St. Moritz, 14. october 2014 – In winter 2014-2015 St. Moritz and the Engadin are celebrating 150 years of winter tourism. From 5 to 7 December 2014 St. Moritz will be popping the champagne corks for the anniversary celebrations marking 150 years of winter tourism. Throughout the winter season numerous events will highlight the Upper Engadin’s long-standing tradition of winter tourism. Other highlights include a range of new infrastructure in the skiing areas, top-class events on the frozen lake, and the Hotel & Ski Pass Offer.
In a few days time it will be all systems go! On 18 October 2014 Engadin St. Moritz will be the first resort in Graubünden to launch into the winter season, which will be defined entirely by the anniversary marking 150 years of winter tourism. In winter 2014-2015 St. Moritz and the Engadin will be celebrating St. Moritz as the birthplace of winter tourism with numerous events.
150 years of winter tourism anniversary celebrations from 5 to 7 December 2014
The grand Snow Sports Opening from 5 to 7 December 2014 marks not only the launch of the anniversary year, but also the celebrations of 150 years of winter tourism in St. Moritz. On Saturday and Sunday various makes of skis and snowboards will be put to the test at the grand ski and snowboard equipment test on the Corvatsch. On Friday evening and on Saturday the ski slope will relocate to the pedestrian zone of St. Moritz Dorf. This is where the St. Moritz City Race will see celebrities, guests and locals competing against one another at a ski cross event combined with a cross-country skiing circuit through the heart of the village. On Saturday evening St. Moritz Dorf will once again provide the setting for dazzling anniversary celebrations, featuring a Willy Bogner show retrospective of the last few decades, the anniversary film, impressions from the past 150 years of winter tourism, and the international musician Xavier Naidoo.
Highlights from 150 Years of Winter Tourism
The exciting anniversary programme will run through the entire 2014-2015 winter season, from 5 December 2014 to late April. Highlights include the book Snow, Sun and Stars. How Winter Tourism Conquered the Alps from St. Moritz, published in English and German by NZZ-Verlag and edited by the municipality of St. Moritz and its civic community. An anniversary film and an anniversary magazine with a circulation of 20,000 copies all focus on the pioneering spirit of the founding fathers and highlight the way in which winter tourism has evolved in the Engadin.
Each event will follow hot on the heels of the previous one. Among the many highlights: a retro ski day in Sils; skeleton team competitions on the Cresta Run open to the public, on-site viewings of the Free Fall, the world’s steepest start platform (45 degrees or 100% gradient) on the men’s Alpine World Ski Championships; a light installation by light artist Gerry Hofstetter in Salastrains; fireside discussions with entrepreneur families from the Engadin; and the St. Moritz room fragrance Inviern, specially created for the occasion by Geza Schön. www.engadin.stmoritz/150years
Hotel & Ski Pass
Since pioneering achievements in Engadin St. Moritz have always been writ large, the Engadin’s hoteliers will once again be delighting their guests with a unique offer, now already in its third winter season: guests who book more than one night at a hotel offering the Hotel & Ski Pass package will obtain their ski pass for a mere CHF 35.- per person per day. The offer is valid on all Upper Engadin mountain railways and cableways and for the entire duration of the stay in Engadin St. Moritz. With the Hotel & Ski Pass Offer, snow-sports enthusiasts get to enjoy not just their hotel accommodation, but also up to 350 km of immaculately prepared pistes, three Snow Parks, 56 mountain railways and cableways, an unspoilt natural setting, and access to 34 mountain restaurants. Around 100 Upper Engadin hotels in all categories have this offer in store for their guests. Free use of the public transport network in the Upper Engadin is also included. The Hotel & Ski Pass Offer is valid throughout the winter season from 18 October 2014 to 25 May 2015, and up to and including the 2017 World Ski Championships. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/hotelandskipass/
New pistes in the skiing areas
The piste on the Corvatsch Glacier is a dream run that offers the best snow conditions throughout the winter, hardly surprising given that it’s the highest slope anywhere in the Upper Engadin. There is now also a new piste on the Corvatsch Glacier itself: the Georgy Run starts at the Corvatsch mountain station at 3303 m and runs to Dürrenast and then on to the Mandra ski lift. So even more of that glacier feeling for snow-sports enthusiasts to enjoy on the Corvatsch. On the Corviglia a new training section has also been set up specially for winter guests. The Audi Ski Run, a 400 m giant slalom course, has been equipped with cameras to film skiers and snowboarders on their run from start to finish. After their run they can then download the video from the internet and share it on social media. The Winter Olympics Vision on Corviglia is designed to bring the winter tourism tradition of St. Moritz’s local mountain to life, and as part of the scheme the exterior façade of the St. Moritz Dorf valley station and the Chantarella middle station are to be given a complete makeover. www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/corviglia; www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/corvatsch; www.winterolymp.ch
Adrenaline on the piste and in the Park
The new Fun Slope at the Corviglia Snow Park guarantees lots of fun and fast turns, alongside all the various obstacles and ‘kickers’. The Murtèl middle station on the Corvatsch has one of the largest snow parks anywhere in Switzerland and the only half-pipe in the Engadin. Pros and fun boarders alike are guaranteed to find the right run to suit their style. The Corvatsch Snow Park is to be expanded further this winter. And there’s plenty on offer for adrenaline junkies on the slopes, too. With a gradient of 86% the Minor Piste on Lagalb is the steepest downhill run anywhere in Graubünden, and once the season gets underway on 20 December 2014 it is prepared as soon as snow conditions permit.
