Arosa Bergbahnen AG
Make way for the new 6-seater chairlift Brüggerhorn
The new chairlift to the Brüggerhorn is built in summer 2019. The Arosa Bergbahnen has managed to settle the present conflict with the new definition of the groundwater protection zone with the municipality. Thus, nothing will hinder the construction of the new 6-seater chairlift Brüggerhorn. Definite planning permission can be expected for the end of February 2019. The administrative board gave the construction approval to the Bartholet AG in Flums last week. The new lift facility will be constructed between April and November; the opening will be in December 2019.
Actually, the planning approval procedure by the Federal Office for Traffic (BAV) for the new 6-seater chairlift has gone to plan. With the new definition of the ground spring water protection, based on a hydrogeological report, the protected zones had been substantially extended in the area of the mid-station in October 2017. Since this translates factually into a construction ban in the S2 water protection zone, and therefore the loss of freedom to act for future building projects, the municipality and Arosa Bergbahnen have been looking for final solutions to resolve the problem area of the ground spring water protection zone around the mid-station. Not only in view of the construction of the chairlift Brüggerhorn, but also for the smooth operation of the existing facilities and operations in the future, as well as possible future building projects in this area. The drilling of exploration shafts by the Arosa Bergbahnen AG in July and August 2018 were aiming at goal to collect and divert the drinking water at the assumed spring source location behind the garage/workshop buildings to the water reservoir Prätschli. The exploration shafts with 3 drillings of up to 60 m in depth were, however, without result.
Thomas spring 1 and alternative measures
The Thomas spring 1 in the area of the mid-station is in principle separated from the drinking water supply. It can, however, still be added to the drinking water supply in emergency situations. The municipality and the Arosa mountain railways have entered into an agreement and assigned a joint team to examine and execute compensation and replacement measures. Thus, the water balance in the area Maran/Prätschli is going to be almost restored after the loss of the water quantities from the Thomas spring 1. The other, much larger sources of Thomas spring 2 and 3 in this area will remain untouched and also contribute without restrictions and with the same quantities to the drinking water supply in the future.
A last winter with the nostalgia lift
Thus, it is certain that the 2-seat chairlift Brüggerhorn will tackle its last 110 days of operation. The oldest chairlift witnessed nearly half a century of winter sports history in Arosa. It is the time of upswing. In the winter of 1970, the 2-seat chairlift to the Brüggerhorn starts operating, in 1972, the former AVB (Aroser Verkehrsbetriebe) is granted the construction rights for the new Tschuggen-West ski lift, and in 1977, the construction permit for the chairlift Obersäss and Bänkli. Between 1970 and 1980, the frequencies at the lift facilities doubled from 2.9 million to 5.8 million! The chairlift Brüggerhorn experienced a revival with the retrofit as relaxation mountain in winter 2009/10. The sunny location at the Brüggerhorn with a view of the entire snow sports area Arosa remains unchanged.
Comfortably up the mountain
By December 2019, guests will be transported with 42 comfortable 6-seater chairlifts in the Porsche design to the Brüggerhorn in less than 5 minutes travel time (right now, 11 minutes). The distance measures 1337 m (inclined length), the altitude difference 430 m, with the capacity of transporting 1600 people per hour. The lift facility is equipped with night operation functionality. Thus, the conditions are given to use the chairlift for evening events such as full moon skiing. At the moment, a summer operation is not planned. However, the request for a permit has already submitted, which will also allow the transport of bikes.
The beautifully designed 6-seater chairs, all equipped with covers, are fitted with padded 2-coloured armchair cushions and the signature "Arosa Lenzerheide". Particular importance was attached to the travelling comfort, as well as a sufficient safety devices for children. The total investment amounts to approximately CHF 8 million.
Construction in summer 2019
Immediately after the winter season in the middle of April, the 2-seater chairlift will be decommissioned. The old lift facility parts are expertly disposed of. Available are the nostalgia 2-seater chairs as a souvenir. Interested parties may collect those at the cost of CHF 250,00 per unit at the mid-station in April 2019.
The excavation at the valley station will guarantee comfortable level access with the intended terrain drop. The soil is moved to the "Hansaloch" – a narrow area on the slope 10 below the Traxloch. Thus, the slope will widen in this narrow area and provide improvement for the pasture. The construction work will continue throughout summer, and electro-mechanical works will take place between August and October 2019. The opening of the new 6-seater chairlift is planned before Christmas 2019, depending on the acceptance by the authority. The Arosa Bergbahnen AG will publish information on the construction progress from spring 2019 continuously.
To complete the offers for bikers, Arosa Tourism and the Arosa Bergbahnen AG have decided to realize a temporary skill centre during the summer months, similar to the training area “Honigland” in winter, in the vicinity of the Hörnli-Express valley station, and to submit the application for use with the planning application to the municipality Arosa in February 2019.
