Austria Update: New lifts at Ischgl, Kitzbuhel

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SAM Magazine-Ischgl, Austria, July 18, 2007-Two Austrian resorts are adding lift capacity this summer. Ischgl's lift company, Silvrettaseilbahn AG, is replacing its workhorse six-passenger Fimbabahn gondola with a two-stage eight-passenger model with heated seats. In Kitzbühel, a new eight-seater high-speed chairlift is replacing two fixed-grip doubles.

The new Ischgl lift will move 2,800 people per hour from town onto the ski hill. It will cover the first stage in 6.7 minutes, and will require 8.4 minutes to ascend the second stage. The existing base terminal building will be utilized, and new ticket offices will open adjacent to the loading area. Significant renovations are taking place at the Mountain Station between the two stages. The new Fimbabahn gondola will operate in both winter and summer.

Kitzbühel's new Steinbergkogel eight-passenger covered chairlift will feature heated seats and follow essentially the same line as one of the Austrian ski resort's existing double chairs. The lift will ascend to the Steinbergkogel (1,802 meters), and increase uphill capacity to 3,255 riders per hour. The new lift will ascend 1,716 vertical feet in five minutes over a length of 4,265 feet.

In addition to the new lift, Kitzbühel is investing heavily in snowmaking. The resort is beefing up capacity in the Jochberg-Resterhöhe area, finally bridging the gap in the Jochberg area to provide 100 percent snowmaking coverage for the Ski Safari. Snowmaking is being augmented in the Steinbergkogel area as well. Over the next two to three years, significant additional investments will be made to further expand Kitzbühel's snowmaking systems, including additional water reservoirs with a total capacity of more than 60 million gallons.