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Friday 23 November 2012 - Issue 7 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT


· The hospital of Saanen has closed its doors · Les Arts Gstaad project

· Le Rosey building projects · Hans Allemann appointed airport director · Grand Hotel Bellevue to be sold · New two-star hotel in Saanenmöser · Flat Rate taxation · Refurbishment & extension to Sports Centre · New location for Rega COLUMN

· Rodeo Drive Les Alpes


A taste of luxury

Information of the municipality of Saanen, Spital STS AG and General Practitioners (GP) of Saanenland:


after the closing of the hospital in Saanen on 31st October 2012 what should be done! During the daytime (08h00 – 20h00) 1) Contact your GP and follow their instructions. 2) If you need the ambulance, call the emergency number 144. 3) If you need a hospital, dial the number of the hospital in Zweisimmen 033 729 26 26. At night (20h00 – 08h00) 1) Call the medical service number (Med-Phone) 0900 57 67 47 and follow the instructions of the medical specialist. 2) If you need the ambulance, call the emergency number 144. 3) If you need a hospital, dial the number of the hospital in Zweisimmen 033 729 26 26.

Une excellente occasion de vivre paisiblement dans une résidence idéalement située et qui offre de nombreux services, ou d’investir dans une valeur sûre. Appartements de 2.5 à 6.5 pièces. Places de parc dans garage souterrain Grand jardin aménagé sur le garage – Cave Un restaurant, un SPA et une piscine couverte seront à la disposition du public et des copropriétaires.

The following services remain in the building of the former hospital of Saanen: - Advice for young parents. - Psychiatric care service of Dr. Urs Friedrich. - Nursing home «Abendsonne» of the Alterswohnen STS AG. Please cut out and keep this information!

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More detailed information will soon be distributed to every household and officially published in three languages.




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Friday 23 November 2012 Page 3

Contents Letter from the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Money Matter New ways to catch the Chinese growth wave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Local News The hospital of Saanen has closed its doors . . . . . . . . 5 + 6 Les Arts Gstaad project . . . . . . . . . 6 28 Appeals against Le Rosey building projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Hundreds commemorate plane crash victims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Hans Allemann appointed airport director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 SVP wins new seat . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Grand Hotel Bellevue to be sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Events Local News


New two-star hotel in Saanenmöser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Flat rate taxation becomes stricter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Refurbishment & extension to the Sports Centre in Gstaad . . . . . . . 11 Association for second-home owners established . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Events calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 New location for Rega in Berner Oberland . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy 2012 goes to Marigold . . . 13 Rodeo Drive Les Alps . . . . . . . . . . 14

Letter from the Editor A season of contrasts GstaadLife returns with this issue following an Autumn break. This issue is particularly packed with local news and actualities. I say packed because there seems to be so much going on and we cover a lot of it here in GstaadLife. I can only summize that it is the region flexing and formatting to a new economic rhythm. A rhythm that’s had its presence felt over the past years. Contrasts abound right now in the region such as the opening of the new 5 star hotel, The Alpina Gstaad whilst at the same time the new 2 star hotel Le Petit Relais, opening its doors in Saanenmöser. The Sports Centre Gstaad is planning a budget price accommodation complex whilst Les Arts Gstaad considers a whopping private bud-


get of SFr 185 million to realize its culture and meeting centre project. The Grand Hotel Bellevue is up for sale and the 65 year old Saanen hospital closes its doors whilst the village of Saanen relentlessly continues with its significant transformation to be a larger and more prosperous village. Surely these examples are just a continuum of contrast which has always been so much a part of the fabric of what makes Gstaad unique? Are we not just doing what we do best? Gstaad’s magical formula has always been wrapped up in its ability to display contrast. It’s a place where traditional farmers and billionaires share ski slopes, where tractors and Bentley’s mingle and

where cows and Polo horses trample the same meadows. Without a doubt Gstaad has its own rhythm, no matter what the economy serves up and it is this rhythm that resonates throughout the fabric of its society. It’s a rhythm based on the results of prudent calculation, a concern for culture, a regard for aesthetic and an apetite for discretion all neatly packaged together with a quiet elegance in mind. Sticking to such a rhythm seems natural in Gstaad. One can’t help it! It’s just the way things are. Best wishes

Peter Sonnekus-Williams Editor in Chief

also on www.gstaadlife.com

Gstaad LIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, E-Mail: info@gstaadlife.ch, Website: www.gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller, Peter Sonnekus-Williams Publisher: Frank Müller frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch; Editor in Chief: Peter Sonnekus-Williams peter.sonnekus@gstaadlife.ch; Project Management and content coordination: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams Columnist: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos Translations: Anja Brand Editorial: Aldo Kropf, Anita Moser, Blanca Burri, Rolf Marti Polygraph Team: Jonas Bach Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, Phone: 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner Phone: 033 748 88 74

LOCAL UPFRONT NEWS GSTAADLIFE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE HOTELS ***** GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch ***** THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch ***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE +41 (0)33 748 04 30, reservation@ermitage.ch **** HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch **** GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch **** GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, info@arc-en-ciel.ch **** HOTEL BERNERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, gstaaderhof@gstaad.ch **** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com **** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch **** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch *** HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch *** HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch *** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, info@gstaad4.com *** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch *** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch *** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch *** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch *** HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch *** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch *** SAANEWALD LODGE +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@saanewald-lodge.ch *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch ** LE PETIT RELAIS +41 (0)33 744 35 65, info@lepetitrelais.ch HOTEL BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, hotel@baerengsteig.ch GASTHOF GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 22, info@gasthof-geltenhorn.ch HOTEL VIKTORIA +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch HOTEL WILDHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 12, info@hotel-wildhorn.ch

