Gurgl will start the new winter season in November 2023 with a unique sporting highlight. Slalom stars like Lucas Braathen, Henrik Kristoffersen and Linus Straßer gather for the first time at the Diamond of the Alps for the start of the Slalom World Cup. The destination of Ötztal wants to enter the club of annual venues in the racing calendar thanks to perfect organization.
In autumn 2023, Ötztal will become the center of alpine ski racing twice within a few weeks. At the end of October, the FIS Alpine World Cup traditionally celebrates its season kick-off with two giant slalom events held at Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden. Ski fans can already look forward to the next race and a special premiere in mid-November. On 18 November, the slope of Kirchenkar in Hochgurgl will become the ultimate playground for top athletes such as Ramon Zenhäusern, Linus Straßer, Lucas Braathen, Henrik Kristoffersen or Fabio Gstrein and Manuel Feller. This is the first time that the Diamond of the Alps appears in the official FIS racing calendar and it will shine even more during the 2023 Ski Opening Weekend.
Came to stay: Gurgl wants to impress and convince
The high alpine altitude between 1800 and 3080 meters in combination with excellent infrastructures ensures absolute snow guarantee in Gurgl and thus reliability for all winter sports enthusiasts. That is why one of the first winter ski areas in the Alps has always been opened in Upper Ötztal. These arguments also convinced those responsible of the FIS International Ski Federation when announcing the first men's slalom race of the 23/24 season in Ötztal.
“This is a truly unique opportunity for us. In addition to the opening event on the glacier, we are now also putting our winter sports and snow expertise in the spotlight of the international public in Gurgl," explains Oliver Schwarz, Managing Director of Ötztal Tourismus.
Both happiness about hosting this race and the commitment are great: "Our ambition is to establish Gurgl as an annual venue. We will prove that we are capable of doing so."
The prerequisites are already on site: thanks to the multifunctional Top Mountain Crosspoint in Hochgurgl, a suitable infrastructure is available as finish area that meets all the requirements for teams, fans and media representatives. The same applies to top modern Gurgl Carat congress and event center in Obergurgl. For a top-class ski festival, we are also happy about the knowhow of partners from Sölden.
"As a long-time companion of the World Cup Opening event at Rettenbach Glacier, Isi Grüner brings his experience, knowledge and network to Gurgl. This is how we show team spirit in Ötztal," Schwarz states.
Season Opening for everyone
Even if the focus is naturally on professional athletes on 18 November, the Gurgl ski opening from 16 to 19 November invites everyone to enjoy their personal winter start. 112 immaculate slope kilometers and 25 top modern mountain lifts, where waiting times are literally unknown, await hobby sportspeople in the "Diamond of the Alps". Thanks to ski-in/ski-out options, you will also get straight from the hotels and accommodations to the slopes. Additionally, there is a varied side and entertainment program with many highlights off the slopes on the opening weekend.