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The Kitzbüheler Alpen are outgrowing themselves

It's a head-to-head race for first spot, during which one thing is certain: the two largest contiguous skiing areas in Austria are located in the Kitzbüheler Alpen and number among the top ten globally. Because right now between Tyrol and Salzburg, what has long been considered by many as belonging together, is now teaming up: the merger of the until now separate winter sports arenas of Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang with its Tyrolean neighbour in Fieberbrunn is creating, in addition to the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental, yet another greater ski area with 270 km of contiguous pistes, an enormous density of lodges and a famous freeride-area. The Kitzbüheler Alpen with their four holiday regions of Brixental, St. Johann in Tirol, Hohe Salve and PillerseeTal thus feature well over 1,000 km of slopes in ten ski areas, which this winter alone are investing 127 million Euros in new facilities and pistes. And to kick off the new skiing winter, Austria's number 1 skiing region is now also crossing the state borders from Tyrol to Salzburg.

"This is something our fathers dreamt of", says Florian Phleps, Managing Director of the Tourism Association PillerseeTal, when asked about the "marriage" of the Fieberbrunn ski area with its neighbours in Saalbach, Hinterglemm and Leogang. "Now we're heading into a joint future." Holding together this ski-marriage is the new ten-person cabin lift "TirolS" and the new, 3.5 kilometre long Vierstadlalm-Piste with its with artificial snowmaking facilities. More than 20 million Euros were invested in this project. Both partners are contributing their individual strengths to this new alliance. Thus the Skicircus as we know it impresses in particular with the vast extent of its skiing area, with floodlit slopes, toboggan runs and snow trails. Thanks to the new connection, guests from Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang in turn get access to the extensive freeride-area Fieberbrunn which is attracting international attention and which hosts the world's best freeriders every year – this time on 6 March 2016 – as part of the Freeride World Tour.

With an investment volume of 51 million, the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental heads into the new skiing season, combining some 280 kilometres of slopes in its network accessible with only one ski pass. At the centre of its not all that ordinary quality offensive stands the construction of three new lifts. In Hopfgarten, for example, the Schernthann chair lift was replaced with a new 6-seat chair lift, which numbers among the most modern lifts worldwide. Be it heated seats, padding or automatically locking restraining bars – comfort and convenience are high on the list of priorities here. Thus the lift also has a lifting table, which immediately detects little winter sports fans and helps them get on board. "Every year, our cable cars make a multitude of adjustments to increase comfort and convenience through small and big measures", explains Max Salcher, Managing Director of the Brixental Tourism Association. The new Jochbahn lift in Brixen im Thale, the world's fastest 8-seat chairlift, also provides extra tailwind. The new Hartkaiserbahn in Ellmau, a 10-seat-XLarge gondola lift, is also part of a major innovation push, covering the entire region around Kitzbühel.

Naturally, the town that features a chamois in its coat of arms does not take a back seat. In its tradition-steeped ski area with the legendary Streif by the Hahnenkamm, it has seen some new additions this winter. With the new 8-seat chairlift Brunn, the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel is making accessible three new pistes, including a black one, with a total length of 7.2 km and an area of 23 hectares, increasing the total slope surface by five percent to 440 hectares. This lift can carry up to 3,300 persons an hour. Reliable snow conditions are provided by the expansion of the snowmaking facilities and construction of a new reservoir. The entire KitzSki investment volume for the winter season amounts to 21.6 million Euro.

When the cable cars invest, the hoteliers do not stand back. All through the region, intense efforts were made to upgrade the tourism infrastructure during summer and autumn. Two new celebrity additions also brought attention to the region, having been more at home on the slopes than in hotel management until now: Hermann Maier and Rainer Schönfelder. The famous ski stars of old will soon be opening a new hotel in St. Johann in Tirol. In doing so, they are mainly targeting families whom they want to help enjoy low-priced skiing holidays. Only 500 metres from the hotel lies the Panorama Swimming Park, which was also recently extensively renovated.

The Kitzbüheler Alpen AllStarCard – from 48 Euros per day – is the key to nine skiing areas which shine with numerous superlatives, but also offer small, informal regions near villages in addition to the two largest contiguous ski arenas in Austria. Altogether, well over 1,000 kilometres of slopes can be conquered with this ski pass. You'll also find 81 ski schools, 294 ski lodges, almost 5,000 snow guns and 357 cable cars and lifts.

But of course, winter sports fans do not live on alpine skiing alone. Here they'll also find 750 kilometres of prepared cross-country ski trails – in classic or skating style, flat or challenging and with snowmaking facilities – and a network of ploughed and secured winter hiking trails. "In winter in the Kitzbüheler Alpen, you'll get it all", says Stefan Astner, Director of the Hohe Salve Tourism Association. "Just not bored!"

General Press Information:

The Kitzbüheler Alpen – this means the four holiday regions of Brixental, St. Johann in Tirol, Hohe Salve and PillerseeTal in the Kitzbühel area with 20 villages that have retained their Tyrolean charm. This included famous names like Kirchberg, Hopfgarten, St. Johann in Tirol and Fieberbrunn. A comprehensive holiday site for families, hikers, outdoor and sports enthusiasts is among the strengths of this destination. Its modern ski areas with around 1,000 km of ski runs belong among the best in the world. And that is partly why it is among the best-known holiday destinations in Austria and even calls itself as “simply tremendous.”

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