Picture on the Front Cover by:

Gstaad Saanenland Tourism www.gstaad.ch


Friday 23 November 2012 Page 4

New ways to catch the Chinese growth wave Investors are well aware of China’s dramatic rise and the potential for further growth in coming years. Taking advantage of this opportunity has not always been easy, given tight control on foreign investment and China’s currency, but progress is being made. One opportunity made available to foreign investors in recent years is buying offshore yuan (CNH) and opening CNH deposit accounts in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. Among the benefits of holding a CNH deposit account are ease of settlement and reduced exchangerate risk for investors with business relationships in China. CNH can also help portfolio diversification, especially as exposure to Chinese assets is generally low relative to China’s increased importance in the global economy, and give access to its long-term appreciation potential. Since Beijing ended the yuan’s peg to the dollar in 2005, the Chinese currency has appreciated by over 30 percent, and by over 25 percent against the euro. This trend largely reflects the long-term objective of the Chinese leadership to rebalance growth in the economy away from low-value manufacturing and exports towards stronger domestic demand and increased consump-

tion by China’s growing middleclass. A stronger yuan helps to promote this rebalancing by forcing Chinese manufacturers to move up the value chain and by reducing the cost of imported goods for Chinese consumers. This process is not always smooth, particularly in times of global economic stress when Chinese officials tend to halt yuan appreciation so that it won’t harm exports and employment. However, though the yuan might stop strengthening during these periods, it tends to remain fairly range-bound and then resume its upward trend once Beijing regains confidence in the global outlook. This appears to be happening again now. The yuan’s gains against the dollar stalled and partly reversed earlier this year as concerns about Europe intensified, but in recent months we have seen the yuan start to pick up again following decisive action by Eurozone policy-makers to reduce the risk of a collapse in the currency union. Recent US data also points to improved growth, contributing to an improved outlook for growth in the Chinese economy, which we expect to strengthen in 2013. This points to further modest yuan appreciation next year, and the

longer-term outlook also suggests there remains scope for this trend to continue, with most measures of fair value, or purchasing-power parity, suggesting the yuan remains significantly under-valued. This boosts our conviction in the importance of considering our CNH-denominated products where appropriate, which include current accounts, fixed term and fiduciary deposits and bond brokerage. Payments and money transfers, as well as currency products such as spot trading, forwards or swaps, are also available. As Norman Villamin, Coutts’ Chief Investment Officer for Europe notes, “Coutts is determined to make sure its clients have access to these opportunities.” THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE IS BRIAN JACKSON, GLOBAL FX STRATEGISTS AT COUTTS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COUTTS AND ITS OFFERING PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH DAVID WOOLLEY, RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT, TEL. +41 43 245 65 49 OR EMAIL: DAVID. WOOLLEY@COUTTS.COM.

Friday 23 November 2012 Page 5


Picture: Anita Moser

The hospital of Saanen has closed its doors

On November 1 2012, Saanen hospital has closed its doors permanently. On November 1 2012, 63 years to the day after it first opened its doors, Saanen hospital has closed its doors permanently. The transfer from Saanen to Zweisimmen hospital began gradually in October. On October 22, the last patients were relocated to the Zweisimmen hospital by ambulance. The beds were stripped and rooms were left bare, save for moving boxes. The operation rooms were empty and the surveillance room has only two beds left, all the monitors and devices have been taken away. Emergency Service guaranteed The hospital phone number is now

redirected to the hospital in Zweisimmen. First point of contact for the patients remains the GP and the Med Phone (Medical Emergency Service 0900 57 67 47). For emergencies, patients should dial 144.

which runs both hospitals). Abendsonne will offer 33 jobs in the nursing home, informed Andre Streit, CEO of the Alterswohnen STS AG. Between 40 and 45 employees are sharing the 30 fulltime positions.

Not abandoned However the building in Saanen has not been completely abandoned. All four departments are used by the Abendsonne Alterswohnen STS AG, a retirement home organization. Reception and security are now run by this organization and some former employees of the hospital will now work for them. Others such as Martina Glaesel, will stay with the STS Thun AG (the organization

Kitchen team led by Rolf Reichenbach The kitchen staff which consists of both former and new employees, is also run by Alterswohnen STS AG. Rolf Reichenbach will operate as chef de cuisine. Esther Wenger is the Manager of “Abendsonne Saanen�. Services remain The advice for young parents will

remain in the former gynecology department, says Streit, and the psychiatric care service will also remain at the current site. Important note from municipality council Aldo Kropf, President of municipality of Saanen, informed that the authorities of Saanenland had intensive discussions about various health care services. The aim of these discussions was to find a solution for emergency and basic medical health services for locals and visitors. The main focus was on two different concepts: firstly, offers from external service providcontinued on page 6

continued from page 5 ers and secondly, a sustainable and innovative concept by the GPs of Saanenland. The external providers mainly offered private medical institutions on the premises of the hospital in Saanen. Apart from the uncertainty of such an option, such institutions could endanger the existence of the hospital Saanen. This is why the municipal council was convinced by the Saanenland GPs’ concept and has handed over the implementation to them. The municipal council is persuaded that the planned, coordinated and efficient cooperation of the GPs, the hospital in Zweisimmen, the rescue

Friday 23 November 2012 Page 6 Picture: Anita Moser


services of Spital STS AG and Air Glaciers Gstaad-Saanenland, will guarantee a qualitative and sustainable medical emergency and basic health service, and not endanger the operations of the hospital in Zweisimmen. During the following weeks, the medical service providers in Saanenland will provide comprehensive and multilingual information to the local residents about the future medical emergency and basic health services in the region.

