20.04.2021 - Providing a guest with an enjoyable ride from the bottom to the top station is one thing, but also offering a unique experience together with great feelings while exceeding everyone’s expectations is another. In the interview with Stefan Reichmuth, Head of Guest Services at Arosa Bergbahnen Inc. published in the Swiss Orienteering Magazine 03/2021, these aspects were featured, but also the expectations concerning the Swiss O Week.

Stefan ReichmuthThe Arosa railways (Bergbahnen) Inc. are welcoming the Swiss O Week 2021 mostly for two main reasons. On one hand, having many orienteering guests in the summer means a welcome and additional transport volume. On the other hand, orienteering runners do not load the transport system with bulky items such as bikers do. It is also less well known that the Arosa railways offer simple accommodations in the middle of town for around 300 people with their Arosa Mountain Lodge.

When asked about the Corona problems, Stefan Reichmuth responds rather calmly in his role as Head of Marketing / Guest Services / Events. A lot of knowledge was gained in the summer 2020 and the winter 2021 when appropriate measures were taken. For example, a capacity limit was introduced for closed-in areas. In rush times, the fixed schedules were cancelled and instead the trains, gondolas, railways, buses etc. were running continuously. Depending on the rush, this policy could also be implemented during the SOW because the danger of infection must absolutely be prevented out of two reasons: infection would inevitably affect the staff, and all res-taurants supplied by the railways should be able to rely on “clean” transport sys-tems.

Stefan Reichmuth has a firm opinion on the subject of cleanliness and the waste awareness of many winter guests. There is probably no-one who would contradict the motto “the environment is Arosa’s capitol”. However, when the snow was melt-ing, a big mess was being revealed. Schoolchildren would then clean up for hours occasionally with allusions that the climate youth of the cities should rather help with collecting their rubbish than skipping school for demonstrations.

But the orienteering community is an incredibly positive example when it comes to cleanliness. He had heard from a colleague that a stage location in Gstaad was handed over entirely cleaned-up to its owner just a few hours after the last runner had crossed the finish area! When asked how he felt about orienteering, he gives an honest answer: jogging, yes, he is pursuing it, but for mastering the sport with a map and compass he would need many additional hours of instruction. His father had taught him that one could also hike without electronic help, but those “confusing” contour lines only appear flat on the maps…!

Oskar Schiess

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