(Kaprun, October 2017) It was decided at the general meetings of the Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG and Maiskogel Betriebs AG lift companies, that the two companies would merge together. At the same time, the decision to build a cable car link between the Maiskogel and Kitzsteinhorn was taken, heralding the start of a new dimension in Alpine mountain tourism in the Zell am See-Kaprun region. Norbert Karlsböck, chairman of the Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG lift company announced that €81.5 million would be invested in the project.
The link: a long-held dream for generations.
The idea of combining the lift companies and establishing a cable car link between both of Kaprun’s “local mountains”, making the Kitzsteinhorn directly accessible from the centre of the Kaprun, has been discussed for decades. Merging the two lift companies will lead to the long anticipated development of a unique, enlarged, and more varied winter sports resort and year-round holiday destination. It forms a crucial part of the “Masterplan Kaprun 4.0” concept, drawn up by the Kaprun Council, the Kaprun Tourist Office, the Kaprun and Maiskogel lift companies, and the renowned Swiss tourism adviser, Dr. Roland Zegg (grischconsulta).
Unified growth: The merger of 2 lift companies
The fusion of the two major Kaprun companies marks the development of the two companies into one unity. The Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG had a turnover of €38.1 million in its last year of business, transporting nearly one million guests. The Maiskogel Betrieb AG showed a turnover of €5.7 million, transporting 115,000 guests over the course of the winter. The merger, with the Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG absorbing the Maiskogel Betriebs AG, is not only an important economic factor; the investment of € 81.5 million is by far the largest investment made by the Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG in its more than 50 year history, and has only become possible thanks to the support of the Kaprun council and the entire region.
From December 2019: 12 km Superlative “string of pearls” cable car link
The cable car link will be achieved in 2 stages: in December 2018, as the first step, the “MK Maiskogelbahn“, a new 10-seater gondola lift will open on the Maiskogel. This will be followed a year later by the 3K "Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn-K-onnection” from the Maiskogel to the Kitzsteinhorn. This will be the first lift of a 3-cable design in Salzburger Land, and will take guests from the Maiskogel directly to the Langwied area on the Kitzsteinhorn. From December 2019, it will therefore be possible to get to the top station of the Kitzsteinhorn (3.029m) directly from the centre of Kaprun (768 m) by a 12 km long “string of pearls” of six cable cars. “The 12 km panoramic journey will not only be the longest continuous cable car axis, but will also cover the greatest height difference (2261 m) in the eastern Alps” Norbert Karlsböck, chairman of the glacier lift company announced enthusiastically, marking another superlative for the top Alpine tourist destination of Zell am See-Kaprun. Initial building stages will commence in autumn this year, with construction on both the lifts beginning in April 2018.
Ski-in Ski-out: Exclusivity that is both palpable and visible
The new link will in future not only offer direct access to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier ski area from the resort centre via the Maiskogel family mountain, but there will also be the possibility to reach the valley from 3029 m to 768 m. In December 2018, the Kaprun Center will also open, together with the MK Maiskogelbahn. This new service centre will sell lift tickets and will house a rental & sports shop. There will also be a large depot available for guests to store their skis and boots before continuing in comfort on foot or by ski bus or local bus to their hotels. Guests visiting from other resorts and day-trippers wanting to reach the glacier quickly can choose to continue to use the bottom station of the Gletscherjet Kitzsteinhorn as their point of access.
Snow-sure, whatever the weather
With the new link, the glacier ski area, where great snow conditions are 100 % guaranteed, will become accessible for the first time directly from the centre of Kaprun. The Kitzsteinhorn and Maiskogel at their respective heights, from about 800m to over 3000m, will offer a broad range of possibilities to guests whatever the weather.