Kitzbühel’s Fleckalmbahn cable car is set to re-open to the public on 14 December 2019, after an extensive renovation project costing €27.5 million. The upgrade works, which are part of an ongoing series of developments in the historic Austrian ski resort and surrounding area, are cementing the town’s status as the leading winter sports destination in the region.
Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel began works on the 35-year-old cable car in the spring, which sees larger, faster and more stylish cabins coming in to service this winter season. Each of the 96 spacious cabins will now accommodate ten passengers, up from six, and users will benefit from ergonomically shaped, individual leather heated seats, ensuring maximum comfort. 22 towers were required in the building of the new cable car, down from 29, and thanks to innovative route-planning and the use of state-of-the-art construction techniques, cabins will be less susceptible to winds, meaning a smoother ride.
When re-opened, the Fleckalmbahn cable car will carry 2,590 passengers an hour and will be more energy efficient and quieter than its predecessor, with annual energy consumption expected to drop by an impressive 75,000 kWh. What’s more, cabins will now travel up and down the slopes at 70kph, nearly twice the speed as previously, meaning holidaymakers can enjoy more time on the beautiful pistes of Kitzbühel.
The works to the new Fleckalmbahn cable car will have taken just eight months to complete when it opens in December, thanks to extensive planning and the efficient working methods of a number of regional construction companies. The project represents Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel’s biggest single investment to date and is part of a bigger infrastructure initiative, which was founded in 2000 and carries the motto ‘Better not Bigger!”.
The winter sports season in Kitzbühel is one of the longest in the Alps, with more than 200 days of ski and boarding to enjoy from October to May. Those looking for an early break do not need to wait for the new cable car to open, with the opportunity to hit the slopes from 19 October 2019, when the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel will open the new season on the Resterhöhe, which is the training area of the Austrian and German Ski Teams. Then a week later, on the 26 October, the world famous Hahnenkamm mountain will open, which is home to the legendary Streif slope and is easily accessible from Kitzbuhel’s town centre, thanks to the Hahnenkammbahn cable car.
Situated at an altitude of between 762 – 2,000m, holidaymakers to Kitzbühel find some of the best snow conditions anywhere in the Alps, with 57 cable cars and lifts, 234km of glorious pistes and 92 marked and groomed ski slopes to enjoy. The Hanglalm Snowpark and nearby natural toboggan runs are ideal for thriller-seekers, while the town’s four artificial and two natural ice-skating rinks provide the perfect activity for those wishing to make the most of time when away from the slopes. Increasingly popular with Brits, thanks to a growing number of low-cost direct flight connections between the UK and Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich, Kitzbühel is also a Mecca for lovers of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and high-altitude hiking.
Kitzbühel has long been known for its superb ski offering, with the first ever high-Alpine descent on skis in Austria taking place on the Kitzbüheler Horn mountain more than 125 years ago. But the town in the western province of Tyrol has a rich history dating back far further, to the 12th Century, meaning that today Kitzbühel boasts a delightful mix of Medieval architecture with a traditional Austrian feel comprising boutique hotels, artisan shops, fascinating museums and countless unique eateries including more than 60 mountain inns and restaurants.
More from Kitzbühel
It’s snowing awards on Kitzbühel: The seventh edition of the prestigious World Ski Awards will take place in Kitzbühel 22-24 November 2019. The three-day annual event recognises, rewards and celebrates excellence in international ski tourism and brings together industry leaders to exchange local knowledge, innovations and principles of best practise on a global stage. The World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony will take place at the magnificent A-ROSA Kitzbühel and will include a cocktail reception, dinner and after party. Kitzbühel itself has previously been named ‘Austria’s Best Ski Resort’ for the last six years running, and in 2015 won the much-coveted accolade of ‘World’s Best Ski Resort’. Kitzbühel’s local lift company has also received recognition, with it holding the title of ‘World’s Best Ski Resort Company” since 2014.
Start 2020 with a bang: The people of Kitzbühel mark New Year in style, and holidaymakers are encouraged to take centre stage. This year tens of thousands of revellers will celebrate during three full days of partying, with the highlight being the “Rasmusleiten”, a free event that will take place near the finishing point of the famous Hahnenkamm race on the evening of 1 January 2020. The proceedings will begin with torchlit-skiing from the Red Devils and the element3 ski school, and will include traditional music, fire jumping, and a huge firework display curated by the hugely talented Armin Lukasser.
Horsing around in the Austrian Alps: Kitzbühel is set to host the 18th edition of the Snow Polo World Cup 16-19 January 2020. One of the largest polo tournaments to take place on snow, the unique fast-paced event will feature eight international teams and is expected to attract 15,000 spectators. Access to the Münichau Stadium, which benefits from the beautiful backdrop of the Wilder Kaiser, will be free throughout the tournament, however there will be a special ticketed evening party at the venue, in which fans will be able to meet and socialise with the players.
Go to Kitzbühel
A seven-night stay in Kitzbühel at the five-star Tennerhof Gourmet & Spa de Charme Hotel, arriving 11 January 2020, in a double room is priced from £1,185 pp based on two people sharing room and including breakfast. Ryanair offer return flights from Stansted to Salzburg on those dates from £46 pp.
Tennerhof Gourmet & Spa de Charme Hotel (www.tennerhof.com, +43 5356 63181).
To start planning your Kitzbühel ski trip and for more information please visit: www.kitzski.uk