Empty hospital rooms where devices have been removed.


Les Arts Gstaad project The Center In August 2012, the president of the Saanen municipality, Aldo Kropf informed about the project for a new culture center in Gstaad. He emphasized that the project is in the very initial stages of planning. Before starting, the population of Saanen has to make several decisions and discuss and agree on various credits. The population is asked to participate actively and to share ideas and thoughts. A culture and meeting center Les Arts Gstaad will be more than a venue for the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, stresses Markus Kappeler, President of the foundation board. It is planned to be used as a multi-purpose culture and meeting center, having enough space for exhibitions, lectures and literary events as well as for meetings and conferences. Furthermore, it could be used as a rehearsal space for local music schools. The culture center would lift Gstaad, with its outstanding cultural program, to a new stage and would attract creative artists and culture lovers.

Private financing The center should be financed privately. The estimated construction costs are SFr 100 million, and an additional operational fund of SFr 50 million is planned, in order to cover any losses, maintenance or renovations. This fund is planned not to be used as the revenue of the operations should cover the running costs. “The organization must be profit-oriented,” says Kappeler. A further SFr 35 million must be raised for the long-term continuation of the Menuhin Festival. This means that the foundation has to raise SFr 185 million in total through investors and sponsorship from patrons. SFr 25 million for public infrastructure The estimated costs for the public infrastructure (public transport links to the area, underground bus stations, a pedestrian underpass to the station square and a parking area) are SFr 25 million. The project is not developed in detail yet, informs Aldo Kropf. In return, the municipality will sell the construc-

tion land to the foundation for approximately SFr 2.8 million. Operational in 2018 The new street and bus station would reduce the traffic in the area, points Emil Trachsel, of the municipal council. The current plan is to have a special town meeting in autumn 2013 in order to decide on the construction plan. This decision will be key for the project. If the project is accepted, the construction of the street could start in June 2015. The work on the building itself would start end of 2016. The timeline would foresee the operational start of Les Arts Gstaad in 2018. Lively discussions After the information session, a lively discussion began, especially on the topic of viability and financing. With this in mind, Markus Kappeler referred to the business plan, which was based on a study conducted by the University of Bern, as well as to similar projects. He offered to provide further details on these figures to any interested person.

Over 10 different locations were in discussion, but the one in the center of Gstaad between Riedhubel and the station seems the most suitable. Opponents of the project claimed the site would be enormous and would interfere with the landscape. Although supporters of the plan can understand the arguments of its opponents, they put stress on the visionary aspect of the project. If 100 years ago, the projects such as the MOB Railway or the Palace Hotel would have been rejected, Gstaad would not be the tourist resort it is today. Open questions It is hard to foresee the chances Les Arts Gstaad amongst the population. Aldo Kropf pointed out the importance of any feedback, ideas and criticism on this project to move on with the opinion-forming process. There are still a lot of open questions. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 31.08.2012

Friday 23 November 2012 Page 7


Picture: Archive / AvS

28 Appeals against Le Rosey building projects

28 Appeals against the Institute Le Rosey’s building project no. 75, “Erli” and “Ausbau Hubelstrasse” were submitted before the recent deadline. The respective negotiations will take place at the end of November. 28 Appeals against the Institute Le Rosey’s building project no. 75, “Erli” and “Ausbau Hubelstrasse” were submitted within the deadline. The respective negotiations will take place at the end of November. According to the principal, Phillip Gudin, Institute Le Rosey aims to move from Gstaad to a new campus in Schönried. In 2009, the board of trustees of Ferienheim Fraubrunnen approved the sale of Erli, a 40,000 m2 plot, to Le Rosey but the sale is only legally valid with planning permission.

The project plans for “Erli” and “Ausbau Hubelstrasse” were published between September 12 and October 12, 2012. According to Armando Chissalé, Director of Operations, 28 appeals were submitted during this time - ten against “Erli” and 18 against “Hubelstrasse”. However he would not yet comment on the specific content of the appeals. Landscape Conservation against project As per their confirmation of October 15, the Swiss Foundation of Landscape Conservation has also

submitted appeals against the two projects. According to the foundation, a plan of this size is not acceptable, unless another zone of the same size is taken away from the zones in which building is already permitted. The need for a project of this scale has not yet been proven, says the foundation. The “Erli” site is away from the residential area in Schönried and is in an exposed hillside location. Even if the zone is connected to some smaller chalets in the east, it would appear as an island-like construction. Big construction projects on the hillside overlooking a residential area tend

to be visually disruptive. Additionally, the foundation claims that the location is not accessible enough for such big buildings. There is no public transport and the location is very difficult to reach during winter. The expansion of the Hubelstrasse site would mean a serious disruption to nature, as it would involve clearing wooded areas and covering over a river. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 19.10.2012


