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st. moritz

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top of the world skiing in the sun of st. moritz
If you’ve ever visited St. Moritz, Switzerland, you are likely to have seen the sun logo that is the symbol of the upscale resort high up in the Engadine Valley. Since St. Moritz boasts over 300 days of sun a year, it comes as no surprise that the sun has been used as an icon to promote the exquisite destination for over 80 years already.
a first-class destination
Originally, St. Moritz became famous for its therapeutic springs, which helped establish the town as a summer destination. In the 2014/2015 season, St. Moritz celebrated the 150th anniversary of winter tourism in the Valley. In 1864, it was a local pioneer, hotelier Johannes Badrutt who staged a daring wager with his English summer guests, convincing them to stay over for the winter months and promising to pay for their stay and travel if they did not prefer the Engadine winter over the English one. Badrutt’s guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and winter tourism in the Alps was born.
seven months of skiing
Located at an elevation of 1856 metres, St. Moritz markets itself as the “Top of the World”. With the season extending from late October to mid-May, the region provides ideal conditions for winter sport. The town is also credited with running one of the first ski lifts in Switzerland, already in 1935. Today, St. Moritz is part of the Engadine ski region, which includes multiple ski areas and 350 km of pistes. Besides the town’s home mountain, Corviglia and its 3057-metre-high Piz Nair summit, there is Corvatsch, located just a short bus ride away above Silvaplana-Surlej. The glacier ski area, Diavolezza, features the longest ski season of them all while the quieter pistes in Zuoz are designed to cater to the needs of families.
the swiss olympic city
The only Swiss city to host the Olympics, St. Moritz is one of only three venues worldwide that have hosted two editions of the Olympic Winter Games. The other two are Innsbruck, Austria, and Lake Placid, USA. The first Games in 1928 made St. Moritz well-known the world over, and the second Games in 1948, just three years after the end of the World War II, served to rekindle both the pursuit of Olympic winter sports and the town’s splendid brand. Prior to this season’s highlight event, the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2017, St. Moritz has already hosted four editions of the FIS Championships: in 1934, 1948, 1974 and 2003. Nowadays, St. Moritz is a regular host of ski racing at all levels. In addition to hundreds of lower level competitions, the town has carried out 57 FIS World Cup competitions so far. For the last dozen seasons, the ladies’ top tour has been making annual visits to the Upper Engadine. The men’s World Cup returned to Corviglia in 2014 after an 11-year hiatus following the 2003 Championships, and then again for the World Cup Finals on 14th-20th March 2016.
ready for the main show of 2017
The successful 2015/2016 FIS Season Finals served as a dress rehearsal for the next big show that will be alpine skiing’s top event in 2017. “St. Moritz enjoyed dream World Cup Finals,” stated FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis. “Their hard work and preparation over the last years was clear as there was not one area that didn’t live up to expectations”. “We definitely were dealt a good hand for the Finals,” noted St. Moritz Organising Committee President Hugo Wetzel. “The stunning weather, coupled with the outstanding performance of the Swiss team were more than we could have hoped for”. If the 2016 Finals were any indication of what to expect from 6th-19th February 2017, the world of skiing is up for a real treat!
St. Moritz ski area.
fis alpine world ski championships 2017
The iconic ski resort of St. Moritz welcomes for the fifth time in 2017 the Alpine World Ski Championships.
st. moritz welcomes the world
It is the unquestionable highlight of the season. The world’s ski elite has convened in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from 6–19 February 2017, when the posh ski resort hosts the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships for the fifth time in history, after the editions of 1934, 1948, 1974 and 2003. The 2017 Championships is a festive gathering of winter sport enthusiasts worldwide. Alongside outstanding sport performances, the organisers offer an attractive programme of side events with various cultural highlights. The goal of St. Moritz 2017 is to stage exciting, authentic yet modern World Ski Championships in an unrivalled mountain environment, while respecting the latter’s boundaries and need for protection. Their aim is to blend tradition and innovation: to link St. Moritz’s past as a famous winter tourism destination with a future that everyone actively shapes together. “My personal ambition for the 2017 Championships has two dimensions,” explained Hugo Wetzel, President of the St. Moritz 2017 Organising Committee. “Firstly, sport is in the DNA of St. Moritz and St. Moritz 2017 is a chance to remind the local community of that historical connection to sport, especially to winter sport. Secondly, we wish to use the event and its global media attention to renew interest in practising sport, ideally skiing, particularly among the younger generations.”
