Cooperative for the promotion of a tourist infrastructure

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Belief in the future and the inhabitants' concern for their own village were the driving forces behind the cooperative for the promotion of a tourism infrastructure in Bellwald.

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Wanted: Pioneers with vision

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Leading an up-and-coming mountain village into a successful tourist future: this was the goal when the cooperative for promoting a tourism infrastructure was founded 30 years ago and this remains its goal to the present day.

The history of the cooperative has been marked by successes as well as by setbacks. Many ideas led to success while others were less fruitful. But the cooperative was always looking ahead at new tasks and goals.

Today, the cooperative is once again faced with the question of which direction it should take. There is no immediate answer to this. But today more than ever, we are looking for pioneers with vision.

Minutes & Annual Reports

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History of the Cooperative

Once upon a time there was a spirit of new beginnings...

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Belief in the future and concern for one's own village were the driving force behind the cooperative for the promotion of a tourist infrastructure in Bellwald.

"I'll make about three million francs available to you in a year. "I don't have a red cent yet, but I'll get it together somehow." How would you react to that statement today? Exactly! You would dismiss it as silly talk and consign it to the realm of fairy tales and legends.

But it was precisely this statement that the founders of the cooperative for the promotion of a tourism infrastructure made on 8 February 1976. They offered PUMAG, the ski-lift company at the time, 500,000 francs to push ahead with the expansion of the lifts in Bellwald.

"Silly talk? Far from it, because the cooperative kept its word within a year, talked round many people who cared about Bellwald and got the money together. The lifts were extended and the rapid development of Bellwald began.

The starting point back then was the fact that neither the municipality of Bellwald nor private companies were able to meet the financial demands that the rapid development of tourism in Bellwald brought with it. Within a very short time in the early 1970s, the number of guest beds multiplied. It soon became clear to everyone in the mountain village that, without additional funds, the infrastructure could not keep up with the number of guest beds.

There was no legal basis to allow builders and apartment owners to participate in the development of the resort. "So we had to set up our own bank to finance the start-up costs of necessary projects," recalls one founder. The idea: Everyone should contribute CHF 500 per guest bed to the cooperative's funds. The money was to be used to build up and expand tourism in the area, which in turn would benefit every apartment owner.

"It was not exactly child's play convincing people to make a contribution of 500 francs per guest bed to the cooperative," another founder recalls. "But we believed in the cause and together we managed to convince locals, craftsmen and chalet owners from near and far that these funds would not be of benefit to the cooperative but to them." Members of various village clubs went from door to door to tell people about it.

At the end of a year, more than 400,000 francs had been raised. The foundation stone for the success of the cooperative was laid and was to be pivotal to the development of Bellwald as a holiday resort.

The power of the possible

For almost 30 years, the cooperative for the promotion of a tourism infrastructure played a decisive role in the development of Bellwald.

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Entwicklung von Bellwald

1937Bellwald's development
1940Municipality receives electricity
1956The first holiday home is built
1957Construction of the first ski lift
1958Foundation of the tourist office
1960Drinking water supply is set up
1962Construction of the Hotel Wannenhorn
1966Construction of the second ski lift
1968Construction of the trainer lift
1969The road into the valley is opened
1970 450 guest beds and 30,000 overnight stays
1971Foundation of Pro Unter- und Mittelgoms AG (PUMAG)
1972 Construction of the third ski lift
1976* Foundation of the Bellwald Cooperative for the Promotion of Tourist Infrastructure
1976* Construction of the Richinen chairlift and the Matten ski lift
1976 Construction of the first tennis courts
1977*Construction of the Fleschen restaurant by the municipality and cooperative
1978* Reconstruction of the restaurant after avalanche damage
1978Construction of the Zur alten Gasse hotel
19802,000 guest beds and 138,000 overnight stays
1980*Bau der ersten Minigolfanlage
1982*Construction of the second Furggulti chairlift

1983 The Old Bellwald Foundation is founded

1984 Construction of the Ambassador hotel
1987Construction of the new school building
1989 Construction of the sports field with five tennis courts by the municipality
19903,470 guest beds and 185,000 overnight stays
1991* Construction of the Spittel alpine hut
1993*Construction of the Gassen mini golf facilities
1993* Renovation and expansion of the Fleschen restaurant
1997* Construction of the Gassen skate park
1998*Opening of the Spittel Eco-Museum
1999*Construction of the snow-making system
2000 4,200 guest beds and 195,000 overnight stays
2000* Acquisition of the Gassen sports and leisure facilities by the cooperative
2002* Sale of the Fleschen restaurant
2004* Construction of the Gassen plant
2004Construction of the nature and recreation park by the municipality
2007* Construction of the Children's World Playground in Gassen
2011*Expansion of the terrace at the leisure facilities
2012* Construction of the boules pitch in Gassen
2012* Construction of the Gade Bar in Gassen

Building nursery *

*Involvment of the cooperative

Dedication that achieved a lot

The cooperative started on 8 February 1976 with zero francs in its coffers. With the commitment of many, it became a cornucopia for many a project.

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Art der MittelverwendungAnteil Genossenschaftca. Gesamtinvestition
Investitionen in Bahnen Bellwald435 000.-11 000 000.-
Investitionen in Rest. Fleschen250 000.-1 140 000.-
Investition altes Bellwald:
Stiftungskapital50 000.-550 000.-
Alphütte Spittel30 000.-150 000.-
Einrichtungen Ecomuseum10 000.-85 000.-
Backhaus Ried10 000.-50 000.-
Beteiligung Sanierung Wasserleitung Unnera30 000.-200 000.-
Investitionen Sport- und Freizeitanlagen270 000.-3 520 000.-
Betriebsgebäude Gassen320 000.-370 000.-
Gadebar360 000.-410 000.-
Jahr                      Genossenschaftskapital
3997 Bellwald
+41 27 971 16 84