weather. At the Schmittenhöhe, expectations were confirmed without the hotel business without hut fun with around 1,600 visitors. In Zauchensee and Obertauern, each open since last weekend, up to 3,000 ski enthusiasts have flocked to the slopes in the last few days. The Annaberg and Hinterstoder-Wurzeralm regions recorded a similarly strong rush on St. Mary’s Day. This is only developing moderately in Saalbach.
Good start to the season in Carinthia
On the Turracher Höhe, which lies on the border between Carinthia and Styria, there was a really busy crowd. “We have around 1,500 people in the ski area”, Harald Rossmann from the limited mountain railways on APA request. That is a good value for the start of the season – even if you notice, of course, that the ski vacationers are missing. With the 2G controls there are “no problems at all,” said Rossmann: “We have a correspondingly large number of cashiers today that we have no waiting time.”
2G controls work fine
Sabine Peternell said that the season had a “very good” start to the season in Bad Kleinkirchheim on Wednesday: “We are satisfied – the weather is not the best, but that doesn’t detract from skiing fun.” There are hardly any problems with the 2G controls: “We are pleased that many guests have prepared themselves well, they have already bought ski tickets in the webshop and have also linked the 2G certificate with them.” But there is still room for improvement here: “It would be of great help if people could find out about these options online before the day of skiing.”
Lively crowds in Styria
In Styria, for example, the Stuhleck Bergbahnen open their gates on public holidays. When asked by APA, Managing Director Fabrice Girardoni asked, there was a lively rush: “Also because many season tickets are redeemed.” The people waiting are spread out in the open, and in general in the industry you have the feeling that people are happy to be outside. When queuing, the winter sports enthusiasts are very disciplined: “We have the impression that people have internalized the control mechanisms such as 2G in the past time.”
“The people come well prepared”
There was already a real rush on the Planai last weekend – they responded with a new queuing concept, which already worked well on the holiday, said managing director Georg Bliem in an interview with the APA. “The people who are standing in line are divided up: those who have already bought a ticket online and those who only die when to buy one. This is associated with a high level of personnel costs, but it works.” The rush was unbroken, shortly after 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday people were queuing at minus twelve degrees, in the morning more than 3,500 were on the slopes. According to Bliem, the 2G controls run completely without problems: “People come well prepared, pull out the cell phone with the Green Pass right away.” And the FFP2 mask is also used as protection against the cold.
Green passport and ski pass in one
The understanding of the detailed controls of the safety measures in the gondolas and lifts was consistently great. The possibility of linking the ski pass online with the personal health certificate has been readily accepted everywhere and has relieved the logistical burden on the organizers, summarized Helmut Holzinger, CEO of Hinterstoder-Wurzeralm Bergbahnen AG. The real storm on the ski areas on today’s public holiday resulted in a brief server overload of the central control systems for admission tickets and 2G certificates in the morning. Different, sometimes outdated systems in the various ski areas did not yet work across the board, noted Holzinger.
Positive start for gastro in Annaberg
With a view to the hotel industry, the chairman of the Upper Austria Cable Car Group was concerned. The demand in the huts and restaurants that are open for take-away service is very limited nationwide, only in Annaberg in Salzburg is happy about catering establishments with regenerative consumption. If overnight stays and restaurants remained closed, ski tourism was “doomed to failure from the start,” emphasized Holzinger, pointing to the risk that seasonal workers could migrate to regions where the lockdown would end sooner than Upper Austria.
The state-owned ecoplus Alpin GmbH said that the ski areas in Lower Austria were “normally visited for December 8th” on Wednesday. There were no delays or queues. It is noticeable that. Even in the ski areas that are not yet open, many ski tourers have already been on their way.