fis season finals 2015/2016: outstanding dress rehearsal
The FIS World Cup Finals in mid-March 2016 served as an exciting prelude of what’s on February 2017. “We have seen very well organised Finals with huge engagement from the organiser which set the scene for next year’s World Championships,” commented FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper following the Finals that saw approximately 30’000 spectators make their way to the Salastrains finish area. The most visitors, estimated at 7500, attended the men’s giant slalom and ladies’ slalom races on Saturday, 19 March 2016. “The Finals competitions especially on the Saturday served as an important test for this year when even more persons will attend. For the men’s downhill, we are expecting 40’000 fans,” said St. Moritz 2017 Sports Director Franco Giovanoli.
the legacy of st. moritz 2003
Still fresh in the town-dwellers’ memory, the 2003 edition of the FIS World Championships in St. Moritz wrote alpine skiing history. All races took place according to the schedule, without delays and under the best of conditions; for the first time in 33 years! The event drew some 170’000 spectators that were treated to exciting competitions and fantastic sunny weather. Most of them also returned home after having experienced the amazing spirit of the more than 1200 volunteers whose incredible friendliness and engagement truly set the 2003 event apart. The 2003 Championships also left a positive legacy in the valley. The investments, worth approximately CHF 1 million, in the courses and other facilities in the town helped increase the level of service while the positive media resonance further underscored the resort’s position as a leading ski tourism destination.
numerous highlights
One of the sporting highlights of the 2017 event is the return of the so-called “Free Fall.” With a gradient of 45 degrees or 100 per cent, the start of the men’s Corviglia downhill is the steepest downhill start in the world. The first 150 metres feel practically like a vertical fall from a great height. The racers accelerate from 0 to 140 km/h in just six seconds! Even the way up to the start is adventurous: a staircase of 187 steel steps leads up to an altitude of 2840 meters. Following its inauguration for the 2003 Championships, this start has become a myth on the ski circuit. In this day and age, however, top level sport alone is no longer enough. In St. Moritz, a full entertainment programme concentrated on the town centre is planned to keep the fans busy into the wee hours. The main event locations is Ceremony Square in the Kulm Park and the World Championship Village in the pedestrian zone. Ceremony Square is located in the entirely refurbished 110-year-old Olympic pavilion in St. Moritz Dorf. During St. Moritz 2017, it is the venue for the opening ceremony, the awards ceremonies, several concerts and other events. Meanwhile, the World Championship Village features the traditional Houses of Nations where fans and medal winners may celebrate together.
future st. moritz 2017
An especially innovative concept introduced by St. Moritz 2017 is an independent Youth Organizing Committee (OC). The concept builds on the motto of the 2012 bid for the championships, “Live the Future.” The goal is for the current St. Moritz 2017 team to pass on its organisational know-how to the younger generations. In practise, the Youth OC represents the event professionals of the future which is why the structure of the Youth OC, too, mirrors that of St. Moritz 2017. The nineteen members are all volunteers but manage their own budget and work on real projects for the World Championships. So far, they already organised the World Snow Day in St. Moritz in January 2016, contributed to the World Cup Finals in March 2016 and, completely independently, organised and ran the Grand Prix Migros Finals from 1st–3rd April 2016. Grand Prix Migros is the highly competitive series of children’s races in Switzerland that culminate in the Finals, basically the age groups’ national championships.
Longines and St. Moritz – two icons with a shared goal!
