It was probably the most touching protest actions of the past winter: elementary school children holding banners demanding the preservation of their ski area in the Almtal.
As reported, skiing on the Kasberg is about to end. Despite millions in funding from the state, Almtal-Bergbahnen GmbH has made losses in the past two years.
A year-round operation of the lifts on the Kasberg could help that more money is flushed into the coffers. But these proposals continue to be vetoed by five large landowners. In an inquiry to the state’s economic department, the Neos now wanted to know what concrete concepts currently exist for the Kasberg. According to the office of Provincial Councilor Markus Achleitner (VP), four concepts are currently being examined. They all have one thing in common: They assume that the Kasberg can be used for tourism all year round in the future. Now it is the turn of the mayors of the four operating communities again. On behalf of Achleitner, they will again seek talks with the landowners and promote year-round tourist use of the mountain. At the end of May, another job interview is planned at Achleitner. By summer at the latest it should be clear whether there will be another ski season in the Almtal next winter. Until the 2025/26 season, the state will, as agreed, contribute up to one million euros per year to the Almtal mountain railways to cover the losses of ongoing operations.
The business department almost rules out the possibility that there could be additional financial resources for the mountain railways. Without the tax money from the state, the ski area would already be “not viable”, additional financing is “critically viewed”, according to the response to the Neos.