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25 Years of BikeHotels South Tyrol

25 Years of BikeHotels South Tyrol

05.12.23 08:58 9Text: Westsiders/Jens Vögele, NoMan, Erwin Haiden (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin Haiden, BikeHotels Südtirol, Westsiders/Jens VögeleThe eccentrics of the past are considered pioneers today. A quarter of a century after their founding, the BikeHotels South Tyrol look back on their eventful past and look ahead with co-creator pride to a rosy future in cycle tourism. We congratulate in word and picture.05.12.23 08:58 190

25 Years of BikeHotels South Tyrol

05.12.23 08:58 190 Westsiders/Jens Vögele, NoMan, Erwin Haiden (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden, BikeHotels Südtirol, Westsiders/Jens Vögele
  • AI generated translation
  • AI-generated translation refers to the process of using artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning models, to automatically translate text or speech from one language to another. These systems, such as neural machine translation models, analyze large datasets of multilingual content to learn patterns and associations between languages. The generated translations are based on statistical probabilities and context learned during training.
The eccentrics of the past are considered pioneers today. A quarter of a century after their founding, the BikeHotels South Tyrol look back on their eventful past and look ahead with co-creator pride to a rosy future in cycle tourism. We congratulate in word and picture.05.12.23 08:58 190

For what feels like an eternity, the bikes have been shouldered. With slow steps, we work our way up, sweating profusely. The stomach growls, the muscles groan. Finally, the incline eases. Time and opportunity to set down the heavy bikes.
"How much further is it?", the doubly loaded and thus burdened photographer dares to ask the crucial question. "We gotta go there", our guide replies with a grin, pointing to a remote peak in the airy heights. It only becomes clear to us after asking three times that this is no joke.
600 laborious meters of elevation later, we sit at the said point, munching on our own packed sandwiches, exhausted, and looking down on a downhill that is unrideable for all riding skill levels from Tom Öhler downwards. We will probably have to carry our bikes a good deal further...

Not only during the Complice Tour, which Michi Zingerle, managing director of BikeHotels South Tyrol, recommended to us in 2020 for a tour review on Bikeboard, did we realize: Where the logo of the Italian bike hoteliers is, there are real MTB experiences inside.
For over six years, Bikeboard has now been cooperating with BikeHotels South Tyrol, visited there the Rosengarten, there the Gadertal, rocked the bike parks Kronplatz and Plose, completed elsewhere the Bike-Highline Meran and the Sellaronda. Chilled Brixen, lovely Natz, charming Naturns, sophisticated Meran; picturesque Eggental, multifaceted Grödnertal, wildly rugged Sesvenna group. We have already seen or experienced quite a bit in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano and met many remarkable contemporaries – including several of the hoteliers and members mentioned below.
For the 25th anniversary, we therefore congratulate the BikeHotels South Tyrol with a best-of our collected tour pics over time. Looking back at the internal birthday celebration of the hoteliers' association, which also provided an opportunity for an interview with BikeHotels South Tyrol President Kurt Resch. And we are looking forward to the next years and stories together!

 Where the BikeHotels Südtirol logo is on it, there are real MTB experiences inside. 

From our experience after more than six years of cooperation
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Where and how it all began

Today, they call us pioneers," says Armin Pomella with a smile: "But back then, they thought we were nuts." Back then was in the spring of 1998, when Armin, along with four like-minded individuals, founded the BikeHotels South Tyrol.
How exciting, at times also grueling, and in retrospect occasionally even bizarre those times were - the bike hoteliers from South Tyrol reminisced when they met this year at Steineggerhof to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

There, where everything began a quarter of a century ago, Kurt Resch still directs as the hotel manager. He is also part of the founding quintet and has been the president at the helm of the BikeHotels South Tyrol since the beginning.
Together with representatives of the now 31 member establishments, he looks back in an interview on a tumultuous and touching past, but also forward with confidence to a future full of opportunities in bicycle tourism.

  • Founding member and President Kurt Resch ...Founding member and President Kurt Resch ...
    Founding member and President Kurt Resch ...
    Founding member and President Kurt Resch ...
  • with one of his retro bikes: a Cannondale Super V1000 with carbon swingarm.with one of his retro bikes: a Cannondale Super V1000 with carbon swingarm.
    with one of his retro bikes: a Cannondale Super V1000 with carbon swingarm.
    with one of his retro bikes: a Cannondale Super V1000 with carbon swingarm.

From Following Behind and Leading the Way: Kurt Resch in Interview

Why were the BikeHotels South Tyrol founded in spring 1998?
At that time, we were five hoteliers who had discovered mountain biking for ourselves and were convinced that we had to collaborate to achieve something. Essentially, we were an advertising community at the beginning.

