Since the takeover in 2020, attempts have been made to realign the mountain railways in terms of personnel and structure. Old structures and inefficient operational processes were wanted to be changed, writes the operator family around Bernhard Eibl senior and junior in their information letter to property owners, mayors and tourism associations.
Entrepreneurs speak of hate campaigns and bullying
The dissatisfaction with the restructuring plans in the workforce was so great that there were hate campaigns and bullying attacks against their children, writes the entrepreneurial family Eibl. Employees have threatened to quit during the season and loyal employees have been branded traitors by other colleagues.
Accusation: No support from local businesses
Because of all these incidents, legal action is being prepared. But the operators criticize that they not only missed the necessary support internally, but also felt that the local companies had let them down. All of this has led to the fact that the lift operation is now being given up.
Abort attempts made two weeks ago
A request for demolition was made two weeks ago, because as a lift operator you are also obliged to dismantle immediately. Heavy equipment is already waiting in front of the valley station. Lift Managing Director Bernhard Eibl is a demolition contractor himself. He has not yet responded to ORF requests.
The local chief was surprised
In Gaißau and Hintersee there is now anything but Easter peace. Even if there have been rumours, one is surprised by the rapid shutdown of operations. “It’s a catastrophe for Hintersee and the region. We depend on tourism. We have no industry and no big companies here. We have always been based on tourism and the lift is simply an important part of it,” says Paul Weißenbacher, Mayor of Hintersee (ÖVP).
Hotelier: “Don’t give up hope”
In the past two winter seasons, the hotels won back the ski guests. “The skiers are back. There are already bookings for next season. We also hope that it will continue and that we won’t have to cancel our guests again,” says Albert Ebner, the Hinterseer hotelier and tourism division chairman in the Chamber of Commerce.
The crisis-ridden lift company in Gaissau Hintersee is once again on the brink of collapse after just two seasons. According to the operators, hate campaigns and bullying by former employees, for example, led to the decision to stop operations. Two weeks ago, the managing director submitted an application for cancellation to the authority.
State Council expects talks with lift operators
In the next three weeks, the authority will examine the demolition application from the lift owners. Everything else remains completely open over the Easter holidays. “We have to see how we get on here. There will certainly be talks in the next few days, certainly also on the part of state politics,” said Ebner. From the office of the responsible provincial councilor Stefan Schnöll (ÖVP), it is only said that one will talk to the lift operators.
Years of tugging
The ski area is particularly popular with winter sports enthusiasts from the area around the city of Salzburg and Upper Austria. In 2015, a Chinese investor took over 75 percent of the badly hit operation. After two years, he wanted to clear the company of debts through a restructuring process, but he failed to make the promised investments, so that bankruptcy proceedings were opened in 2019. In the spring of 2020, a local entrepreneur took over the ski area before throwing in the towel after two winters.