The overall situation is satisfactory for the Zückerli-Wispile AG, said Benz Hauswirth, president of the Zückerli-Wispile AG, at the annual meeting. There are also downsides, however, such as the discontinuation of the ski bus.
The shareholders leisurly flocked into the Berghaus on the Wispile for the 16th annual meeting of the Zückerli-Wispile AG. The reason for this was not the agenda, but rather the magnificent sea of fog at almost 2000 metres above sea level. Everybody pulled out their cameras and mobile phones to capture the natural spectacle before they joined the meeting.
The agenda items needed no discussion. The 58 shareholders present – representing about 45 per cent of the share capital – silently approved them.
The hiking trend
“The crisis has shown how guest behaviour has changed,” emphasised Hauswirth in his annual report. “Tourists increasingly seek nature. You also see a lot of young people hiking – not only in summer but in all four seasons.” The rush to the Wispile was great this summer, as it had been the year before, despite the weather.
Despite his general satisfaction with the way things are going, Hauswirth pointed out some downsides. “The fact that the Wispile cable car did not open last winter was a bitter disappointment.” He received many calls and e-mails. But the board deliberately refrained from intervening with the Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad (BDG). “We were aware that it would not have been economically viable to open the Wispile under the Corona measures that had been decreed at the time.”
However, Hauswirth pointed out that there was always a broader economic aspect in addition to the business aspect. “A closed cable car in a ski destination is a sad sight and damages a destination.” They would have liked to see at least the cable car, the Standlift, a take-away and, above all, the high-altitude hiking trail open over Christmas/New Year and in February. “The Eggli hiking trail is not a substitute for our guests,” the chairman emphasised. The circular hiking trail on the Wispile was a pearl of the destination, he said. In his opinion, the offer should have been financed by the GST and the municipality.
Ski bus: expand instead of abolishing
Another negative surprise was the announcement that the ski bus would be discontinued. “I think this is a bad April Fool’s joke,” Hauswirth said. The ski bus service should rather be expanded than abolished, in his view. “The destination advertises its sustainability. A decision like this doesn’t fit in at all,” the president stated firmly. And he added: “Of course, the bus must be financed by the public.” He was convinced that those responsible would overthink their decision. He chose clear words: “I demand that the municipal council gives the OK. It is not up to the municipal administration to decide.”
Surprise vanishes into thin air
Benz Hauswirth would have loved to disclose a surprise, namely the installation of the famous mirror house installation on the Wispile, “which would have settled the issue of closing the Wispile in winter”. But that surprise had vanished into thin air. Nevertheless, the Wispile should not be closed this winter under any circumstances. “Otherwise, we will have a bigger problem with the BDG and the municipality,” Benz Hauswirth added.
In the end, he struck a conciliatory note. He thanked the BDG, the chairman of the board Heinz Brand and CEO Matthias In-Albon for their commitment, as well as the staff for their friendly attitude and dedication.
Based on AvS/Anita Moser