Gstaad - Information to the landowners of the Rellerli
April 2018 composed of representatives of the ski lifts of Destination Gstaad (BDG), the Municipality of Saanen, Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus and Mountain View AG. The purpose of the group was to consider options to ensure optimal access to the Rellerli for nature lovers once the ski lift installations had reached the end of their concession and been dismantled, in accordance with the requirements of the Canton and the Municipality and the restructuring plan approved by the population in 2015.
This working group was recently joined by representatives of the Association of the Friends of the Rellerli in order to consider together what could be developed to promote a more gentle approach to the mountainside, in summer and in winter, taking into account the characteristics of the site and showing due respect to the natural environment.
The project presented today included several aspects:
- Panoramic trails for the summer of 2019 or 2020, with a route punctuated by 12 information steles, allowing the public to benefit from a different approach, enriched by the extraordinary views afforded by the region;
- Plans to develop several marked ski touring trails, as well as snowshoe and hiking trails, to ensure optimal access to the mountain as of winter 2019-2020;
- A refuge at the top of the Hugeligrat (image in appendix);
- A project to renovate the current picnic place, integrated into the hillside;
- Mountain bike and E-Bike routes with a recharging station;
- A departure and information point for these various routes located in the heart of Schönried for tourists and locals wishing to enjoy the Rellerli;
- The development of Test Trails for the 2018-2019 winter season.
The presentation was well received by the majority of the landowners affected by these future installations, and the tourist office is looking forward to setting up these new light installations as rapidly as possible.
For the President of Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus, David Matti: "Faced with the closure of the ski lift, we evaluated the options available to us and mandated a company which specializes in the sustainable development of the Alpine environment, to support us in expanding the region's tourism offer and guaranteeing that as many people as possible could have year-round access to the Rellerli under the best possible conditions. Thanks to the financial support extended by Mr Bertarelli, all this can be done at no cost to the local population.”
According to Toni von Grünigen, Mayor of Saanen: “The planned measures will help to ensure that the Rellerli continues to enhance the region's offer in the future. With its extended panoramic trail in the summer as well as winter sports, the Rellerli brings something special to those who love this kind of activity. Interest in such activities is increasing. Visitors and locals, athletes and connoisseurs will in the future have a new opportunity to enjoy the Saanenland.”
For Heinz Welten, President of the Association of Friends of the Rellerli: "At the end of this information session, we felt a general sense of relief because many misunderstandings were cleared up. We are pleased that all parties have agreed on the need to work together for the future of the Rellerli under the direction of our tourist office. Our assessment on a new lift is currently underway “.
Heinz Brand, President of the BDG, said that he was: "glad to have seen the work of this working group lead to a plan that will have a positive impact on all residents of the region and all visitors to the Saanenland.” He reiterated his thanks “to all the private partners, including Mr Bertarelli, who made it possible to save the BDG.”
Finally, Ernesto Bertarelli stated that “the positive outcome of this constructive session reinforced (his) impression that the local population knows how to put aside individual interests in order to safeguard the common good". He added that he was “pleased to have been able to contribute to the rescue of the ski lifts in the Saanen region”, and that he congratulated “the tourist office and all those who had worked on the development of this new project for the Rellerli - returning a mountain to nature and ensuring access to it, all the while respecting the beauty of the area, is a noble cause that offers new perspectives for tourism in the region".