|District||St. Johann im Pongau|
|• Mayor||Fritz Zettinig (ÖVP)|
|• Total||103.73 km2 (40.05 sq mi)|
|Elevation||859 m (2,818 ft)|
|Population (1 January 2016)|
|• Density||66/km2 (170/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Bad Hofgastein (Bavarian: Hofgoschdei) is a market town in the district of St. Johann im Pongau, in the Austrian state of Salzburg. The spa town is located in the Gastein Valley, a large ski resort belonging to the Ski Amadé network.
The Gastein valley is part of the High Tauern range of the Central Eastern Alps, it stretches from the broad Salzach valley at Lend southwards up to the Alpine divide and the border with Carinthia. Bad Hofgastein is located about halfway between Dorfgastein in the north and Bad Gastein in the south. It has access to the Tauern Railway line, running through the valley up to the Tauern Railway Tunnel.
The municipal area comprises the cadastral communities of Bad Hofgastein proper, Harbach, Heißingfelding, Vorderschneeberg, and Wieden.
In addition to the 250 km of pistes (reaching as high as 2700m in the area of Sportgastein) Bad Hofgastein also offers one of Europe's most exclusive and extensive thermal spas, the Alpentherme (Six adventure and vitality worlds spread out over 32,000 square meters, featuring a unique 360 degree panoramic view of the Alps, a sauna world with a mountain lake, leisure and wellness areas, a multimedia adventure dome, thrilling water slides, geysers and a glassed-in sky bar).
Bad Hofgastein boasts a large number of luxury hotels, the largest of which is the five star Grand Park Hotel (www.grandparkhotel.at). Additionally the 4 plus star Hotel Österreichischer Hof and Hotel Bismarck have recently undergone renovations / refurbishments. All mentioned hotels operate in-house spas (which include pools, whirlpools, saunas etc.).
Significant investments have been made in the Gastein valley's ski-system over the past few years. In the last three years alone €45 million have been spent on new lifts and piste improvements. The 2008 / 09 saw the opening of the Senderbahn lift (new 8-seater cabin lift from Angertal to Stubnerkogel). The 2009 / 10 season will witness the opening of the new Stubnerkogelbahn (8-seater cabin lift in two sections from Bad Gastein to the Stubnerkogel summit) as well as the GipfelXpress (new 6-seater lift) in Dorfgastein.
In addition to the ongoing investments a new Schlossalmbahn lift is in planning stages. The new lift will connect downtown Bad Hofgastein (in direct vicinity of the Alpentherme) to the Schlossalm summit.
Downtown / center of Bad Hofgastein boasts a picturesque pedestrian zone filled with hotels, luxury boutiques, restaurants, cafes and gluhwein stands. The town’s main square is the focal point of the town, often the site of live music bands.
Bad Hofgastein is generally more frequented by Austrians, as well as a large number of Russian and Italian visitors, and has successfully maintained its image / standing next to the ups and downs of its neighbor Bad Gastein (which now once again is receiving vast investments aimed at restoring the former glory days of Archduke Ferdinand ).
As of 2014 local elections, the political parties represented in the Bad Hofgastein municipal council (Gemeinderat) are:
- Austrian People's Party (ÖVP): 13 seats
- Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ): 10 seats
- Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ): 2 seats
Notes and references
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