Tourists have been flocking to the Austrian Arlberg region since the 19th century, but it wasn’t until 1901 that the Arlberg Ski Club was founded. Ushering in a new century, the Arlberg was soon to become the “Cradle of Alpine Skiing”. It was one man, Hannes Schneider, who created a new skiing technique and transformed the way we ski today. He founded the Ski School Arlberg in 1921 and was one of the most important figures in the early days of the sport. His ski technique also reached America in the late 1930s where he and many of his disciples introduced this technique in many of the early ski areas in the US.
Since the early days of skiing, the Arlberg has become one of the best ski areas in the Alps. This ski season, winter 2016/17, more innovations will make the ski region even greater. The Flexenbahn, a new cableway link between Zürs and Stuben/Rauz, as well as the new Trittkopfbahn I and II and the new Albonabahn II cableways, are slated to open. These four new cableways will connect the entire Arlberg ski area via cableways, making it the largest contiguous ski area in Austria. All Arlberg resorts, including St. Anton and St. Christoph, Stuben, Zürs, Lech, Oberlech, Schröcken and Warth, will now be accessible on skis.
What Non-Skiers Can Do
Those who are not skiers or who are traveling with friends and family who prefer not to challenge the slopes will still find plenty to do in the region as well. Even skiers may want to take a day off to visit local cultural treasures that include St. Anton’s Kandahar Haus Museum, where you can discover more on how Arlberg became the “Cradle of Alpine Skiing” in a preserved historic building. Get a glimpse into how life used to be in the region at the Huber-Hus Museum, located in a traditional Lech farmhouse from 1590, and at Lech’s Walsermuseum, which features historic everyday objects set in a fire station.
Where to Stay
Many of Arlberg’s hotel accommodations offer a glimpse into the region’s history. One choice is the arlberg1800RESORT, which was built in 1386 as a refuge. Today the site includes the 17-suite Arlberg Hospiz Hotel, a concert hall, artist’s studio, music studio, and exhibition hall. The hotel has been owned since the 1950s by three generations of the Werner family. The Sporthotel Lorünser dates back to 1927 with a full board menu featuring Austrian and international cuisine. The property has been renovated to keep the historic feel intact incorporated with modern amenities that include a 7,535 square foot, two-floor wellness and training area. It has been run for three generations by the Family Jochum. Click here for more on these properties and others in the Arlberg region.
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