A skill centre for bikers offers a training platform with relevant bends, root, wood and stone elements, which will prepare bikers with the necessary bike techniques they might need to enjoy the Hörnli Trail, or individual routes in the area, afterwards. For the construction, only minor earth shifts will be necessary, and no concrete work will be carried out. Additional elements are made available with mobile facilities, which are in each case dismantled by the end of the summer season. This concerns, for example, the conveyor belt, which is already used in the winter for the Honigland at the Prätschli, or mobile wood ramps.
The skill centre is available to all user groups free of charge and will be in operation exclusively during the official opening times of the Hörnli-Express (Summer 2019: daily, between the 29th of June to 20th October 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm).
To ensure that user groups are accordingly equipped, the Hörnli-Express valley station will also offer bike rental and a kiosk. The operation of these services is also reduced to the opening times of the Hörnli-Express. The expected service offerings will be publicly tendered in the current issue of the Aroser Zeitung, which allow interested enterprises to establish a summer business and create jobs.
The bike masterplan of Arosa Lenzerheide points out that there is room for development for Flow Trails in the region of Arosa Lenzerheide. The new Flow Trail at Hörnli in Arosa aims at filling this supply gap. Trail developers as well as other bike experts agree that the Hörnli Flow Trail is set to become a one-of-a-kind bike experience in the Alps. The distance of just 7 km as well as the topographic setting at the Hörnli allow for a unique Trail Flow that can accommodate nearly all levels of riders, even families.
The project of the snow sports experience park Tschuggen highlights the two concepts of Arosa: «the ski area within the village» and «snow sports youth development». The concepts aim at facilitating the access to snow sports and at developing the Tschuggen hill into a unique and creative snow sports experience park over the course of several years. The Tschuggen area is located around the middle station where the bears will find their new homes in summer 2018. In coordination with key service providers of Arosa, the Arosa Bergbahnen AG chose to incorporate the theme of the bears into the development of the snow sports experience park Tschuggen.
Stage 1; «Honeyland» at Prätschli (Opening Winter 2017/18)
Arosa Bergbahnen AG launched the «Honeyland Prätschli» in winter 2017/18 as part of the overreaching tourism project by Erlebnisplan GmbH. The Honeyland is a public and free skiing area for beginners and kids with the aim of facilitating the learning experience to newcomers to the sport. It should also address the needs of returnees and rekindle their joy of snow sports. In addition to a 45m-long conveyer belt and the Prätschli skilift, the area is transformed into a Honeyland with bee hives, honeycomb chairs, honey parcours, etc. The first batch of honey at the Prätschli was «produced» on the 23 December 2017.
2. Stage; Ski lift Tomeli and «Bärensnowpark» Ried (opening winter 2018/19)
The 2. stage includes the snow sports production of the mountain station Prätschli, designed as an apiary, with a passage to the valley station of the ski lift Tomeli, where a hibernating bear, displayed as a photo point silhouette, is dreaming at the station building. The ski lift follows the bear enclosure, along to the Tschuggen. From there, two signposts show the guests the way to the «Bärensnowpark» at the ski lift Ried. There, young snow sports enthusiasts between 6 and 12 years can enjoy the publicly accessible and Bärenfunpark free of charge: on the stream, the forest trail, the rocky slope and the windy river, the children will explore with simple obstacles different routes from the view of a bear.
In order to increase snowmaking efficiency, the Arosa Bergbahnen AG will start using the water reserves at the Isel groundwater lake from November 2018. The partner project between the municipality of Arosa and the Arosa Bergbahnen AG aims at capitalising on existing infrastructure and at avoiding bottle neck situations. The existing groundwater pump at Isel is currently transporting water to the Reservoir Promenade. Following the construction of the reservoir, the municipality can significantly improve the reserve of fire-fighting water in the area of Waldpromenade and Innerarosa and close an important safety gap. The Arosa Bergbahnen AG benefits by feeding the water from the Isel pump directly to the snowmaking system at Tomeli. The water is either used immediately for snowmaking at the Tschuggen or diverted to storage facilities at the middle station of the storage reservoir. Construction and modification to existing facilities will begin in June 2018. The project should be operational at the beginning of the winter season 2018/19.
The first vision of connecting the two winter sports regions of Arosa and Lenzerheide had first been developed in the 70’s. The large-scale project of constructing a pillar-less, system-independent cable car between Hörnli and Urdenfürggli was realised during one summer season in only 8 months. The inauguration took place on 14th January 2014.
The two stylish design gondolas can fit 150 people. Guests travel at a speed of 12 m/s and reach the neighbouring holiday region within 5 minutes.
The new winter sports paradise of Arosa Lenzerheide boasts 43 lifts and around 225 km of pistes. It is the largest connected ski area in the canton of Grisons and among the top ten ski resorts in Switzerland.