The Obereggen Ski Area turns 40
The Summer of 1970: Eleven audacious young men found the Obereggen Ski Lift Company. In their free time, they go from door to door, raising the necessary funds to establish Obereggen as a new ski area. They promise that the new ski area will help create jobs and help to attract visitors to this natural paradise at the foot of the majestic Latemar (which has since been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO). The young men meet with lots of approval, but also with pessimism: How could Obereggen, of all places – an obscure mountain village with just a 20-bed inn and only a single connecting road – become a ski resort area?
40 Years Later: That dream has now become a reality: The Latemar Ski Center, with 48 kilometers of slopes, 18 modern ski lifts, numerous ski lodges, and lots and lots of sunshine, is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. And all around, an outstanding tourist community listed among the "Pearls of the Alps" has developed. The project launched by those eleven ski pioneers has become a ski resort area which testers have repeatedly acclaimed as having among the best-groomed slopes worldwide (!) – and what more-auspicious an award could a ski area wish for? And the fact that the most-prestigious European championship races of the world are held here every year at the start of the season is likewise telling – and every year with a star-studded line-up that you'll be hard pressed to find at any other European championship race: During the last two races, no one less than the Olympic Slalom gold-medallist Giuliano Razzoli and the Slalom World Cup winner Reinfried Herbst were victorious.
In the 40 years since its founding, Obereggen has consistently displayed the spirit of innovation – from the first connection to the Pampeago Ski Area in the mid-1970s, the noteworthy test of snow cannons at the dawn of the use of snow machines in the early 1980s, all the way up to the establishment of the new Maierl Slope only a few years ago.
Today, Obereggen is one of the most-popular ski areas in the entire region.
The Milestones of the Obereggen Ski Region
Eleven young men from the Eggen/Ega Valley found the Obereggen AG (stock Company). In the 1972-1973 winter season, the first ski lifts – the "Eben" and the double-seat chairlift "Oberholz" – are put into operation.
Obereggen together with Pampeago and Predazzo and their four new ski lifts form the Ski Center Latemar, and the region joins the Dolomiti Superski Ski Association.
- 1982 The first snow machine with water storage begins operation. Since 1989, it has been possible to provide all of the slopes with artificial snow.
Italy's first automatic four-seat chairlift starts operation, replacing the "Absam-Maierl" double-seat chairlift. Today, an automatic six-seat chairlift is in use.
The "Obereggen" – Italy's first fixed-clamp four-seat chairlift with passenger conveyor belt – starts operation.
At the valley station in Obereggen, a new building is constructed. The "Bar-Pizzeria Platzl" and the "Tipi" après ski bar open their doors to the public.
With the completion of the new "Ochsenweide" gondola-type aerial tram, it is now possible to enjoy nighttime skiing and nighttime tobogganing with flood lights.
A bio-mass thermal power plant for Obereggen begins operation, helping to save 500,000 liters of heating oil per year. (The "Obereggen AG" has had environmental certification in accordance with ISO – Norm 14001 since 2004.)
The natural tobogganing course is expanded and equipped with a snow thrower.
The Obereggen Valley Station was expanded by another 1,000 square meters to host the ski rental, ski storeroom, ski and snowboard school, "Monny" sports equipment shop, competitions office and first aid.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Obereggen company, a book by the journalist Christian Pfeifer was published. The book (only in german) is available at Val d'Ega tourist offices or can be downloaded in PDF format.