History of the Leogang's Cable Railways
Visionary pioneers change the world
"In 1971, many enthusiastic people were keen on working, as the first ski lift on the Asitz Mountain was inaugurated. The long-awaited upswing, that would have boosted the winter tourism, was finally to be seen and was received with great hope and enthusiasm by the local authorities..."
But the following winter Mother Hulda would not join forces...
"...Snow would not show up in the area and the economic objectives that had been set could not be achieved. Despite the barely approved financial budget, it was decided that the second section of the ski lift should be built up, since it was highly necessary to bring the skiers up onto a higher place, where the winter season could be guaranteed.
"With encouraging and inspiring words the mayor Dkfm. Dr. Albert Steidl, the managing director of the cable cars and the future mayor Sebastian Madreiter succeed in convincing locals, politics, and the local banks of the big economic and touristic potential of Leogang, which was gathering momentum in those years. To exploit this potential it was necessary to ultimate second section of the ski lift on the Asitz Mountain and to connect it with the Glamm valley...".
-It was not easy at the beginning- reflect the host Hans and his regular guest Horst, while sitting on a terrace, -but as the whole community pulled together, we succeeded in reaching our aim, and this achievement paved the way for the future projects. What it was thought to be unrealistic, became reality-.
Reaching the unreachable with enthusiasm
Leogang had always been a miners' village and the financial incomes the community could rely on were not many, until summer visitors started to join the local community in the summertime.
In 1970 it was decided that the mining caves were not profitable any longer and they were shut down. The end of the mining boom resulted in the extinction of the main economic activity that had supported the village so far. From that day on, the interest in winter touristic investments grew even stronger. The economic upswings that the surrounding ski-resorts were experiencing began to be taken as examples. In Leogang, after a thoughtful reflection, the local authorities came to the conclusion that a cable car had to be built up. The slopes and the surroundings adjusted perfectly to the plan, and confirmation came as well from Prof. Fred Rösner, a leading expert in the field of ski lifts and ski slopes.
Even though the financial side was not one of the brightest, the locals did not let this discourage them and with great enthusiasm and courage they invested their savings in the construction of the mountain railways. Their motivation and audacity made this dream come true.
Foundation of the Leogang's Mountain Railways Company
In the year 1971, on the day 5th of March the Leogang's Mountain Railways Company was officially founded, and in the summer of that same year the double chair lift Asitz I was built up. As Horst narrates, the lack of snowfalls the following required the cooperation of the locals. Particularly relevant was the contribution of the mayor Dr. Albert Steidl and of the director Sebastian Madreiter, who gave an impulse to ultimate the ski-resort.
But snow was not the only thing lacking that year; the scarce financial resources were not making life easier. As the need for financial security grew, Dr. Albert Steidl und Sebastian Madreiter together with twelve local persons, made up to carry on with the building up of the cable railways that had been planned for the following years.
Double Chairt Lift Asitz II and Ski Lift
... in 1972 the building up of the mountain railways went on and the double chair lift Asitz II and the ski lift in the Asitz basin were constructed. In the following two years the number of overnight stays doubled and the Leogang's Mountain Railways GmbH took their course:
- More lifts were built up
- Slopes became wider
- Bigger parking lots were created
- Snow-making facilities were installed
- and the old lifts not matching the new standards, were replaced with new ones
Results & Facts
Impressive results came from the industriousness of the vernaculars
Thanks to their collaboration, we proudly present these figures now:
- The Leogang's Railways, with nine cable lifts, register in winter over four million rides
- ca. 210.000 rides in summer
- nearly 713.000 overnight stays in the region Saalfelden Leogang
- ca. 492.000 of these in Leogang
...a successful cooperation was started up, not only to attract more tourists, but to positively promote the mark Saalfelden Leogang.
Now we are proud of our pioneering spirit...
"... We are paving the way for our children and our grandchildren. People come here to enjoy the amazing and beautiful landscapes, they come here to live the local traditions and to discover the wellnessworld of our top-level hotels, and to explore the mountains, easily rechable thanks to the avant-garde railways.
Hard work pays off now: determination made it possible to transform a miners's village into a renomated touristic destination, which every year strives to keep standards high with constant technological renovation. The profitable tourism costs confirm our aptitude and taste for beauty and extraordinary." - says Hans, basking in satisfaction, not forgetting how much effort they had to put into reaching these standards.