Friday 23 November 2012 Page 8

Hundreds commemorate plane crash victims The commemorative public ceremony for the four victims of the tragic plane crash on August 24 in the French Jura, took place in the church of Saanen at the beginning of September. The shock that the crash caused, in which the lives of three men and a young woman

from the Saanenland region were claimed, is still large and can barely be put into words. Several hundred people commemorated the victims in the church of Saanen. “There are no answers to the question of why this has happened,” said pastor Bruno Bader. No-one can

take away the pain and the despair of the bereaved, but everyone can take part in their grief and accompany them on this difficult path, he added. The silence deepened as the pastor read out the names of the victims and a candle was lit for each of them. As a symbolic

gesture, the mourners placed their tears in the form of blue stones into jars. In the name of the mourning families, Pastor Paul Lutz thanked everyone for their sympathy and solidarity. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 07.09.2012

Hans Allemann appointed airport director The board of the airport association Gstaad-Saanenland has elected Hans Allemann as its airport director. He is an instrument qualified commercial pilot from Zweisimmen. He took over the direction of the airport ad interim after the plane accident on August 24, in which the previous director Ueli Rösti had been killed. The Swiss Federal Office

of Civil Aviation (FOCA) has been supportive, so that air operations could be resumed after a week of the tragedy, according to Stefan Hänseler, member of the Air Sarina management. Hans Allemann had gone through the FOCA assessment with flying colors and thus acquired the nec-

essary license for the direction of an airfield. Vice-director is Thomas Rösti, who also completed the assessment successfully. Ueli Rösti had not only been airport director but was also president of the Air Sarina AG board. According to Stefan Hänseler the board will be reconstituted, “We are making

good progress,” he said. With the tragic accident, not only the airport director and president of the board had been lost, but also a relative and dear friend. “Despite difficult circumstances, the day-to-day business continues,” he said. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 12.10.2012

SVP wins new seat Picture: Anita Moser

The Schweizerische Volkspartei (Swiss People Party) is the winner of the municipal council elections in Saanen. The party wins back the seat it lost four years ago to the FDP (the Liberals) and thus has the majority in the 9-member municipal council. The four existing members were all re-elected and 2 women are now part of Saanen’s executive. With 5 seats, the SVP now again has the majority in the council after losing it in the previous elections. The remaining four seats go to the FDP. The party Freie Gemeindebürger didn’t manage to win a seat. Election participation was 41.65 per cent.

The SVP reclaimed the majority in the municipal council of Saanen. The four existing members have been re-elected. Now, two women form part of the council.

Existing council member Albert Bach from the SVP achieved the best result with 1657 votes. New SVP members in the council are Emanuel

Raaflaub (1145 votes), Vreni Müllener (1113 votes), Therese Mösching (862 votes) and Peter Brand (793 votes). All three existing council members

from the FDP were re-elected: Hans Schär (1222 votes), Heinz Brand (1197 votes) and Christian Gafner (882 votes). Council president Adlo

Kropf had already been elected in a silent election. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 23.10.2012

Friday 23 November 2012 Page 9


Grand hotel Bellevue to be sold Picture: Anita Moser

Thomas Straumann is going to sell his two grand hotels, the Les Trois Rois in Basel and the Bellevue in Gstaad. He has decided to step away from the hotel business and to focus on his medical technology business with the companies Straumann and Medartis. The past refurbishment and the new concept for the hotel were well received according to Straumann. However, although expected, the changes to a seasonal operation of the hotel caused a drop in profits. Furthermore, the situation in the tourism sector, particularly in the alpine regions, is complicated due to the strong Swiss Franc.

son, rather than from the heart. It is therefore important to Straumann that the new owners dedicate themselves fully to the two hotels and develop their success. Strau-

The selling is difficult for him and he said that it is a decision of rea-

mann further stressed that the hotels should be managed in the same manner as today. He is under no pressure and will take his time to find the ideal investor. The future

will show whether the hotels will be sold together or individually. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 02.10.2012

Pictures: zvg

New two-star hotel in Saanenmöser

Thomas Kernen and Solveig Lanz with their 5-year old son Janne. On November 30 2012, the new hotel “Le Petit Relais” of locals Solveig Lanz and Thomas Kernen, will be opening its doors. This two-star hotel features 11 rooms with a total of 32 beds, and is situated next to the Saanerslochbahn ski slope in Saanenmöser and on the cycling

route no. 9 from Montreux to Rorschach. “Laid-back and surprising” is hostess Solveig Lanz’s motto for her new hotel. The former vacation home was originally established under the name of “Le Refuge” in 1968 and hosted its last guests in 2008. After a short period of renting out rooms, a new chapter was opened in March 2012 with the start of the conversion. It will now be completed with the opening of the new two-star hotel.   People in the Saanenland all agree that there are enough hotels in the luxury ski resort; what the area is lacking are two- and three-star hotels. Lanz and Kernen’s new hotel fills this market niche. Continuing with the vacation home was out of the question since demand for this

form of accommodation has been declining rapidly. After talking to many tourism experts and different hotel owners, Solveig Lanz is convinced that she has found the right concept and mix.   The main focus will be on accommodation and not on gastronomy. “There will be no public restaurant,” she says. “There will be a generous breakfast buffet and guests will have the option to make a reservation for dinner on the day.” Meals will be seasonal, healthy and, where possible, prepared with regional products. “Meals are going to be simple two- or three-course menus where guests will be able to help themselves,” she says. There will be small and large tables to choose from and dining will have a similar ambiance to the SAC huts.  

