Boost for Zauchensee: that’s how important the ski lifts are for the people and the ...
Behind the scenes

Boost for Zauchensee: that’s how important the ski lifts are for the people and the region.

Did you know that you contribute to the economic cycle in Zauchensee and beyond by using our cable cars as skiers and mountain fans?

In alpine regions, like here in Zauchensee, ski lifts are important economic drivers, employers and apprentice trainers. At the ski lift companies in Zauchensee and Radstadt-Altenmarkt you can complete an apprenticeship as a cable car technician – and learn one of the most exciting and versatile professions in Austria.

Would you like to learn more? Then take a look behind the scenes of cable car operations in Zauchensee with me!

How much energy do winter sports require?

You will be surprised how efficient our Gamskogelbahn, Highliner and Co. lifts are! A whole day of skiing requires just 18 kilowatt hours of energy per person – for snowmaking, piste preparation, infrastructure, catering, heating and cable car operation combined.

Your car consumes the same amount of energy on a straight stretch of 26 kilometres. This corresponds to the distance driven from the city centre of Salzburg to the beautiful Bluntautal valley. Or a car journey from Vienna to Vösendorf. Or from the Brandenburg Gate to BER Berlin Brandenburg Airport.

To put this in more everyday terms, with one kilowatt hour of energy you can blow-dry your hair for about an hour, cook dinner or do two Google searches.

Two more examples from a recent study by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber: With the energy required for a flight from Vienna to New York, you can go skiing in Austria every day from December to April. If you prefer to sail from Hamburg to New York on a cruise ship, you can ski for 351 days in Austria for the same amount of energy.

Why are ski lifts more than a convenient means of ascent?

A cable car doesn’t just take you up or down a mountain. You spend time in the great outdoors skiing and snowboarding, enjoy your favourite mountain hut delicacies when you stop for a break, enjoy a drink at après-ski and spend the night in a hotel or a nice private guesthouse.

In the sports shop at the lift station you can get the latest equipment and professional service for your boards. If you get a tummy ache after too much Kaiserschmarrn and Germknödeln, the local pharmacy is there for you. Specialities from the region and snacks for in-between are available at the local grocer and the baker in the village bakes delicious farmhouse bread every morning for breakfast in your accommodation.

How does a whole region benefit from ski lifts?

As a typical cable car user in the province of Salzburg, you spend an average of around 230 euros per person, according to a recent study. Only a small part of this – 15 per cent, to be exact – is invested in the purchase of your lift tickets. The majority is spent on:

  • Accommodation incl. extras: 76 Euro
  • Ski lifts: 35 Euro
  • Restaurants / huts: 34 Euro
  • Mobility: 31 Euro
  • Equipment (purchased in resort): 17 Euro
  • Shopping incl. supermarket: 11 Euro
  • Equipment rental: 7 Euro
  • Ski lessons / ski school: 5 Euro
  • Other expenses: 5 Euro
  • Equipment service: 3 Euro
  • Wellness: 3 Euro
  • Entertainment: 2 Euro

How far does value creation by ski lifts extend?

The cable cars you use on your mountain adventures are planned, built and maintained by specialists, which creates a variety of jobs in the region. And that’s not all: so that you can recharge your energy reserves after a day full of action and fun on the mountain, there are restaurants and hotels available to you. They can employ qualified staff and source products from regional producers. This not only tastes great, but also helps the environment by keeping distances short.

Your skis, snowboards, helmets, gloves, clothing, ski boots and much more are made in Austria, among other places, and are available for you in the sports shops, together with professional advice. Transport routes are created and maintained so that you can reach the lift stations and your holiday accommodation. New means of transport such as ski buses can also be introduced where you create the demand. And because the holiday doesn’t end after dinner, a variety of sporting and cultural events can take place. Last but not least, the ski slopes you ski on in winter are important pastures for cattle, horses, sheep and goats in summer.

For all fact lovers, here are some interesting figures:

  • Around 53.1 million skiing days are recorded in Austria per year.
  • 2 billion euros in gross sales are generated in Austria by winter sports enthusiasts using cable cars.
  • This results in a value added of 5.9 billion euros – and a turnover tax revenue of more than 1 billion euros from the cable car companies.
  • Ski lifts are an 8.3-fold multiplier in economic terms: 1,000 euros in wages, salaries, profits and depreciation in ski lifts mean 8,300 euros in value added.

Who are the cable car professionals of tomorrow in Zauchensee?

To ensure that you can swing comfortably and safely up the mountain or back down into the valley with the lifts and cable cars every winter (and summer), highly qualified specialists are at work all year round: our cable car technicians.

The job of a cable car technician is one of the most exciting and varied apprenticeships in Austria. At the lift companies in Zauchensee and Radstadt-Altenmarkt we are constantly training apprentices in this field. But what do the men and women in this profession do?

We let our apprentices couple, calibrate and adjust power!

The core areas of the three-and-a-half-year training to become a cableway technician are cableway and electrical engineering. In addition to technical know-how, the synergy of the environment, technology, nature and tourism is a central component of the practical training. The planning and maintenance of ski slopes, basic knowledge of snowmaking, weather and avalanche awareness as well as professional guest services are important learning components. After completing their apprenticeship, cableway technicians have very good career opportunities in domestic and international tourism.

In order to provide our youngsters with a practical training, we have so-called apprentice days, where we introduce them to a special topic in the area of cable car technology, electrical engineering, snowmaking or administration every week. You can find out more here.

I hope you enjoyed our shared look behind the scenes!

Do you have any questions for us? Then visit us in the Zauchensee ski paradise and on the Radstadt-Altenmarkt ski circuit or simply send us an e-mail at We are also always happy to receive your photos that you have taken with us. Feel free to tag us with @zauchensee_skiparadies or @radstadt_altenmarkt!

photo credits: Bergbahnen Zauchensee, Nadia-Jabli-Photography

After studying in Salzburg, I moved back to my beautiful hometown “Altenmarkt”. In addition to the wonderful mountain scenery and the many opportunities - both in summer and in winter - I appreciate as an enthusiastic musician and member of the traditional brass band Altenmarkt above all the community, culture and customs in our region.

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