Were you taken seriously at all in the late 90s?
You can't compare it with today. We all had to learn quite a lot ourselves. When I had the first guests at my hotel, they showed me what mountain biking really means. I just followed them around all day. Both uphill and downhill.

In your case, as an experienced mountaineer, that must have changed quickly...
At some point, we all started biking. But what unites us is the passion for cycling - that was as essential for the BikeHotels South Tyrol 25 years ago as it is today. Our guests want to spend their best days of the year with us, and to satisfy them, what is needed above all is passion and know-how.

 You have to be passionate about it. Otherwise, it doesn't work - and cyclists notice that immediately. 

Kurt Resch, President and Founding Member of the BikeHotels South Tyrol
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  • 25 Years of BikeHotels South Tyrol

What has changed in the last 25 years?
Our structure has obviously become much more professional. We have Michi Zingerle as a managing director, who lives biking just as much as all our 31 member businesses do. But of course, biking itself has also changed. For example, we used to ride the Latemar circuit from Steinegg – afterwards, our guests needed two days of rest.

But today's bicycles also have very little in common with those from back then.
And that's why the tours today look very different from before. Many more bikers today enjoy trails and technically demanding tours.

What has the e-bike contributed to this?
A great deal. We can offer longer tours and therefore don't need to shuttle anymore. Our guests spend more time on the bike – and by the way, it's not just the hardcore mountain bikers who wanted to climb 2,000 meters in elevation before. Today, we also get families on bikes during vacations, who can easily go on tours together. However, this also means that our guides need to reorient because a lot more basics need to be taught compared to before.

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So, does the e-bike boom lead to 25 more good years for BikeHotels South Tyrol?
Definitely! On one hand, we are happy about every new cyclist. On the other hand, almost every hotel offers rental bikes. We always have to ask ourselves what added value we can offer our guests.

And what exactly is that?
The passion with which we stand behind it, for one. But also, that we are deeply engaged with sustainability. The BikeHotels as a whole have their CO2 consumption certified, which is why all our operations are committed to sustainability. Vacationing by bike is automatically also vacationing in nature, and to keep it worth living in, we all want and need to contribute our part.

  • 25 Years of BikeHotels South Tyrol25 Years of BikeHotels South Tyrol
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Birthday Ride

That the BikeHotels South Tyrol are not just a business association is repeatedly shown at such joint events, outings, or celebrations.
In Steinegg, where it all began, the goal was to go on a tour just like in the beginning: In colorful retro outfits, loud as parrot feathers. Today, a reason to smile - just like the bikes that Kurt Resch took out of his basement. For instance, with a Cannondale Raven, a futuristic and sinfully expensive object of desire back then, no one would voluntarily go on a serious tour today.

But even if, in retrospect, many things seem odd, anniversaries always offer the opportunity to look back with satisfaction on one's own development.
"Cycling was rooted in operations from the beginning in South Tyrol, but not in the regions," says Gerhard Krautwurst, who has been a key player at the Matzhof in Welschnofen for many years with the BikeHotels South Tyrol. "One can say that the bikers recognized South Tyrol before South Tyrol recognized them."
This, however, has changed significantly over time. The BikeHotels South Tyrol not only gained more and more member businesses but also professional structures - until it was finally time for a full-time management.
In this context, President Kurt Resch noticed Michi Zingerle, who organized the Bike Days at Kronplatz with her partner Makke. "And not out of business interest, but out of passion for biking," Kurt says. When Michi and Makke got married ten years ago, Kurt invited them to the Steineggerhof - though "not without an ulterior motive," as he admits. In the end, Michi had a contract as managing director in her pocket... which is perceived as a great stroke of luck at the BikeHotels South Tyrol.

 At the BikeHotels South Tyrol, there is a very special warm and friendly atmosphere that helps to develop and implement new ideas. 

Ellis Kasslatter, Kedul Lodge
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Observers have no doubt whatsoever that Michi Zingerle and the member companies of the BikeHotels Südtirol will also master the challenges of the future; not least because passion and dedication have not even slightly waned in the past 25 years. On the contrary:
Agnes Innerhofer, who has matured under the roof of the Bikehotels Südtirol with the Hotel Innerhofer at Kronplatz into one of the top addresses for mountain biking holidays, speaks with shining eyes about her love for her profession. "I still take immense pleasure in showing like-minded people the beauty of our region," she says. Bikers might have special expectations for their holiday: "But if we manage to meet those, then we are like queens or kings for them."

