The new Spielbodenbahn cableway has cost around CHF 20 million. Funding for the project by the state, shareholders, the people of Saas-Fee and a leasing partner was secured in March this year. The demolition of the existing 40-year-old Spielbodenbahn cableway began on 10 June 2016 with construction of the new cableway starting a few weeks later. Now, a little over six months later, the new cableway is ready for inauguration.
The cableway will be officially inaugurated with a party for guests and locals on Monday 26 December 2016. At 3.30 p.m., Pirmin Zurbriggen, president of the board of directors of Saastal Bergbahnen AG, will address the visitors on the sports ground Kalbermatten, right next to the valley station of the Spielbodenbahn where snow sports enthusiasts arrive after their descent and meet with pedestrians. His address will be followed by concerts by local band Wintersholm and Anna Rossinelli, a singer from Basel. While WintersHome are on home turf as almost half the band members are the children of our former ski star and current president of the board of directors of Saastal Bergbahnen AG, Pirmin Zurbriggen, the surroundings are less familiar for Basel singer Anna Rossinelli. She represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Dusseldorf.
Cableway running since 17 December
The cableway already began operations on Saturday, 17 December 2016, in time for the Christmas holiday season. It can transport up to 1,400 people to the Spielboden ski area in 39 modern 10-seat cabins in just eight-and-a-half minutes. Passengers now also have the option to change onto the Felskinnbahn cableway at the mid station Bifig, which is an additional advantage for our visitors.
The old gondolas are being put to good use. They were up for sale for Saas-Fee guests and a good few are probably now enjoying a new lease of life as little huts in gardens around Europe. And it’s not just our guests who benefit from their special souvenir: 20 percent of the proceeds of the gondola sales were donated to Blindspot, a national funding agency for young people with and without disabilities.
The media are also cordially invited to attend the inaugural event on 26 December 2016 / the first day of operations on 20 December 2016. Media representatives will have the chance to ride on the cableway and hold interviews with the project leaders at Saastal Bergbahnen AG. The Spielboden mountain station will also be serving celebratory drinks (see attached programme with registration).
For further facts on the construction of the new Spielbodenbahn, please see the press information enclosed. Images of the construction phase are available on request.