Start of the men’s Corviglia downhill, the so-called “Free Fall”.
the final countdown
In the months before the event, the main focus was on promotion of the event and ticket sales. St. Moritz is located within striking distance of traditional ski nations such as Austria, Italy and Germany and the atmosphere on site is anticipated to be second to none. The organisers’ target is to attract a total of 140’000 spectators.“Compared to the 2003 event, one of the major differences is the increased number of promotional options and channels at our disposal today. Our communications team is already using a myriad of ways to activate the public, using storytelling, images and film,” noted OC President Wetzel, who already organised the previous edition in 2003. “While in 2003 we just had a basic website, today we are exploiting the entire spectrum of digital media to establish an emotional connection and to convince the ski fans to join us on-site to fully participate in the event. Our goal is to be the first FIS World Championships that directly involves the spectators in the event, both on- and off-site.”
longines and st. moritz
­Longines is proud to be the Official Watch of the famous Alpine ski resort of St. Moritz. The Swiss watchmaking brand is also partnering several events being held in the spectacular, famous resort in Grisons.
longines, timekeeper in st. moritz since 1894
The links between the Swiss watchmaking brand and this town in the Engadin valley date back over a century. Indeed, in 1894, ­Longines sent two timepieces fitted with a proprietary hand-wound movement to St. Moritz to serve as timekeeping devices. This marked the start of regular partnerships for timekeeping activities, particularly during Alpine skiing, gymnastics and horse racing events. Back in 1954, ­Longines became the Official Timekeeper of St. Moritz.
a partnership marked by elegance
In December 2015, ­Longines and St. Moritz announced a new partnership naming the Swiss watchmaking brand as the Alpine resort’s Official Watch. To this end, ­Longines clocks have been installed at various strategic locations in the town whereby the Tourist Office, the Swiss Ski School and the ski lifts are now featuring the colours of the brand with the winged hourglass. Furthermore, ­Longines and St. Moritz both share the common values of elegance, tradition and performance, which they promote thanks to their global influence. This partnership represents a continuation of the Swiss brand’s long-standing sports timekeeping activities. The Swiss watchmaking brand is also partnering Alpine skiing events and horse racing competitions being held in this spectacular setting in the heart of the Grisons Alps.
a countdown to the fis alpine ski world championships
A countdown displayed in the main square of the village was showing the final time remaining to the 2017 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in St. Moritz, for which ­Longines is the Official Timekeeper. The launch of the clock took place in December 2015 in the presence of Hugo Wetzel, Chairman of the 2017 St. Moritz Organizing Committee, Sigi Asprion, Mayor of the station, Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing for ­Longines. Juan-Carlos Capelli pointed out: “­Longines has been acting as timekeeper for sporting events in St. Moritz for more than a century, and our presence has grown even stronger in recent years. Today, we consider it a great honour that our brand has been named the official partner of the station, and to see one of the most iconic villages in Switzerland sporting the ­Longines colours”. The Mayor of the station, Sigi Asprion, added: “2017 marks the fifth time St. Moritz has hosted the World Alpine Ski Championships, following the 1934, 1948, 1974 and 2003 events. As a hotspot for alpine and winter tourism (1864) and winter sports (1884), and as host of two Olympic Winter Games (1928 and 1948), St. Moritz represents tradition around the world. By organizing a dynamic, authentic and innovative World Alpine Ski Championship event in a mountain landscape that is unique in the world, our goal is to propel St. Moritz and the Engadine into the future!” Hugo ­Wetzel remarked: “­Longines and St. Moritz – two icons with a shared goal! Inspired by sport, and also by quality and beauty, we are delighted to be working with ­Longines to stage an unforgettable World Alpine Ski Championship!” Paying tribute to this major sporting event, ­Longines will launch an exclusive edition offered in both men’s and ladies’ models. The blue colour of the dial is reminiscent of the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships logo, which adorns the case back of this commemorative piece.
Longines Future Ski Champions race in St. Moritz in 2016
Hugo Wetzel, Chairman of the 2017 St. Moritz Organizing Committee, Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General, Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of ­Longines and Sigi Asprion, Mayor of St. Moritz

Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Longines Ambassador of Elegance, during the Night Turf St. Moritz.