  • The BikeHotels South Tyrol thrive on everyone loving to go biking. And this passion is transferred to our guests." Boris Frei, Design Hotel TyrolThe BikeHotels South Tyrol thrive on everyone loving to go biking. And this passion is transferred to our guests." Boris Frei, Design Hotel Tyrol
    The BikeHotels South Tyrol thrive on everyone loving to go biking. And this passion is transferred to our guests." Boris Frei, Design Hotel Tyrol
    The BikeHotels South Tyrol thrive on everyone loving to go biking. And this passion is transferred to our guests." Boris Frei, Design Hotel Tyrol
  • Ellis Kasslatter and her husband Wolly Mussner from Kedul Lodge appreciate the warm and friendly atmosphere that helps to develop and implement new ideas.Ellis Kasslatter and her husband Wolly Mussner from Kedul Lodge appreciate the warm and friendly atmosphere that helps to develop and implement new ideas.
    Ellis Kasslatter and her husband Wolly Mussner from Kedul Lodge appreciate the warm and friendly atmosphere that helps to develop and implement new ideas.
    Ellis Kasslatter and her husband Wolly Mussner from Kedul Lodge appreciate the warm and friendly atmosphere that helps to develop and implement new ideas.
  • Alex Resch, the proprietor of the Hotel Krone in Brixen, former founder of a bike school, race and festival organizer as well as a certified bike and hiking guide, is also a passionate hunter, fisherman, and nature photographer.Alex Resch, the proprietor of the Hotel Krone in Brixen, former founder of a bike school, race and festival organizer as well as a certified bike and hiking guide, is also a passionate hunter, fisherman, and nature photographer.
    Alex Resch, the proprietor of the Hotel Krone in Brixen, former founder of a bike school, race and festival organizer as well as a certified bike and hiking guide, is also a passionate hunter, fisherman, and nature photographer.
    Alex Resch, the proprietor of the Hotel Krone in Brixen, former founder of a bike school, race and festival organizer as well as a certified bike and hiking guide, is also a passionate hunter, fisherman, and nature photographer.
  • Sharing our passion, whether with guests or friends at the BikeHotels South Tyrol, continues to bring me joy every day." Agnes Innerhofer, Hotel InnerhoferSharing our passion, whether with guests or friends at the BikeHotels South Tyrol, continues to bring me joy every day." Agnes Innerhofer, Hotel Innerhofer
    Sharing our passion, whether with guests or friends at the BikeHotels South Tyrol, continues to bring me joy every day." Agnes Innerhofer, Hotel Innerhofer
    Sharing our passion, whether with guests or friends at the BikeHotels South Tyrol, continues to bring me joy every day." Agnes Innerhofer, Hotel Innerhofer
  • It took a long time for South Tyrol to recognize what nature, in combination with the infrastructure that the hotels have gradually built up, offers for female and male bikers." Gerhard Krautwurst, MatzhofIt took a long time for South Tyrol to recognize what nature, in combination with the infrastructure that the hotels have gradually built up, offers for female and male bikers." Gerhard Krautwurst, Matzhof
    It took a long time for South Tyrol to recognize what nature, in combination with the infrastructure that the hotels have gradually built up, offers for female and male bikers." Gerhard Krautwurst, Matzhof
    It took a long time for South Tyrol to recognize what nature, in combination with the infrastructure that the hotels have gradually built up, offers for female and male bikers." Gerhard Krautwurst, Matzhof

Also, Ellis Kasslatter, who runs a deliberately small operation in Val Gardena with her husband Wolly Mussner, looks back with full satisfaction and confidence at the work of the BikeHotels South Tyrol. The Kedul Lodge has been a member of the BikeHotels South Tyrol for eight years. "We are located in a traditional hiking area, but we have reached new guests through mountain biking - and those were exactly the ones we wanted," Ellis summarizes.

Friends Then and Now

That they all appreciate the climate as well as the collegiality among each other becomes palpable with every pedal revolution during the birthday tour of the BikeHotels South Tyrol in front of the imposing Dolomites backdrop of Rosengarten and Latemar. Nothing has changed in this respect over the last 25 years. Armin Pomella puts it this way: "Others talk about guest numbers, we still talk about the tours we ride and discover anew."
And what has indeed changed? "In the past," says Armin Pomella, "our views were considered nonsense. Today, we are regularly consulted as experts." In the past, no one would have longed for an E-MTB on the road due to the lack of its existence. And by the way: In the past, such a day would have ended with a decent piece of meat. Today, however, Kurt Resch's kitchen team conjures up a festive menu that is completely vegan.

  • 25 Years of BikeHotels South Tyrol

Highlights of our visits to the Bikehotels South Tyrol

The shared passion for biking also connects us with the Bikehotels South Tyrol. Over the past years, we have not only discovered fantastic trails in impressive mountain landscapes and enjoyed cuisine of the highest standard, but on our adventures, we also got to meet many nice people.

All reports can be found linked above. Nevertheless, we have picked out some of the most beautiful photos for you once again. Have fun clicking through and getting inspired for the next biking adventures in one of Europe's most versatile biking regions!

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