The former dorms and shared showers have been converted into 11 two- to four-bedrooms with a total of 32 beds. All rooms come with their own bathroom. Wherever possible, elements of the old building were kept and the result is a modern hotel with a cozy ambiance. The hotel caters especially for sport guests of all seasons and is ideal for families as well as one-day guests. The hotel will see its first guests on November 30th and a few days before, interested locals will have the opportunity to visit “Le Petit Relais” on a special open house day.   WWW.LEPETITRELAIS.CH TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 12.10.2012


Friday 23 November 2012 Page 10

Picture: Sabine Forter - Fotolia

Flat Rate Taxation becomes stricter

The electorate of the canton of Bern rejected the initiative Faire Steuern - Für Familien (fair taxation for families) quite clearly with 66.4% of the voters saying no. The counter-proposal by the Grand Council of Bern, however, was accepted with 52.8% per cent of the votes being in favor. Thus, the Bernese electorate voted in favor of the flat rate taxation but also for the taxation itself to become stricter. The initiative created a big uproar preliminary to the vote. The topic that mostly divided the minds was the flat rate taxation. Both supporters and opponents of the flat rate taxation for rich foreigners living in Switzerland took their stand with great effort. The electorate of the canton of Bern has made its decision. The result of the vote turned out to be surprisingly clear. 66.4 per cent of the voters and all of the ten administrative districts rejected the initiative and thus clearly voted in favor of flat rate taxation. The result of the counter-proposal of

the Grand Council making the flat rate taxation stricter was less clear with 52.8 per cent of the electorate voting in favor thereof. The administrative districts ObersimmentalSaanen, Frutigen-Niedersimmental and Interlaken-Oberhasli were the only districts that also rejected the counter-proposal. As a result of the accepted counter-proposal, a minimum level for the taxable income of SFr 400,000 will be implemented (same level as for the federal tax). The seven folded rent or the seven folded rental value respectively or the triple folded pension value will be used to calculate this. On the forefront of the supporters of the flat rate taxation were the lobby group IG Arbeitsplätze im Bergebiet (jobs for the alpine region) and the Saanen’s mayor Aldo Kropf. Both the lobby group and Aldo Kropf are disappointed that the flat rate taxation will become stricter although relieved that the electorate has voted very strongly for the flat rate staying in place. Approximately 50 per cent of the flat rate taxed residents will now

be affected with a tax increase according to Aldo Kropf. He thinks that this will cause people moving away from the region. “I figure that for some people living here the region will cease to be attractive,” he said. “It is difficult to tell how many people will move away from the canton of Bern and the Saanenland at this moment in time. I’m no prophet.” The financial implications of this result for Saanen are currently equally uncertain according to him. “This isn’t only about fiscal revenues but also about jobs. Most of the flat rate taxed residents are also employers and consumers in the region.” Aldo Kropf not only expects more people to move away from the region due to the changed taxation, but also less people moving there in the future. The lobby group shares this opinion. “This will cause a partial loss of a lucrative guest segment and the associated consumer potential and jobs in the region,” said the lobby group in a press release. “In addition to the present challenges for the tourism sector and the so-called Zweitwohnung-

sinitiative (second-home initiative) this will further stop growth and cause a loss of revenue,” they said. The lobby group now demands that the particular employment issues of the alpine and tourism regions are taken into account when implementing the counter-proposal. Electoral participation of the entire canton of Bern was only 39.3 per cent. This is in strong contrast to the electoral participation of the affected regions. In the administrative district Obersimmental-Saanen 53 per cent of the electorate voted. In Gsteig 54 per cent, in Lauenen 53.5 and in Saanen even 59.9 per cent took part in the vote, which is probably a record participation. Kropf said, “I’m proud of the strong electoral participation. This shows that the initiative has been taken seriously.” The lobby group will continue its support of the flat rate taxation for rich foreigners living in Switzerland since there are some efforts to abolish it on federal level. Apart from that, the lobby group will also work on other levels to preserve the attractiveness of the alpine and tourism regions. “The challenges for the tourism sector will continue to be an issue in the times of the financial crisis. The economic potential in these regions is limited and making full use of this potential is particularly difficult,” they say. The lobby group now hopes that the cantonal council of Bern will charge the Berne Economic Development Agency to look into specific measures for supporting the alpine regions in the interest of both urban and rural areas. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 25.09.2012


Friday 23 November 2012 Page 11

Refurbishment and extension to the Sports Centre in Gstaad

“We not only want to refurbish the sports centre, we also want to increase its attractiveness,” said member of the municipal council Heinz Brand, who is in charge of projects amongst other things. To make the sports centre more attractive, a heated outdoor pool open in all seasons, an extension of the wellness and fitness area and two accommodation houses are going to be built. The current facilities such as the tennis hall, the tennis courts, the beach volleyball court, the mini golf, the playground and the festival tent, remain in place. The sport centre’s manager Ruedi Kunz said: “Already nowadays 85 per cent of all swimming pool visitors use the swimming hall to relax and only about 15 per cent are active swimmers.” Thus, it was decided that a heated outdoor pool is going to be built south of the existing swimming hall. All around the outdoor pool, additional fitness rooms and wellness areas will be built underground. The biggest innovation is the two new accommodation houses west of the sport centre. There will be 120 beds for guests and 12 rooms for instructors. The two houses won’t be furnished with large kitchens so that guests would use the provided catering or the sports centre restaurant. The two houses will provide accommodation for sports, swimming and musical

Picture: Blanca Burri

The municipal assembly agreed on an increase of the planning credit for the refurbishment and extension of Gstaad’s sports centre to SFr 1.845 million.

