While everybody is still indulging in perfectly groomed pistes, some are busy with preparations for the summer. Instead of a snow park, people should soon be visiting a wakeboard park up on the Hornberg. This is the plan of six young residents.
The idea may seem slightly crazy but the six young members of the Wake Up Gstaad association know what they’re doing. The fact that two years ago they received a local innovation award, the Prix de Gessenay, for this idea shows that it is not completely absurd and now they are showing that it is feasible. Their plan is to make use of the artificial lake, which serves as a water reservoir for the snow production in winter, in summer as well. Marco Reimle, member of the association, explains that they want to “create a new offer for tourists and residents”.
A low-noise electric lift with two masts will make for the action. It’s a system that can be run by a single person. The possible length of the ride will be about 120 metres, speed can be adjusted to the rider’s level, and elements like ramps and rails will cater for the entertainment of the more experienced wakeboarders. A bar, containers for storage and sanitary facilities will also be required to complement the site. The complete setup, including the lift, will be mobile. This means all the elements cam be removed in autumn, so no traces of the summer fun will be left in winter.
Crowdfunding is ongoing
The costs of the project are estimated at CHF 100’000.–, a good part of which could be secured via sponsors and a contribution from the municipality of Saanen. The remaining CHF 30’000.– are being raised with a crowdfunding throughout February. People who participate will be eligible for a special offer, such as a special event day at the wakeboard facility or a half-price season pass.
First waves in summer 2018
Ideally, the wakeboard facility should open in June 2018. As soon as the finances will have been secured, the project will be implemented. If everything goes according to plan, the lift and rental gear will be available on weekends by mid-June. From July to the beginning of September the facility is planned to be open daily.
Markus Iseli / AvS