Three Questions to Stefi Demetz, General Manager of World Cup Gardena/Gröden

Question: What is new this year?
Stefania Demetz: “We celebrate our 45th anniversary with a rejuvenation, a series novelties for our younger audience.

For example, we launched our internet image with a redesigned website that is both visually as well as fundamentally tailored towards better social media integration.  Fans and spectators can share their impressions, experiences and memories with a wider audience. Furthermore, we are also turning the entire Finish area into a Wi-Fi Hotspot. The spectators turned narrators contribute their passion for the ski sport interacting directly with each other.
The fan program has also been enriched and culminates in a fan parade, a colorful procession through downtown St.Christina ending at the Finish. The fans constitute the back-bone of the stadium. As opposed to so many other sports, ski fans are a colorful, happy, beautiful and very creative bunch. It is because of this very festival that we believe fans are the true friends of the Saslong.
It is our job to understand the expectations and demands of our different spectators. This is our duty and at the same time also a big challenge. And it is why we have put so much effort into assigning meaningful names to our ticket packages this year (Action, Just Enjoy, Feel Free, Platinum, VIP Camel Humps) in an attempt to bring them closer to the lifestyle of our spectators.”

F.: How are the preparations going?
SD: “October was spent with fixing safety nets and since last week our teams are on the course to prepare it for the races. Saslong AG, the lift company, is making its snow machines available to us. A lot of snow has already been produced but the temperatures have to sink further to  allow for the course to be made race-ready. Highly modernized snow machines of the lift company allow for the entire course to be adequately covered with snow in just a few cold nights. Preparing the course was also a fight last year. Although at the end it was the wind that literally blew our plans. Let’s remember that skiing is an outdoor sport which is why we have to live with these risks.
One can already feel the team’s excitement for the World Cup. A year of preparations precedes these races and while the last few weeks very frantic and tiring, they were also intensive and filled with great enthusiasm.”

F.: What is your relationship with the Italian ski federation FISI?
S.D.: “We are very pleased because we finally feel at home again with the association. The relationship has significantly improved thanks to the new president Flavio Roda. We work constructively together and are all pulling the ski sport into the same direction.
As a consequence, our relationships with other ski World Cup event holders within Italy have also improved. Now we are working even more closely together which is very important.
Europe and the rest of the world are currently in an economic but also in a cultural crisis. The way we interact and communicate with each other has drastically changed. It isn’t enough to grow as a single entity, we have to grow in conjunction with others. This is why we have to make resources mutually available which extends beyond the concept of common synergy.”