The 40-year old Sports Centre in Gstaad to be refurbished and extended. camps, as well as for helpers during large sport events and are intended to enrich the sports centre according to Heinz Brand. A small number of the parking lots behind the festival tent will be lost because of the new accommodation houses. Hans Brand says: “Because of the Alpina construction site, the car park is frequented more than usual but it’s still never full.” During the construction phase, the beach volleyball and tennis courts will be used to store construction materials and machines so that the car park won’t be affected. The buildings and the cark park will still be accessible through the street behind the tennis hall, which is already being used by buses and lorries. The construction won’t affect the cross-country ski track, nor the hiking path. Only the high-voltage power line will be adapted. Since the 40-year-old indoor swimming pool’s energy consumption isn’t ideal and the required refurbishment works are costly, different options to solve these problems had been assessed. The building is

listed so demolition wasn’t an option. Alternative energy sources such as solar panels on the tennis hall roof were considered but the advantage was too small and the costs too high. The swimming pool is being heated with heat pumps now. The people responsible furthermore want to invest in the cladding of the buildings and these will be completely re-isolated. This will be cost-intensive but is hoped to lower the energy consumption costs in the long run. Historically the collaboration between the sports centre and the municipality of Saanen was small. However in recent times it has become more pronounced. This resulted in the service contract between the two partners that was put into place two years ago. According to both municipal council member Heinz Brand and the sports centre manager Ruedi Kunz, both parties are happy with the collaboration. The sports centre has agreed to provide certain services for the public such as opening times and offers. In turn it receives financial aids from the municipal-

ity for the indoor swimming pool, the outdoor swimming pool Saanen and the ice rink in Gstaad. When this contract was in formation, it was clear that the 40-year old sports centre would have large investment needs in the future. Thus at the time a special commission consisting of municipal representatives, sports centre representatives and experts was established in order to assess refurbishment needs and possibilities for the future development of the centre. Four companies took part in the tendering for the general planning contract. The offer of the Büro K + L Architekten, from St. Gallen was the best. The first stage will last until the vote on the investment credit for the refurbishment and the construction phase. The civil engineering works will be done by the company Timbatec GmbH from Thun, which made the best offer. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY BLANCA BURRI AVS 30.10.2012 & ROLF MARTI AVS 02.11.2012


Friday 23 November 2012 Page 12

An association for second-home owners, Allianz Zweitwohnungen Schweiz, has been established in Thun as an umbrella organization for local lobby groups of secondhome owners in Swiss tourism regions. In numerous Swiss tourism destinations, non-resident owners of holiday homes are asked to pay more and more. Declining numbers of guests and the recently accepted second-home initiative additionally increase the financial pressures of second-home owners.

Throughout Switzerland, approximately 250,000 people are affected and can’t do anything due to not having voting rights in the secondhome villages as non-residents. They have thus grouped into small local associations such as the one in Thun. The new umbrella organizations now wish to improve the collaboration between themselves and to defend the interests of its members on a national level.

Arosa, Braunwald, Crans Montana, Engelberg, Grindelwald, La Punt, Lenzerheide, Wengen, Urserental (UR) and Zweisimmen.

In the foundation meeting, representatives from the following destinations took part: Adelboden, Lenk,


Events Calendar ■ SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25 09h00 – 13h00: 10 Year Kinderjodler choir Saanenland: Anniversary concert with lunch. Cost for the concert & lunch: Adults SFr 20, Children according to their age. Venue: Mehrzweckhalle Schönried. For more info contact +41 (0)33 755 14 29. ■ MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26 & DECEMBER 10 20h30: Filmpodium Saanenland: New Swiss films at the cinema Gstaad. Reservation possible, contact +41 (0)33 744 14 74. More information at the cinema.

■ WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 & THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 21h00: Crime Days! 2012. The event is in German only. Venue: Wellness & Spa Hotel Ermitage-Golf, Schönried. Reservation desired. For more info contact +41 (0)33 748 60 60.

■ WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 20h15: Saaner Abesitza in Swiss German! Venue: Congress, Course Saanen. For more info contact +41 (0)33 748 17 77.

■ THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 20h00: Event agriculture in Swiss German only! Venue: Congress, Course Landhaus Saanen.

■ FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30 20h00: Dance event in the hotel Wildhorn Lauenen. For more info contact +41 (0)33 765 30 12. ■ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 20h15-22h15: Advent concert of the Musikgesellschaft Gstaad & the Brass Band Harmonie Saanen. Venue: Saanen church. Free entry – collection. Contact +41 (0)33 744 09 40 for more info.

Picture: Frank Müller

Association for second-home owners established

President is Heinrich Summermatter from Stammgäste Lenk, and members of the board are Dr. Jürg Sollberger, Stammgäste Adelboden; Dr. Georg Ganz, Vivarosa; Rolf Walther, Stammgäste Engelberg; and Rolf Hintermann, VivLaPunt.

