Lech and Zürs,
Austrian resorts of Lech, and probably to a greater extent its sister
resort of Zürs, have to make hay while the snow flies. They are, after
all, respected and popular ski resorts. Their job simply is to sell
skiing. Ski holidays, ski amenities, après ski action and just about
anything else related to the winter sport of kings and commoners.
Lech and Zürs in Austria have a lot to sell. For starters, immense natural
beauty, a superb location, countless kilometers of good skiing, and a decently
long and reliable winter season that would make any marketing manager happy.
However, as the man said, life is short. Ski resorts, no matter how high flying,
need snow. And snow for the most part needs winter. And winter, in most places
comes only between the months of November to, say, late April, at least as far
as skiers are concerned anyway.
So Lech, and more so Zürs, have to squeeze their commercial life
span into five or six months. There is no summer skiing in
either of the two resorts, nor is there any nearby. And as Zürs
really is a resort that was built purposely to cater to the
skiing world, it has no commercial summer to speak of. Lech, on
the other hand is a real live traditional village, where people
live and all that. They can exploit the summer season, and of
late are starting to do just that with some degree of success.
But never mind. It ain't gonna’ replace the high rollers
do you do if you have to make a year's income in half the time? Well,
there are a number of options. You can take the easy way out and gouge
folks for as much as you can as long as you can. They did not even
consider that in Lech and Zürs. They went the class route. They built the
best, highest quality ski resorts they could possibly make, and they
charged accordingly. In return for this extra effort in excellence in an
increasingly mediocre world, Lech and Zürs were rewarded with an affluent,
high spending, and highly loyal clientele. It included (and still does)
crowned heads, heads of state, heads of industry and some heads in the
clouds. But there was money a-plenty, and who cared if one only had six
months to live?