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Zürs (1717m) at the Flexenpass is a ski resort consisting of several (mostly luxurious) hotels in Vorarlberg, Austria. Zürs is part of the Arlberg ski region and famous for its skiing, especially its backcountry skiing and its Olympic skiing champions. Zürs can be reached by car over a road which is rarely closed in winter (if so, mostly due to avalanche risk after heavy snowfall). About four km north of Zürs is Lech am Arlberg, another ski resort which is linked to Zürs not only via road but also via lifts and pistes.
In the beginning, some of the mountain farmers without an access road lived under difficult conditions in this high alpine region and were often cut off from the outside world. With the construction of the road over the Flexenpass, the village was connected to the road network in 1897.
Thanks to the construction of the Flexenpass (1895-1897), Zürs became increasingly popular among skiers. From 1923 to 1931 further hotels and guest houses were built in Zürs. In 1938, the village already had 500 guest beds.
In cooperation with Emil Doppelmayr, Sepp Bildstein designed the first ski lift for skiers. The construction work was carried out by Doppelmayr with Sepp Bildstein. In 1937 Austria's first T-bar lift was built on the practice slope in Zürs. The new technical achievement convinced the skiers immediately, and during the Second World War Lech built a second lift on the Schlegelkopf. The strong development of the Lech-Zürs ski area with chairlifts began in the 1950s. In 1951, the lift operation at Kriegerhorn was started. In 1957, the cable car Rüfikopf was put into operation and thus a ski connection between Lech and Zürs arose.
- The white ring: Thanks to this new ski lift system, the famous "Der Weiße Ring" ski tour, which runs through Lech, Zürs, Zug and Oberlech, was also built. -> Read more on the white ring in the Lech Article
- The green ring: The Green Ring is a three-day hiking trail that tells the story of local people and the landscape. This LEADER-Project was created by the two artists: Daniela Egger and Daniel Kocher that created the art-concept of story and installations. The trail brings the hiker to the track of legends and stories about local inhabitants and events in this multi-faceted natural landscape. Recently it has received a small extension: the Green Puzzle Ring where families can solve riddles about the region from Lech up to the Rud-Alpe.
Over time, more modern lifts and hotels have been built in Zürs.
Tourism & Economy
Zürs is one of the most renowned winter sports resorts in the entire Alpine region and is located in the Vorarlberg part of the Arlberg region and almost directly on the border to North Tyrol. Zürs is part of the municipality of Lech am Arlberg and is one of the cradles of skiing. The first ski course took place in Zürs in 1904, and the first ski lift in Austria was built in Zürs in 1937.
The place itself is now almost exclusively a hotel village with 16 hotels (most of them with 4 or 5 stars) and some pensions with about 1700 guests beds. Zürs is part of the Arlberg ski region which also includes Lech, Oberlech, Zug and Stubenbach and offers, 87 ski-lifts, 200 km of deep snow slopes and 305 km of ski runs.
The main source of income is tourism. Because of the high altitude of over 2000 mH, the place is free of forest and therefore with a clear view of the surrounding alpine peaks. In addition, there is always lots of snow the Arlberg-region, as well as a picture book landscape for the winter sports. This unique combination attracts many tourists each year.
Lech Zürs recorded 844,373 overnight stays in the winter of 2016/17, which corresponds to a minus of 2.5% compared to the previous year. Zürs alone is responsible for 121.729 overnight stays in 2016/17.
Media related to Zürs at Wikimedia Commons
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- "The green ring". Urlaub in Vorarlberg (in German). 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- Arlberg, Lech Zürs am. "Der Grüne Ring". www.dergruenering.at (in German). Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- Arlberg, Lech Zürs am. "All towns of Lech Zürs on the Arlberg". www.lech-zuers.at. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
- Arlberg, Lech Zürs am. "Heli-Skiing in Lech Zürs on the Arlberg". www.lech-zuers.at. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
- Arlberg, Lech Zürs am. "Lech Zürs am Arlberg". www.lech-zuers.at. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
- "Overnight stays in Zürs" (PDF).