Inflation in ski resorts: Prices on the slopes are rising

Status: 11/24/2022 10:51 AM

Inflation drives up prices in ski resorts. At least in Kaprun, Austria, the operators are not trying to pass the entire increase onto the guests – with some creative measures.

By Wolfgang Vichtl, ARD Studio Vienna

Norbert Karlsböck, CEO of Gletscherbahnen Kaprun, rides with us in the gondola to the Kitzsteinhorn, on the glacier. There is always snow at over 3000 meters and the gray clouds are one floor below. Karlsböck is in a good mood, especially with the guests, who come in larger numbers than expected – after a record summer in the mountains, now also at the beginning of winter.

“The desire has increased – for freedom, for natural space, for socializing in a carefree way,” says Karlsböck. Bookings are going well again in the Austrian winter sports resorts. Although everything has become more expensive.

Silent savings

Gernot Ressler of the Tauern SPA in Kaprun, an energy-guzzling wellness temple on a greenfield site, says he is cautious: “On average, that is eight to nine percent, which we pass on to guests when price increases.” That is far below inflation and purchase prices. “Of course we try to dive through it,” he says.

Dive through the crisis. Also with energy savings – where the guest should not notice. Then a sauna has less time. Some only raise prices in high season. Kai Uwe Zschau from Saxony got his room at the beginning of the season at the old price, he says. “I didn’t notice anything about the accommodation,” said Zschau. When paying for the day ticket, he did not check whether anything had changed.

“Of course it’s always cheaper”

In fact, Zschau has to pay 5.50 euros more for the day ticket this year. “The day ticket now costs 66 euros and has increased by 9.6 percent compared to last year,” says Karlsböck of the Gletscherbahn. That’s less than inflation for everything else. Lech am Arlberg or Ischgl charge 67 euros per day, one euro more than in Kaprun. For the time being, everyone is making sure not to exceed the limit of 70 euros.

Valentino is standing by the half pipe, his snowboard under his arm and squinting in the blazing sun. He is from Australia. Not so bad here, he says. “Of course it’s always cheaper.” But he has already traveled to many other ski resorts, which were even more expensive – and not necessarily nicer. “The halfpipes are wonderful here, nice weather, you can’t ask for more,” says the Australian.

Less fast, less hot, more eco

Something less is always possible. Also save on the cable cars – and hope you don’t notice it too much because of the high-tech ski pants. “Of course we don’t use heated seats,” says Karlsböck. The cabs also run at a reduced speed of about 20 percent. “That roughly corresponds to the reduction in power consumption.”

This is also carefully calculated. explains Gernot Ressler from the Tauern SPA. On holiday, guests only have to work up a sweat in the sauna, and not because of annoying questions from those who stayed at home. The electricity in Tyrol and Vorarlberg mainly comes from hydroelectric power plants in the region. The SPA resort uses more than 70 percent biogas and 100 percent green electricity. “This is of course very, very important for our guests so that they don’t have a bad conscience to go on vacation, so to speak.”

Austria: Skiing is getting more expensive, your butt stays cold

Wolfgang Vichtl, ARD Vienna, November 24, 2022 8:15 am

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