Time to plan11.08.2020 Local News
The infrastructure on the ice rink area must be renovated. A decisive step forward has been taken, as Stefan Romang informed the general assembly of Eisbahn Gstaad AG. The municipality of Saanen has granted a planning loan of CHF 100,000.
The project planning for the redevelopment and expansion concept of the ice rink area has given the board of directors more work than usual, emphasised Stefan Romang. The core group founded specifically for this purpose had worked very efficiently. In autumn 2019, they would have been ready to start the planning, some architects had responded to a call for tenders and the implementation was to start in August 2020.
However, Eisbahn Gstaad AG cannot manage the project alone. The municipality of Saanen is involved in the planning and they put the project on ice for a few months. “In Gstaad, larger projects are pending in which the municipality is involved. Therefore, the need for greater clarification in and around Gstaad has required a little more time for the municipality,” Romang explained. In the meantime, the wheel has started to turn again with some momentum, he emphasised.
Planning can begin
“In late autumn, we clarified the needs of the various users, we talked to those responsible and collected requests,” explained Walter Heer, municipal councilor and head of the core group. Now the work is being taken forward again. “The Saanen municipal council has granted a planning loan of CHF 100,000,” Heer informed. A temporary building commission for the ice rink area will also be established. It will consist of two municipal councillors, two members of the Eisbahn AG and one member of the planning department.
In a first step the substance of the entire structure needs to be examined. Moreover, many questions remain in what proves a complex constellation: There are numerous contracts, including the building lease with the municipality, rental contracts, sublease agreements and various owners are involved: the Eisbahn Gstaad AG as the owner of the ice rink area, the municipality as the owner of the underground car park and the owners’ association Charly’s.
Portal to the promenade
Romang was positively surprised by the interest in the ice rink area from Flurin Riedi, director of Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus. Riedi explained his interest in the ice rink area by pointing out the importance of its role as an entrance portal to the Promenade.
“The goal should be that the ice rink area is at least as high quality as the Promenade – because it is part of the Promenade experience.” One should not underestimate the fact, he said, that the Promenade is an internationally renown beacon.
According to Riedi, in winter the ice rink theme – skating and ice hockey – must be in the foreground. In his opinion, however, one must seize the opportunity to use the area multifunctionally and design and plan in such a way that the destination generates added value year in, year out. “It’s the village square, the meeting place, it stands out, it’s central,” Riedi said.
BASED ON AVS/ANITA MOSER