The Corvatsch offers a chance to go snowshoe hiking along marked trails high above the Engadin lake landscape. Besides the existing Lake Trail, which loops in a large circuit from the Furtschellas middle station (2312 m) and back again and offers magnificent views, the new Peak Trail runs from the Furtschellas mountain station (2800 m) through an unspoilt winter landscape back down to the Furtschellas middle station. A fascinating snowshoe hiking experience is also available on Muottas Muragl. Since the last winter season the two-hour 3 winter hike on the Philosophers’ Trail on Muottas Muragl has had a new feature: benches complete with woollen blankets provide a welcome break and an opportunity to ponder the aphorisms of eminent philosophers signposted along the Trail.
In 2014 the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains will also be celebrating the 150th anniversary of its opening as the Kurhaus & Grand Hotel, St. Moritz Bad in April 1864. Along with the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains is therefore the second oldest luxury hotel in St. Moritz. Together with the five-star hotels Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Carlton Hotel St. Moritz, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and Suvretta House, it is one of the Big Five, renowned all over the world. The Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is opening its new restaurant Matsuhisa@Badrutt’s Palace / La Coupole, located in what was once, in 1913, Europe’s first indoor tennis court and is now set to become the new restaurant of world-famous star chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa in St. Moritz. On 23 to 25 January 2015 the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is also reprising its new music festival, which was held for the first time in September 2014. The Sinfonia Amadei Orchestra under conductor Lukas Christian Reinitzer will be delighting guests and local residents alike with works by Ludwig van Beethoven. At the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz a new executive chef will be welcoming guests to the Restaurant Romanoff. From the start of the season Gero Porstein, previously sous-chef at the restaurant, is to become its executive chef and assume responsibility for the five-star hotel’s culinary highlights.
Sporting and cultural highlights on and by the lake
The stellar events held on and alongside the frozen lake of St. Moritz in January and February are an important part of the winter event schedule in St. Moritz. The events on offer in St. Moritz are as varied as they are numerous: whether it’s the St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup, the spectacular races at the Bob and Skeleton European Cup, the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival (this year’s motto is ‘British Edition’, entirely in keeping with the anniversary marking 150 years of winter tourism), or the White Turf Horse Race.
As indeed are those in the Upper Engadin. The classic cross-country skiing endurance race La Diagonela, one of the races in the Swix Ski Classics series, is to be held in the Upper Engadin for the second time on 17 January 2015. Elite athletes and amateurs alike will compete on an attractive trail of either 30 km or 65 km. The weekend of 13 to 15 March 2015 has two treats in store. The Corviglia will be playing host to the St. Moritz Music Summit, Europe’s highest club music festival, with internationally renowned DJs, while the world’s best freeskiers will be showing off their skills at the Corvatsch Snow Park at the FIS Freeski World Cup Corvatsch. For an overview of all these top events go to www.engadin.stmoritz/topevents.
Switzerland’s largest winter sports region
The Mountains. The Horizons. The Light! Engadin St. Moritz is delightful as both landscape and legend. With four major peaks and 350 km of pistes with guaranteed snow, 150 km of hiking trails and more than 220 km of cross-country trails, Engadin St Moritz is recognised as one of the biggest and most beautiful areas for winter sport in Switzerland. The wide array of sports and leisure activities on offer, the specialities of its regional cuisine, the wealth of cultural activities, and the multitude of events inspire and enthral its guests. The region owes much of its appeal to St. Moritz, the scintillating alpine destination, on the one hand and the Engadin, 4 the inspirational high-alpine valley, on the other. But the star attraction in Engadin St. Moritz is and remains nature itself. Benefiting from all the space it needs to flourish and prosper, it offers in return boundless opportunities for visitors and guests to enjoy the natural setting.