Throughout the summer work has been progressing on the sun-drenched slopes above Ischgl to install a state-of-the art new luxury gondola in time for the opening of the 2007-08 season at the end of November.
The lift operating company - Silvrettaseilbahn AG - is investing 13.5 million - in the project which will replace the 24-year-old Fimbabahn gondola from the vilage of Ischgl up to Idalp, the main hub of the skiing at 2,320m. Following more or less the same route, the new gondola will have ultra-comfortable high-speed 8-person cabins with heated seats and will be capable of carryingh 2,800 skiers and borders every hour.
The journey will now take less than seven minutes to the mid-station and a further eight minutes on up to Idalp. There will be new ticket booths at the base station fronted by a covered patio to protect skiers from the elements whilst at the mid-station there will be a new construction.
Located at an altitude of 1377m in the picturesque Paznaun Valley (Tirol) the up-market resort of Ischgl has enjoyed considerable investment in recent years including new lifts and an expansion of the snow-making equipment in order the guarantee the very best of conditions for skiers and boarders right through to the beginning of May. The 2007-08 season will open with additional snow cannons and slope improvements whilst down in Ischgl village there will be a new high-class fish restaurant.
For the coming winter there is a new six person chairlift at Nachweide with weather-protection hood and this should give the less experienced skiers a greater choice, as well as easing congestion in the popular central area of Idalp.
The Viderjochbahn is a six seater chairlift, again with weather-protection hood, which will carry 3000 people an hour from Planer Salaas to the Viderjoch, an altitude difference of 300m. The existing Hollspitzbahn chair has now been fitted with weather protection hoods making for a much more comfortable journey in bad weather conditions.
A six seater chairlift - Paznauner Taya - with all-weather bubble cover was introduced last winter replacing the former drag lift from the Paznauner Taya restaurant, helping to ensure that Ischgl retained its place as one of Austria's top ski destinations.
Sexy singer Rihanna is to star in the legendary season opening concert in the glamorous ski resort of Ischgl, in the Austrian Tirol.
The Barbados-born star has just scooped MTV awards for best video and single of the year for Umbrella, which was the UK's summer song - at number one in the charts for 10 weeks - and now just eclipsed by Shut Up And Drive, both from the album Good Girl Gone Bad.
She will swap grey skies for snowclouds to perform in Ischgl village centre at dusk on Saturday 1 December - the first weekend of the new five month long ski season (lifts open on Friday 30 November and close on Sunday 4 May 08). Entry to the concert is free.
Said Tourist Director Andreas Steibl: "We are excited to announce Rihanna as our opening concert star. Her concert will launch the new season in the traditional Ischgl style and set the scene for a great season of skiing and partying.
"Ischgl skiers expect to see the best stars and experience the best skiing and that's what we give them, with superstars such as Elton John, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner and Pink performing in our concerts and a fantastic 235km of pisted runs up on the mountain enjoyed by skiers and boarders."
Ischgl hosts three big name concerts in its Top Of The Mountain series every winter - last season featured The Pussycat Dolls, Scissor Sisters and Melanie C.
New on the mountain this winter is the £13.5m replacement Fimbabahn gondola lift, with heated seats, that will transport 2,800 skiers and boarders an hour from the village up to the main skiing area of Idalp.
Located just 100km from Innsbruck, Ischgl enjoys the benefits of the Gatwick-Innsbruck link by Austrian Airlines whilst Munich and Zurich airports are only 2,5 hours drive away from Ischgl. You can also reach the resort from the main-line train station of Landeck, 30kms distance. A car journey from Calais takes approximately 10 hours.
Ischgl's first cable car opened in 1963 and now the village has a state of the art system of 40 lifts serving 200km of well-groomed pistes. There are 10,000 guest beds in a variety of accommodation ranging from 5-star hotels to guest houses. Yet only 1,500 people live year-round in Ischgl.
The 2007-08 winter season opens at the end of November and continues through until the end of April