The Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad (BDG) has really scooped up the awards at this year's Skiareatest Winter Awards and has been presented with the prize for the highest achiever of 2019.
On 17 May, the 24th ceremony for the 2018/19 Winter Awards took place in Tyrol. Gstaad received awards in seven categories, according to a press release. In addition to being awarded the best achiever of the year 2019, BDG was awarded the Gold Pistengütesiegel (Slope Quality Seal), the International Pistengütesiegel for their toboggan runs and Gold for the best guest information system. Matthias In-Albon received the Bergbahner of the Year Award. The Pistenleitertrophy (Piste Leader Trophy) went to Walter Reichenbach and the architectural trophy to Elisabeth Wampfler from Jaggi Architektur & Innenarchitektur.
Plans are moving forwards in Gstaad
The BDG is particularly pleased about the awards because a lot has happened in Gstaad in the last few years: Six mountain houses have been renovated along with considerable investment dedicated to technical snowmaking. The new Saanersloch lift cost 30 million Swiss francs and 15 million will be invested in the Eggli gondola lift, due to open this winter. The International Skiareatest awards show that the forward-thinking strategy applied by BDG has been fruitful and has paid off.
In-Albon receives the Bergbahner of the Year Award
The Bergbahner of the Year Award includes the entire Alpine area. As managing director of BDG, Matthias In-Albon has achieved a lot in the last four years. He took over the management of the BDG after a run of previously negative figures and headlines, applying a very drastic remedy. This involved a process that can only be mastered if you consciously try to push outside of the comfort zones, to quote In-Albon. Hence one of the reasons why he’s so happy about the destination’s outstanding performance and his nomination: “We’ve achieved our ambitious goals and are proud to say that people are speaking of Gstaad in positive terms again. However, to get to this point, we’ve been forced to make many uncomfortable decisions in recent years.”
The Pistengütesiegel and the Architectural Trophy
The strength of the team behind the BDG was highlighted by the international Pistengütesiegel Gold Award. In-Albon was also impressed with the Piste Rescue and Safety Trophy and the Best Guest Information System Award. The Pistenleitertrophy (Piste Leader Trophy) shows great appreciation for Walter Reichenbach. Every winter’s night, 195 kilometres of ski slopes are prepared to end up in tip-top condition. The Architectural Trophy awarded to Elisabteh Wampfler from Jaggi Architektur & Innenarchitektur just goes to show the level of international enthusiasm for the new Saanerslochbahn. This pioneering new railway, with state-of-the-art technology, is considered a role model. Last winter, visitors from near and afar were inspired to come and experience the Saanerslochbahn.
Based on AvS/Blanca Burri
Translated by Justine Hewson