Jockeys getting ready for the Night Turf St. Moritz.
the great white circus ­
Longines has been present on the snowy slopes of Chamonix since 1933. Since 2007, the Swiss watchmaking brand has been the Official Timekeeper and Partner of the International Ski Federation (FIS). As such, it is responsible for timekeeping at all the events which form part of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup and FIS Alpine Ski World Championships. In March 2016, St. Moritz had the privilege of hosting the World Cup finals, while in 2017, the World Championships are taking place on the magnificent slopes of Corviglia: the promise of many unique moments with ­Longines as timekeeper.
longines speed check
As part of its close collaboration with the Swiss ski resort St. Moritz and as a token of its sports timekeeping expertise, ­Longines invites skiers and snowboarders to test their limits and give free rein to their need for speed on a specially prepared and secured piste on the snowy slopes of Corviglia. Enjoy your fifteen minutes of Alpine fame by racing against the clock and trying to beat all the records. The ­Longines Speed Check will capture each participant’s achievements on camera for posterity, while giving them the measure of their performance.
white turf
There is simply nothing like the White Turf races at St. Moritz, where noble thoroughbreds gallop head to head across the frozen lake of the famous Swiss Alpine resort. This long-standing horse racing event has thrilled crowds since 1907, drawing over 35,000 spectators every year. Incidentally, Longines was timekeeper for the White Turf races in the early 1960’s. It was therefore natural for the Swiss watch brand to be appointed last November Official Timekeeper and Watch of this event. On three Sundays of February each year, the enthusiastic audience is kept enthralled by a succession of flat, trotting, jumping and skijöring races scheduled every half hour. The skijöring races – unique in the world – are the biggest crowd-pleasers. In this electrifying discipline, intrepid skiers harness themselves to unmounted horses that pull them across the frozen lake at almost 50 km/hour. A spectacular event, the finest of sport, and the charm of a majestic setting in the Engadin, with mountains on all sides – no wonder the White Turf has become one of the highlights of the cosmopolitan winter sporting calendar! Although it has become an annual fixture for many celebrities, racehorse owners, trainers and jockeys from around the world, it still retains its popularity among local people as a festive treat.
night turf
In 2015, the brand returned to Grisons to provide the timekeeping of a moonlit race. The Night Turf St. Moritz brings together riders who are now competing on the frozen lake of the alpine resort at night. These spectacular races see the horses gallop at full speed across the frozen lake of the Graubünden village, kicking up shards of ice as they go in front of thousands of spectators. The idyllic setting and glamorous atmosphere of the famous Swiss resort add the exquisite final touch to this unique competition. The latter takes place on the Friday before the first Sunday of White Turf racing in the Alpine resort. The Night Turf St. Moritz, a unique night-time event, comprises several races including the ­Longines Sprint Race, during which jockeys and their mounts compete on a brilliantly illuminated track. This Night Turf St. Moritz, in association with ­Longines, has already become one of the season’s unmissable events. During the first two editions, the actress Ingeborga ­Dapkunaite, ­Longines Ambassador of Elegance, illuminated the night-time competition with her delicate charm.
show jumping comes to the alps
In 2015, ­Longines and St. Moritz announced the arrival of a new show jumping competition. The ­Longines CSI St. Moritz forms part of the equestrian events taking place at one of the highest altitudes in Switzerland and Europe. The first two editions of this awaited event were a great opportunity to experience some unique sporting moments in the magnificent surroundings of the Engadin mountains.
White Turf St. Moritz.
interview with bruno marinoni
Bruno Marinoni has many years of leadership and project experience under his belt. Prior to joining Snowsports St. Moritz / Swiss Ski School St. Moritz, the 53-year-old business economist was mainly active in marketing and human resources management, bringing his knowledge and experience to bear on sports and tourism. Previously Deputy Managing Director of Ski School St. Moritz, he was unanimously elected by the Board of Directors of Snowsports St. Moritz AG as its new CEO. He took office on 1 June 2016.
You are the new ceo of snowsports st. moritz, the largest and the oldest ski school in switzerland. how do you explain the importance and sustainability of your school?
Snowsports St. Moritz is an official Swiss Ski School and a company with a healthy mix of tradition and innovation. The school’s importance and continuity depend essentially on professionalism in customer service, modern teaching methods, a passion for activities at one with nature – so uniquely connected with winter sports – and our attachment to the glitzy resort of St. Moritz. The Swiss Ski School of St. Moritz has over the years become a key tourist site and an important service provider, offering a whole range of winter sports to tourists. The legendary spirit of the “Red Legends” now radiates far beyond the borders of Switzerland.
Could you describe to us the structure and the functioning of the swiss ski school st. moritz? how many people do you employ in total?
