Why mountain railways now need to develop skiing areas for children

With Hopsi around the world: This project sets a good example!

The skilful development and presentation of new experience offers, precisely adjusted to the respective target group, is one of the prerequisites for sustainable success in winter and summer business alike. This task becomes all the more challenging and demanding when families and children are the target group.

Fun, playful learning and discovery are at the focus of the new Hopsi winter kids' area in Schladming. The Planai‑Hochwurzen‑Bahnen once again prove their inventiveness and their skill at creating exciting offers for families. Hopsi's travel around the world will take young explorers from Austria to China and then all the way to Australia. The lovingly designed sections of the journey around the world are to entertain children as well as offer obstacle courses adjusted specifically to their respective skills or learning progress.

This is why this is an exemplary project. A journey around the world is much more exciting than the blue slope x or the red downhill track y. Individual progress and adventures are also much easier to share with friends and acquaintances at home. Since children's wishes will often characterise parents' holiday plans, this is an obvious area where mountain railways and skiing area operators should take action. Many skiing schools would find planning, implementation and maintenance of such projects impossible, not just financially.

Size matters

Classical kids' areas of individual skiing schools, no matter how perfectly they are supported and how lovingly they are designed, usually simply do not have the spatial prerequisites for implementing projects such as Hopsi's winter kids' area. Planning and continuous development are also central for sustainable success. Though a fun slope on its own may be a welcome offer for young guests, they are expecting much more than a themed downhill slope today. Lighthouse projects such as the one run by Planai‑Hochwurzen‑Bahnen skilfully connect sections with different themes and a diverse offering for children of all skill levels, from the absolute beginner to the pro. A visiting experience that is able to attract the ever‑growing share of non‑skiers is another factor for success, not only in competition between destinations but also, and in particular, with the definitely expanding leisure-time offerings away from the mountains. Theme parks, experience baths, FECs, and many other destinations are vying for the time and budget of their potential customers in summer and winter alike.

About us

With our subsidiary Sunkid Heege, looking back at a history of 40 years of success in the global theme park industry, we have been part of this booming market for more than a decade. We know better than anyone else what competition we are facing far from the home market of alpine holiday destinations, and how to profit from gigantic experience with this industry.


Photo credits: Christine Höflehner, Sybille Sieder

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