Friday November 23 2012 until Friday December 14 2012

■ SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 17h00: Advent concert in Lauenen. Venue: Lauenen church. Free entry – collection. Contact +41 (0)33 765 32 00 for more info. ■ THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 18h30: Santa Claus is coming to Turbach! From 18h30, Santa is waiting at the Restaurant Sunne-Stübli for everyone. Hot punch will be available. For more info contact +41 (0)33 744 46 12.

■ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 20h00: Tyrolean evening with the young “Zellbergers” in the Landhaussaal Saanen. Rate: SFr 20. Advance booking necessary, contact +41 (0)78 860 22 30. ■ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 20h15 – 21h45: Advent concert of the Musikgesellschaft Gsteig. Venue: Turnhalle, Gsteig. Free entry – collection. Contact +41 (0)33 744 09 40 for more info.

■ THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 17h00: Santa Claus is coming to Saanen! Santa walks with all the children from the train station to the Molkereiplatz. Everyone is welcome! For more info contact +41 (0)33 748 81 60.

■ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 20h15: Advent concert in Saanen. With various choirs from the region. Guest: Chiara Asquini – guitar. Venue: Mauritius church Saanen. Free entry – collection. For more info contact +41 (0)33 744 95 71.

■ THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 17h00: Santa Claus is coming to Gstaad: Santa walks with all the children from the Gstaadplatz (Posthotel Rössli) to the Kapälliplatz. For more info contact +41 (0)33 748 81 81.

■ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 17h00: Christmas market Gsteig. Venue: Schulhausplatz. For more info contact +41 (0)33 755 81 81.



16h00 - 21h00: Christmas market in Saanen. The market offers something for everybody! Great gifts and treats for those who are hungry. Registration/Information/Prices/ Conditions: deadline November 28. Come and enjoy the spirit of Christmas outdoors. For more info contact +41 (0)33 748 81 60.

Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christian Sieber (026 / 924 45 25) Program: Rot. Pascal Rey (026 / 925 10 00)



SUNDAY 9 Indoor soccer tournament Gstaad. A tournament for everybody who likes soccer (age group 1998 and older). Venue: Sportshalle Ebnit. Rate: SFr 120. Saturday afternoon is the indoor soccer tournament for women! For more info contact +41 (0)79 333 30 19.

Meetings normally each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12h00 a.m. for lunch or at 7h00 p.m. for dinner. Meetings in Wellness & Spa-Hotel Ermitage-Golf, Schönried, Tel. 033 748

60 60. For details and program contact Jürg Müller, president, 033 744 54 40, jmtreuhand@bluewin.ch, https://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch

■ CHURCH SERVICES St Peter’s English-Speaking Anglican Church, Château-d’Oex 25 November 2012, 17h30 Evening Prayer. Rev. Paul Holley 2 December 2012, 17h30 Holy Communion (BCP). Rev. Paul Holley 9 December 2012, 17h30 Evening Worship. Rev. Paul Holley www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: paul.holley@anglicanhealth.org

■ IMPORTANT NUMBERS Ambulance 144, Police 117 Police office 033 356 84 31 Fire-brigade 118 Saanen Hospital 033 748 02 00 Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Car accident service 033 744 88 80 Veterinary 033 744 35 31 / 033 744 06 61 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers For the latest local weather forecast visit www.gstaadlife.com/weather

Friday 23 November 2012 Page 13


Picture: zvg

New location for Rega in Berner Oberland

Adrian von Siebenthal, Rega-Base manager Zweisimmen and Pilot Niklaus Müller, Deputy council president Zweisimmen and Airfield cooperative Zweisimmen, Andreas Lüdi, Architect Daniel Sulzer, Manager Berner Oberland Helicopter AG Bohag (from left). A year after submitting the building plans, ground for the Rega base center in Zweisimmen was broken on Tuesday, October 16. During the construction phase, which will end in fall 2013, an interim base

at the airport will ensure smooth operations. With the start of the construction, a new chapter will start for the crew of the Rega 14 helicopter in Zweisim-

men. “We look forward to the new location in Berner Oberland. The construction of the new base emphasizes the importance of Zweisimmen and the western part of Berner Oberland for Rega,” said Adrian von Siebenthal, manager and pilot. Ernst Kohler, CEO of Rega, considers this project a commitment to the peripheral regions: “Rega, a charitable foundation for emergency medicine, is a public service on a private basis. Secluded regions in particular benefit from this.” Economic criteria are not the main focus for Rega, says Ernst Kohler. More important are carefully considered investments, which enable Rega to provide the population with the best and quickest possible medical assistance. In Zweisimmen, Rega and Bohag (Berner Oberländer Helikopter AG)

have had a partnership for 26 years and the new joint base was also planned together with Bohag. The project meets the Rega standards with a double hangar, so both organizations can perform independently. Information about Rega Medical care by air: Rega provides fast and professional emergency medical help by air. On duty for the patients: Rega acts upon medical needs and provide service to the patients. Rega is a private non-governmental independent foundation. Supported by sponsorship: Rega is supported by its patrons. 24 hour alert: Emergency number 1414 for Switzerland, +41 333 333 333 for calls abroad. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE PRESS RELEASE AVS 19.10.2012

The Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy 2012 goes to Marigold Bonafide from Italy. Third place went to the 1905 NYYC30 one design yacht, Oriole.