As a ski school, we offer a full range of snow sports activities and, thanks to a team of about 350 employees, we can cater at all times to the specific needs and capabilities of our guests. One of our specialities is the Blind School, which has operated since 1981. Back then, we were the first school in the world to offer specially trained instructors for blind-skiing lessons. Snowsports St. Moritz is headquartered in the centre of St. Moritz. You can find several other outlets located at key points in the ski resort (Corviglia and Salastrains) and at the cable car station in Celerina and at the Samedan ski lift. Our ski school also operates the ski school centre in Salastrains, with a large children’s area and beginner’s area and a restaurant with a sun terrace, as well as another children’s area and beginner’s area in Celerina, right beside the cable car. In addition, we collaborate closely with our partner hotels, Kulm, Badrutt’s Palace, Carlton and various other service providers in the town.
How many instructors work in your school and what countries do they come from?
We employ around 350 Snowsports instructors from about 14 nations. The majority of them come from Switzerland and Italy.
St. moritz is an iconic and extremely popular tourist destination and has been for many years. what countries do your visitors come from to discover the 350 km of tracks available in your ski area?
Guests from around the world travel to St. Moritz and enjoy the uniqueness of our region. Accordingly, our clientele is very international. However, most of our customers come from Switzerland and the EU countries. Other markets include the UK, the USA, Russia, Japan, China and India, which have become increasingly important in recent years.
Since 2015, longines has been a partner of the tourist office, the ski lifts and snowsports st. moritz. how important is this partnership?
­Longines is a very important partner for us and being able to cooperate with this traditional brand fills us with pride. Topics such as sports, tradition and innovation connect us, as do ideas like reliability and precision. All this creates a wonderful common ground for cooperation. We appreciate the professionalism and openness of ­Longines and look forward to further successful cooperation.
As part of this collaboration, longines launched an exclusive watch specially created for st. moritz: the conquest st. moritz. Could you give us your feelings on this new model?
Our employees proudly wear the special model “Conquest St. Moritz” on their wrist, and I’m no exception. The watch is very sporty, rugged and designed with clean lines, thus fitting perfectly with the appearance and properties of Snowsports St. Moritz as well as suiting both male and female instructors. The yellow Engadin St. Moritz Sun and the cloudless blue sky, so emblematic of St. Moritz, are recreated on the dial, thus representing perfect skiing conditions. The “St. Moritz – Top of the World” logo is on the case-back of the watch, resulting in an unmistakable statement from ­Longines for St. Moritz and for winter sports.
What is the importance of the notion of time and accuracy when managing a ski school like yours?
Time management and accurate work processes are of course very important and crucial for our success. This is the case for the allotment of instructors, for example. We guarantee the processing of skills and specific customer requirements as regards to language, age, gender, experience, etc. and we coordinate the appointment calendar of the Snowsports instructors in the most efficient way possible. We also ensure consistent allocation without idle time in between. Punctuality in our daily routine is a fundamental element. Time plays an important role with our students as well, especially the punctuality of the fun-based children’s classes and of course the ­Longines “Speed-Run” and the timing of the ski race, the highlight of the week. The comparison of speed or racing times with each other, the tension before the race and the joy of a fast run are crucial for children.
What are your future goals and projects for snowsports st. moritz?
The history and tradition of Snowsports St. Moritz – the “Red Legends” – are unique. My motivation is to keep writing this history. A particular challenge will be to lead the ski school with a proven and partially new management team in the future and to ensure continued positive development. At a time when the changing economic environment of the tourism industry is creating major challenges, it is imperative to make positive and innovative investments for the future and to continually optimise customer service. We are working on this on a daily basis.
A chronograph dedicated to St. Moritz
The Conquest
St. Moritz
Conquest St. Moritz
To celebrate the partnership between the Swiss watchmaking brand and St. Moritz, ­Longines has launched an exclusive edition offered in both men’s and ladies’ models: the Conquest St. Moritz. The hints of yellow and blue on the hands, dial and flange are reminiscent of the iconic St. Moritz logo, which is engraved on the watch case back. All the resort’s ski instructors are wearing this watch which meets the needs of ski professionals and amateurs alike.