St. Moritz is preparing its 144th winter season. It will be marked by the 60th and 80th anniversaries of Olympic Winter Games in Switzerland.
The forthcoming winter sports season begins on November 24, 2007 with the opening of the runs on Corvatsch. A week later, on December 1, the mountain railways and lifts of Diavolezza and Corviglia will be welcoming their first guests of the season. In December, "The St. Moritz Design Gallery" at the Serletta Public Parking will inaugurate a poster exhibition to commemorate "60 and 80 Years of Olympic Winter Games in Switzerland". St. Moritz is the only place in Switzerland to have ever hosted Olympic Games – in 1928 and 1948. Various sites that bear witness to them, such as the Olympic Stadium and the ski jump, are still around today.
The year 2008 brings St. Moritz two anniversaries: The Olympic Winter Games of 1928 and 1948 celebrate their 60th respectively 80th anniversary. Up to today, they are still the only Olympic Games ever held in Switzerland.
The „International Winter Sports Week“ of 1924 in Chamonix was only retroactively declared as the I. Olympic Winter Games. The second games of 1928 in St. Moritz were the first autonomous Olympic Winter Games ever. St. Moritz wanted to proof that all over world, it was the winter sports centre par exellence and that it took its pioneering role in this area seriously. Especially the newly built Olympic Ski Jump set a new benchmark regarding its size. On February 11, 1928 the games were officially inaugurated at the Skating Stadium Badrutt’s Park in St. Moritz Dorf. 464 athletes from 25 nations took part at the competitions in 6 sports events. Before the first competitions were held, the foehn wind unexpectedly made his appearance and began to melt snow and ice. Thanks to legions of residents and even visitors, which were working day and night, all events but the 10'000-meter speed skating could be carried out. The games were a complete success, particulary for St. Moritz as a winter sports destination and the winter sports in general.
In 1948, St. Moritz again recognized its liability towards the international world of winter sports and hosted the V. Olympic Winter Games. After the dark years of war, neutral Switzerland was one of the few countries which was able to carry out such an international major event. The infrastructure was still in good shape and just had to be restored a little. On January 30, 1948 the games were officially inaugurated at the Olympic Stadium. 669 athletes from 28 nations competed in 7 sports events (since 1936 also downhill skiing) for the coveted sports medals. After the troublesome years of war, a new beginning took place in St. Moritz – and this not only for the participants, but for the whole world.
Some 150 traditional St. Moritz winter events then follow in quick and concentrated succession up to Easter (March 23, 2008), including two further jubilees in January and March – the 50th Anniversary of the Concours Hippique on Snow and 40th Anniversary of the Engadin Cross-Country Skiing Marathon. For the first time, the latter will include a "half marathon" covering half the distance. Further news of the winter season: after a total renovation lasting a year and a half, the Carlton Hotel reopens in December as the Alps' first deluxe all-suite hotel. Over 60 million Swiss Francs were invested in the renovation.
The resort is located in the Engadine and has three peaks each more than 3000m high and enjoys a very impressive snow record and a long winter season.
For the skier there is 350km of slopes and runs together with 11 gondola lifts, 18 chair lifts and 27 drag lifts. Slopes are well groomed and covered by 70 snow cannons.If you are looking for sunshine, St. Mortitz boasts 322 sunny days each year!
There is little doubt the resort can still be described as glamorous, chic and a playground for the international jet-set but the skiing is marvellous, there is plenty of "affordable" accommodation and the ski pass costs everyone the same price! For skiing the range of lifts is impressive as are the 15 blue, 55 red and 16 black runs located across the three main skiing areas of Corviglia, Corvatsch and Diavolezza and is so good St. Moritz has twice hosted the Winter Olympics.
St.Moritz resort itself has a wide variety of hotels, bars and restaurants from the 5-star where film celebraties and royalty stay to very keenly priced and comfortable two, three and four-star hotels which feature in tour operators brochures and ski apartments in residences. Out on the slopes there is an excellent choice of restaurants and ice bars. Holidaymakers can watch horse racing on the frozen lake, take a ride on the Cresta Run, or the bob sleigh run. In the evenings you can swim or go to a classical concert - there is a wide choice of apres ski activity.
Getting to St. Moritz is easy. By air, train or car - the latter being a journey of just over 640 miles or 11 hours from the northern French coast.