European Update: Austria, Italy, Norway News

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SAM Magazine-Scheffau, Austria, and Hafjell, Norway, Sept. 11, 2007-Austria's Ski Welt has scored another six-pack, bringing the mega-resort's total to 8. The Ski Welt, which includes Brixen im Thale, Going, Hopfgarten, Itter, Kelchsau and Söll and Westendorf, is Austria's largest lift-linked ski region. With the addition of the new detachable lift, the complex remains one of the global leaders in six-pack chairs. The new chair features heated seats and is expected to enhance the connection between Ellmau and Scheffau.

Other Ski Welt improvements include enhanced night skiing at Söll. The existing two-mile-long floodlighting system that covers the valley run in Söll is being extended to cover three more runs in Hochsöll, doubling the night skiing terrain.

In other European news, the Italian resort Cortina d'Ampezzo is installing a new high speed quad that replaces a double. The new quad has a relatively low capacity of 1,200 people per hour; it is part of a strategy, according to resort officials, to enhance existing lift facilities and connections rather than expand terrain.

Finally, the Norwegian resort of Hafjell announced lift upgrades for 2007-08 following the installation of the resort's first gondola last winter. " The gondola has opened up a multitude of opportunities," said a resort spokesperson. Case in point: a new T-bar from the top of the gondola services family and beginner terrain. With improved access provided by the gondola (which scores 20 new cabins and ups its capacity from 1,800 to 2,376 persons per hour) and the new T-bar, the Bueåsen sector is expected to be the focal point for additional development in Hafjell. The resort is also increasing snowmaking capacity to achieve earlier opening dates and guarantee snow coverage throughout the winter.