GYC Centenary Trophy winner Marigold with honorary president George Nicholson on board. Marigold, the cutter designed by Charles Nicholson in 1892 and owned by Richard Allan won the second edition of the Centenary Trophy in Saint Tropez recently. The black hulled, UK flagged, Marigold managed to keep a 15 minutes lead on 2011 title holder

One could not have asked for a more perfect day for what was the second edition of the Centenary Trophy which is annually organized by the Gstaad Yacht Club in co-operation with the Société Nautique de SaintTropez. Sunshine, blue skies and a good breeze, defined the weather whilst hundreds of spectators on boats and a huge public watching the spectacle from the old port walls defined the ambiance. Marigold was the first yacht home. Her Owner Richard Allan was ecstatic and shortly after arriving on

the pontoon commented: ‘We are so happy, it's great to race in an event when each and every competitor has the same age boat.’ Allan also explained that the secret to his win was all in the boat. ‘Marigold thrives in a strong breeze’, he said. 'The handicap we started with takes into consideration the fact that Marigold sails under cotton sails. I think the handicap system is very fair. We'll be back next year to defend our title, for sure!’, closed Allan. A very satisfied Peter Erzberger, Commodore of the Gstaad Yacht Club commented: 'It was a beautiful and very positive race. Every 'new old boat' is more than welcome to join us.'

On the closing night, the winner and the rest of the crews gathered for a very special prize-giving ceremony at the Chateau in Saint-Tropez that for the occasion featured a Swiss "flavour".

Trophy night „swiss flavour in St. Tropez“


Friday 23 November 2012 Page 14


much visual and auditory aggression would make any normal person fearful. I find it difficult to manage the number of people encroaching on my personal space, which makes me more likely to look and act cold or angry. After a few idyllic days in Gstaad, strolling down a New York City street feels like being on an alien planet. A busy city feels jarring, frightening even, because people often look crazy. Hurried creatures with bulging eyes and gruff attitudes—life forms that are a far cry from those here in Saanenland—populate the streets. At least passing strangers in Gstaad nod or offer up a “Grüezi” along the Wanderweg. In New York, if you dare say hello to a passerby or look them in the eye, you are likely to be ignored if not called a weirdo or flipped off.

Picture: jba / photocase.com

What is it about big towns that cause people to be so tough and gruff? Perhaps it is because cities are an assault on the senses. Maybe someone had New York in mind when they coined the term “sensory overload.” With all the stimuli in a bustling city, it is no wonder people appear defensive. So

But a city’s anonymity can also be a relief from small-town life, where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Sometimes it’s nice to walk among strangers who don’t know or care what you get up to late at night. But the same anonymity can be isolating. Feeling lonely in a place packed with people is arguably the worst kind of solitude. Between the sensory assault and the anonymity, it is a surprise that so many people live in cities. Choosing between the country and the city is not easy for many people. Cities offer so much more than rural areas in the way of work, culture, and inspiration, but they provide none of the countryside’s peace and natural beauty. How can one possibly have the best of both? How can one preserve village life’s pleasantries while still drawing in the dynamism the world has to

offer? Gstaad is at a critical moment with regard to this question. Drawing a balance between its expansion and preservation will mean everything for the region’s future. I would hate to see Gstaad turn into St. Moritz or Verbier. Granted, the quality of the skiing is vastly different and so the region’s expansion will be limited in this respect. But the real danger is greed. Too many new hotels, community resources, and luxury shops will eventually destroy our adopted alpine village’s idyllic charm. Growth may be necessary, but it is not always paramount. Since there are so many cities and glamorous resorts offering high-end luxury, why not cultivate a little diversity here in Gstaad? Do we really need another designer dress shop or hotel? Are more vulgar rich people who throw garish parties and drive around in obnoxious cars really the demographic this town seeks? I hope not. Gstaad has always been the alternative to St. Moritz—the smaller, quieter, and more demure sister to the glitzier, grander Engadine town. I want it to stay this way. I don’t object to a little

decadence, but when people start flying in exotic shellfish by private jet and throwing lavish parties for no particular reason, I begin to wonder what has happened to Gstaad. When I see more women in head-to-toe fur and suitcase-sized crocodile Birkin bags at the Eagle Club than actual skiers, I wonder if I am the only one who actually enjoys Gstaad for the view and fresh mountain air. Surely a balance can be reached where the need for growth and the desire for comfort and luxury can be met without turning Gstaad into Beverly Hills. Rich foreigners as well as Swiss property developers and business owners might consider what drew people here in the first place before they shut down another local business to open one that will bring in the big bucks and more ghastly people driving Porsche Cayennes. We come here to get away from the highfalutin city life. Is that so hard to understand? There. I’ve said what I have to say, and now I will go down to Les Trois Pommes and buy myself a new Prada dress!


Sheep Walter Herdeg, 1940

Girl with alpine roses Franz Villiger, 1965

Goats Jacques Naegeli, 1939

Decorative subjects for modern rooms Format: 440 x 700 mm Price: CHF 10.00 per poster (plus postal charges and package) Available at M端ller Marketing & Druck AG and Gstaad Saanenland Tourism

M端ller Marketing & Druck AG Kirchstrasse 6 3780 Gstaad Tel. 033 748 88 74 Fax 033 748 88 84 admin@mdruck.ch mdruck.ch

Girl Leo Keck, 1949

Profile for Müller Medien

GstaadLife, Nr. 7 / 2012  

GstaadLife, the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

GstaadLife, Nr. 7 / 2012  

GstaadLife, the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

Profile for mdruck