“Small, idyllic, friendly.”
Like most Liechtensteiners, Anita Banzer learnt to ski in Malbun. Today she is a member of the Executive Board of the mountain railway company Bergbahnen Malbun AG and works hard to boost the attractiveness of the ski resort, while safeguarding its relaxed and friendly character.
What are your earliest memories of Malbun?
Anita Banzer: My memories extend back to my childhood. We often spent summer holidays here in Malbun. We spent the winter on our skis, in practically every weather. We hurtled down the Teufelsschlucht (Devil’s Gorge), had a wild time, and in the evening skied all the way home through the tunnel to Triesenberg.
How has Malbun changed?
Well, obviously, its appearance has changed. The lifts are also no longer the same. But Malbun is still Malbun. People know each other, and it is still a relaxed place to be.
How would you describe the character of the Malbun skiing region?
Small, idyllic, friendly. I think that sums it up pretty well. Simply on account of its compact dimensions, Malbun cannot compare with other ski resorts in the region. But its small size is something that families with children appreciate very much. Some of the pistes run directly past the holiday homes, and are not busy slopes in no-man's-land, but connecting lines that all come together at the same place.
What are the long-term plans? What are your visions for Malbun?
In my view, a Malbun that positions itself as a destination with a clear profile would be best for all. The mountain railways are only one of the stakeholders, however. All service providers need to work with a common strategy to make Malbun an even stronger destination.
What further investment might be necessary to keep Malbun attractive for tourists and guests from Liechtenstein and the region?
One contribution the mountain railways could certainly make to the further development of Malbun is the increased use of snow canons to make Malbun even more snow-sure and thus even more attractive. But as I said, investments need to be coordinated and should follow an overall strategy.
Other ski regions are investing heavily in the summer business, in order to make them less heavily dependent on the winter. What plans are you pursuing in this field?
The issue is currently being addressed by a working group comprising various stakeholders. I am delighted that they are endeavouring to work together to create something that will benefit Malbun as a whole. The mountain railways are also part of this working group. The chairlift to Sareis makes us an important factor for the summer business – but only one factor. Some services have already been established that are well received by visitors, such as the fantastic playground at the entrance to the village. This summer something completely new was tried when swings were set up. This will hopefully be just as successful.
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