Bergbahnen Brandnertal is a semi-public company with four major shareholders. The communities of Brand and Bürserberg and two private investors hold 75% of the shares.
“The origins of the company date back to 1950, when the farmers in the valley built a lift to bring cattle from the valley up to the alpine pastures,” says Managing Director Ing. Markus Comploj. “In 1951 the first cable car for guests was inaugurated, followed in 1955 by the first tow lift. We started afresh in the middle of the 1960s and greatly increased operations. In 2006 the two parts of the ski area in the valley were united and connected by the Panorama cable car, a strategic move that fuelled growth.”
So did the opening of Vorarlberg’s first bike park in the valley last year. Within two years the new park quadrupled the number of summer guests. Today Bergbahnen Brandnertal operates a network of 14 cable cars including two new modern cable cars, one of which is the spectacular Panorama cable car, a gondola, six chairlifts and five tow lifts.
In the winter the lifts provide easy access to the ski area with more than 64 km of well-kept ski runs at an altitude of 890 to 2,000 m, including 22 km ski runs for beginners, 30 km intermediate and 3 km designated advanced. 80% of the ski runs can be covered with artificial snow, guaranteeing snow throughout the season. In the summer the lifts bring guests to the sports and fun centers and to the starting points of nature hikes.
“As a family-friendly resort, we offer a wide variety of sports, fun and nature experiences for children and adults,” states Mr. Comploj. “We have special family hotels and a variety of other affordable accommodations. We are also a resort for nature lovers. The enclosed valley offers rich fauna and flora and spectacular panoramas which can be explored on more than 400 km of prepared footpaths. Nine privately operated cabins and restaurants offer excellent regional dishes that fully meet the growing trend for culinary pleasures. Winter is still our main season, but meanwhile 45% of guests come in the summer. With year-round staff of 25, up to 80 in the winter and 40 in the summer, we generate turnover of eight million EUR, seven million of which is earned in the winter.”
Brandnertal can be easily reached from Switzerland and Germany by motorway. “80% of guests are Austrian, Swiss or German,” underlines the Managing Director. “The Swiss mainly come from cities in eastern Switzerland such as Zurich and Basel and Germans via the A7 from as far north as Hamburg. We mainly market the resort via the tourist organizations. We will further enhance our special strengths in the future, the family-friendly approach and the variety of sports, fun and nature experiences for all ages. Sustainability is another strength which is rapidly gaining importance. We try to save resources by buying green power exclusively and making use of heat recovery systems. Further increasing the number of summer guests is the declared target for the near future. We cooperate closely with the museums for technology and history to find new thematic paths which will attract people to the mountains in the summer.”