At Planai ski resort in Schladming, Styria, Director Georg Bliem said they aim to keep the day ticket price under €70, but has also set up an energy task force to find cost-saving measures for this year.
Suggestions for Planai include narrower slopes, reduced snowmaking capabilities, shorter cable car operating times and even a delayed start to the season.
Electricity costs at Planaibahn (the resort’s ski lift and gondola operator) were already at €3 million before the current energy crisis, according to the Kronen Zeitung.
Then there are hospitality businesses and hotels at ski resorts that are also being hit by rising costs.
As a result, the Kurier reports that room prices in overnight accommodation could increase by a further 15 percent in winter, and many people will no longer be able to afford skiing holidays.
Rising prices are just one element of the energy crisis as there are fears that Austria will not have enough gas for the coming winter season – mostly due to the war in Ukraine.
In March, Austria activated the early warning system – which is the first level of a three-step emergency plan – for the country’s gas supply. If it reaches step three (emergency level), energy control measures will be put in place across the country.
Austria’s goal is to reach 80 percent capacity by November 1st in order to have a safety reserve.
However, Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler already appealed to businesses and households in July to start saving energy where possible.
Ever since Austria (and Europe) started opening up after Covid-19 lockdowns, the hospitality and tourism industries have been struggling to find staff.
In fact, shortly before the start of the summer season in Austria, there were 30,000 open job vacancies in the tourism sector. And the Wiener Zeitung recently reported on how restaurants in Vienna are struggling to keep up with customer demand due to staff shortages.