After many years of planning, the local planning in Flims lays the basis for the development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona with the innovative 10-seater gondola system "Rope Taxi" has been agreed.
Those responsible for the municipality of Flims and the Weisse Arena Gruppe, as well as those responsible for the three environmental associations, the Foundation for Landscape Protection, WWF and Pro Natura, have agreed on a consensus solution regarding the timely objections within the framework of the participation requirement and discussed future developments.
In a change to the route communicated at the information event on January 29, 2021, the railway now runs from Startgels to Segnes and branches there on the one hand to Nagens Sura and on the other to Ils Cugns (Cassons). This means that there is no need to cross the ledge between Nagens and Grauberg twice and the wildlife sanctuary can be avoided.
The tourist uses on Ils Cugns can be implemented as planned. Raimund Rodewald says: "Thanks to the many years of trusting cooperation with those responsible in the Flims-Laax-Falera destination, we have found a solution that enables the greatest possible protection of the landscape and covers the operational requirements of the mountain railway operators". Martin Hug is also satisfied: “With the alternative development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona, a long-cherished wish for Flims has come true. The route fits perfectly into the landscape and allows guests and locals a comfortable access to the tectonic arena Sardona. This makes the trip to Ils Cugns an unforgettable experience ».
Those involved now continue to work together in the detailed planning, the planning approval process and the implementation. Their aim is to find amicable solutions here as well, which create a balance between the tourist use and the protection of this unique landscape and this ecologically sensitive habitat.
With this agreement, the local planning coordination in the municipality of Flims on June 13, 2021 can take place as planned.
Those responsible for the parties involved are looking forward to tackling the next project steps together and in a consensus-oriented
The Corona crisis and the associated shift in values has forced the Weisse Arena Gruppe to put its future projects to the test. Can planned major projects such as the Cassons cableway be realized? Will guests still feel safe in large gondolas? In the months following the lockdown, Reto Gurtner, Chairman and Delegate of the Board of Directors, together with the cableway builder Roland Bartholet of Flumser Bartholet Maschinenbau AG and Martin Hug, Major of Flims and former Member of the Management of the Weisse Arena Gruppe, questioned the existing plans in video conferences and meetings over the course of several days. In the end they developed a new idea for the Cassons project.
Thus, the philosophy of the electric car manufacturer Tesla was merged with the proven technology of mountain cableways. With this new concept, the mountain cableways can not only save up to 50 percent energy but alsow up to 80 percent of maintenance costs. This reduction is achieved when gondolas are only sent on the line when they actually carry people. As a frequency analysis of the Foppa lift has shown, 93 percent of the chairs are not occupied. Therefore, the traditional mountain cableway system was turned upside down. All means of transport, i.e. chairs and gondolas on the Flims-Foppa-Startgels line and in future further on to Segnes-Cassons/Nagens, are always parked in the station and only sent on the line when occupied by guests. The lift will also function like an elevator that does not stop automatically on each floor, but the guest decides where he wants to go – whether to Foppa or all the way to Cassons. That is innovation and pure Greenstyle.
In the following Flims community information of January 29, 2021, Martin Hug (Major of Flims, Member of the Board of Directors of Cassons AG), Marco Maranta (Head of the Flims Building Authority), Reto Gurtner (Member of the Board of Directors of WAG, Member of the Board of Directors of Cassons AG), Markus Wolf (CEO of WAG), Patrick Küng (Sales Switzerland BMF) and Claudio Deplazes (Project Manager of Cassons AG) provide information on the latest status of the «Cassons23» project (in German).