Since May 2010, AREA 47 at the entrance to the Tyrolean Ötztal has been bringing together the hottest trend sports in one place. The unique offer now consists of around 40 activities from blobbing to wakeboarding. To the delight of almost 1.5 million visitors from more than 30 nations in 11 years, who have come to appreciate the varied offer.
"What we offer with AREA 47 is unique worldwide." With this announcement the mastermind and initiator Hans Neuner, who passed away much too early, defined the claim of the leading European outdoor amusement park that is still valid today. The best of the moment and continuous further development at the cutting edge should be experienced at the 47th parallel. Highlight projects such as Western Austria's first wakeboard facility on 20,000 m² for the 2016 season or the construction of sustainable accommodation in wood construction in the Corona year 2020 demonstrate the will to make constant progress.
A total of around 30 million euros has been invested in the system over the past 11 years. An average of 40,000 overnight stays are recorded per season and 70,000 outdoor tours are carried out for house and day guests. "With our offer, we have proven that strong tourist brands can hold their own even in pandemic times," says Christian Schnöller, Managing Director of AREA 47, referring to the great demand in the past two Corona seasons.
For Jakob Falkner, Managing Director of Bergbahnen Sölden, the expectations associated with the investment project have been more than fulfilled. “I was enthusiastic about Hansi Neuner's idea from the start. Together we wanted to create a lead product that would establish summer holidays in Tyrol as a trendy and attractive alternative to destinations in the Mediterranean region for a young target group. The combination of fun sports and nature experience has established itself in the eleven years since the opening of AREA 47 as a beacon offer for local summer tourism. Unique in Tyrol, Austria and, more precisely, in the entire Alpine arc ”, emphasizes Falkner.
At the same time, with Austria's largest outdoor amusement park, Bergbahnen Sölden is making a further commitment to the further development of the tourist offer structure in the Ötztal. In addition to AREA 47 and of course the Sölden ski area, the cable car company played a key role in realizing the AQUA DOME in Längenfeld. In the anterior Ötztal, Bergbahnen Sölden is also involved as a partner in the successful and long-term establishment of Hochoetz as a family ski area. In addition to AREA 47 and of course the Sölden ski area, the cable car company played a key role in realizing the AQUA DOME in Längenfeld. In the anterior Ötztal, Bergbahnen Sölden is also involved as a partner in the successful and long-term establishment of Hochoetz as a family ski area. In addition to AREA 47 and of course the Sölden ski area, the cable car company played a key role in realizing the AQUA DOME in Längenfeld. In the anterior Ötztal, Bergbahnen Sölden is also involved as a partner in the successful and long-term establishment of Hochoetz as a family ski area.
Added value for the region
A special feature is the fact that the area of AREA 47 is in the areas of the tourism associations Ötztal Tourismus and Imst Tourismus. “This fact has proven to be an advantage over the years. We are happy to be involved in the development of the destination groups. In return, the partners integrate our unique action menu into their communication. For tourism businesses in the region, we provide an attractive additional offer that they can use to advertise to their guests, ”explains Christian Schnöller. A practical example is the interaction between the popular Ötztal Inside Summer Card and the vacation pass. As an employer, the Outdoorpark opens up a large number of attractive jobs. From bike and rafting guides to specialists in gastronomy and content creators:
Austria's largest outdoor park has gained a national and international reputation right from the start. The series of awards includes the Tirol Touristica Award, the Export Award of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and the Austrian Tourism Innovation Award. Due to its uniqueness, AREA 47 also advanced to become a globally recognized media favorite. Renowned publications such as the New York Times or cnn.com reported on the project at the entrance to the Ötztal. TV stations from Japan (Nippon TV) or German-language television formats such as “Galileo” traveled to capture action-packed sequences for viewers.
Another indication of the radiance and appeal of AREA 47 is a long list of business partnerships with established brands. Global brands like adidas, action cam manufacturer GoPro or local companies like Red Bull, Rauch and Stiegl join the partner network. For the 2021 season, this could be expanded with CLIF, Suunto and Zanier. A win-win situation for everyone involved: The brands present themselves to their respective target groups in a suitable environment. The guests benefit from getting to know the products in an everyday outdoor test.
An essential constant in the history of AREA 47 so far is the presence of top international athletes who regularly use the advantages of the infrastructure for training purposes. The regular guests include the stars of the cliff diving scene such as the multiple world champion Orlando Duque or the Austrian wakeboard great Dominik Hernler. More than 500 professional athletes from all over the world have been guests since the start.
Sustainability as a mandate
To keep the ecological footprint as small as possible. This goal is pursued in AREA 47 as part of the “GoGreen” initiative. The consistent reduction of plastic waste in gastronomy, the use of exclusively biological filter systems in the lakes, cooperation with local suppliers such as the Haiming fruit store or regular cleaning of the rafting routes along the Inn are already established. The targeted containment of private traffic also increases the quality of stay: guests can use electric shuttles to get to the desired point within the 9.5 hectare facility. The careful use of nature will also be continued in the future, for example as part of a sustainability plan.