What's New in Austria
The upcoming interconnection of Zell am See-Kaprun and SkiCircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang-Fieberbrunn and the new K-ONNECTION to Kitzsteinhorn
The article topic Property Market in Austria, Austrian Resorts News
29 Aug 2019
The seamless interconnection of ski resorts has become a key differentiator among ski destinations in the ongoing battle for visitors. Whilst a skibus connection is helpful, there is nothing like not having to get out from your skis and just getting onto the next ski lift to reach the next piste. The resulting increase in slope kilometers is highly valued by all terrain-hungry skiers and snowboarders. It is not just about the variety of ski terrains and changing scenery; the endless possibilities to combine ski circuits every day, check out new ski huts for lunch and experience a different après-ski venue all count and can easily impact on the choice of winter holiday resort. Especially visitors who opt for longer white holidays lasting 5 days or more increasingly look for vast interconnected ski areas to fulfill their days. No wonder that over the past decade we have witnessed several ski area mergers and ski resorts continue to expand their boundaries and connect with their neighbours wherever possible.
One of the most awaited such interconnections is the one currently underway between the vast SkiCircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang-Fieberbrunn (which has already heavily grown through similar extensions to incorporate the 4 valley towns) and the popular twin-resort of Zell am See-Kaprun with its famous glacier Kitzsteinhorn and crystal-clear lake Zell. Previously the SkiCircus boasted about 270km of ski runs and Zell am See-Kaprun another 138km across the Schmittenhöhe and the Maiskogel mountains and the glacier.
Once the planned interconnection is accomplished, it will create a vast fully interconnected ski area counting over 400km of slopes and 121 lifts. It will become the largest ski area in Austria leaving in shade other well-known resorts such as the Tyrolean Ski Arlberg with over 300km of slopes or SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser -Brixental with the pretty towns of Ellmau, Going and Scheffau with about 290km of terrains. The combined area will also inaugurate a single skipass, the Alpincard. There will be one for winter, the "Ski Alpincard" and one for the summer season, the "Hike Alpincard".
The SkiCircus-Zell am See combo will also attract sport enthusiasts and visitors due to the increased combined choice of leisure activities and numerous points of interests - countless year-round outdoor offering including hikes and water sports, ice skating, golf to world-known wellness centres and great array of gastronomy venues. Visitors will be able to start their day off the scenic Zell lake in Zell am See and finish it off at one of the trendy dance bars in Saalbach.
So how and when will this interconnection be completed ? The ambitious project has been planned in 3 stages. First, in 2017 the 3.5km long blue slope leading to Viehhofen has been modernised to enable skiers and snowboarders to go all the way down to the Glemmtal valley. Then they either had to take a skibus back to the SkiCircus or to the Zell am See area. Starting in December 2019, a new part of the zellamseeXpress will be inaugurated that will bring skiers from the bottom of Viehhofen to the Zell am See area. This marks the completion of the second phase. The only missing link remains now a ski lift which would take skiers back from Viehhofen to the Schönleitenbahn in the SkiCircus. This represents the third and last stage of the grand project and this final step is expected to be completed within the next 2-3 years. But already with the current improvement and the new combined skipass, the interconnection feels real and visitors can look forward to enjoying an uninterrupted unique skiing experience.
The Kaprun K-ONNECTION
For Kaprun, this is not the only upgrade happening this year. The upcoming winter season will also see the opening of the landmark K-ONNECTION gondola which will link the Maiskogel mountain (at 1,570m) with the Kitzsteinhorn glacier (at 1,975m). The opening will be held on 30th November 2019 and inaugurate this brand new ultra-modern tri-cable gondola. The 12 km scenic ride will be the longest continuous gondola axis in the Eastern Alps and cross an elevation of 2,261 vertical meters. It is the continuation of a larger project which has already seen the completion of the 10-passenger MK Maiskogelbahn gondola last year which has created a new link between the town of Kaprun and the Maiskogel mountain. This wonderful upgrade will bring visitors unsurpassed comfort and convenience with less queues and increased flexibility. It will also alleviate the traffic on the existing Gletscherjet, starting off 6km from the town. So starting from this winter, in just over 20min, skiers will be able to go from the center of Kaprun to the heart of the glacier ski area at Langwiedboden and enjoy unparalleled snow conditions and latest ski infrastructure.
IMPACT ON PROPERTY PRICES
The interconnection between Zell am See and the SkiCircus, along with the new state-of-the-art gondola addition in Kaprun, will also bring benefits to the property market in both areas. The increased appeal of the resorts is expected to result in stronger capital appreciation of properties given the top-notch holiday offerings and higher occupancy throughout the year should mean higher rental yields for rental ski properties.
In Domus Global, we offer a wide range of ski properties in both ski areas, most brand new fully serviced ski apartments which allow several weeks per year of private use with professional rental management for the remainder of the year promising attractive investment yield on your alpine property! So if you look for a combination of investment property and holiday home for several weeks per year in a top location with growth potential, look no more and check out our selection of alpine properties in both resorts:
Undecided which area suits you more? Then have a look at our resorts guide with an overview of the leisure, sport and gastronomy proposition for each:
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