Obereggen at 50
The story of a small, sleepy mountain village at the foot of the Latemar massif, sporadic visitors in summer and a few young men who realised their vision with both confidence and energy: Obereggen can now tell a tale of perseverance and innovative spirit, of cohesion and a sense of responsibility – one that goes back 50 years!
Many initially ridiculed the eleven founders of Obereggen AG for their idea, some even called them megalomaniacs – yet nothing could dissuade them from their plan to boost tourism in Obereggen with a ski resort. This was what they had set out to do, and they pursued their goal with both resolve and conviction. The first lift started operating in 1972 and its success was followed by many more: the construction of further lifts in 1975 and 1977 soon saw Obereggen and thus the entire Val d’Ega enjoying an impressive economic boom. Finally, many young people who up until the 1970s had had to leave their homeland in search of better prospects elsewhere were also able to find employment here: the ski industry helped revive the area below the Latemar massif, turning it into a popular visitor destination, in winter and – increasingly – in summer.
Far-sighted yet close to nature
The ski area was actively and constantly developed, with Obereggen also witnessing the first attempts at full artificial snow cover in 1980. The ski area has also however demonstrated its pioneering role with regard to lift systems: Obereggen was the site of Italy's first automatic four-seater chairlift, opened in 1985, its first fixed four-seater chairlift, in 1987 and its first conveyor belt for skiers, in 1990.
Today, Obereggen is known far and wide for its perfectly groomed ski slopes offering guaranteed snow, as well as its rich and varied hiking trails. Moreover, every December sees a part of the European Cup staged on Obereggen’s Maierl piste, with numerous enthusiastic spectators in attendance.
While some 50 years ago the only inn in the village of Obereggen could offer20 beds, there are now twenty establishments providing accommodation, with some 850 beds between them. The attitude of the valley’s inhabitants to the natural world around them remains however unchanged: its preservation is a particular concern, with respect for local flora and fauna and their respective habitats always of paramount importance in all projects and endeavours – future generations should after all also be able to delight in the uniqueness of the Latemar, a World Natural Heritage site.