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"A decisive step": Inrun tower of the Rothaus-Schanze to be modernized

on 2018-09-03

The history of the summer ski jumping in Hinterzarten and, following that, also the history of the Adler-Skistadion is a long one. Six major conversions have been made, since the first ski jumping hill has been built at this place in 1924. In 2005, three smaller hills have been added, ever since only minor works took place. Now, the hill cannot be used in winter anymore and the hill certificate is going to expire, so that it needs to be renovated. Skijumpinghills.com explains the plans for the

Already since the early 1980’s, the best ski jumpers of the world come to Hinterzarten to compete in the summer grand prix on the Rothaus-Schanze. Moreover, this ski jumping hill is also frequently used in the winter for training, but also for high-rank competitions. In 2010, Hinterzarten hosted the FIS Junior Ski World Championships; in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017, the ladies’ world cup took place here.

The last major conversions were the establishment of the three smaller hills in 2005 and the replacement of the old chairlift with an elevator in 2015. The Rothaus-Schanze has not changed in the recent years. The athletes’ opinions about the hill vary from love to hate. Gregor Schlierenzauer, for example, said: "I generally like it, because it is a challenge. You need to jump very good in order to achieve a high distance. The inrun is a bit strange, because it is not harmonic and you notice the infrastructure is not really up to date. So, it would be about time to modernize it."

Last year, Andreas Bauer, head coach of the German ladies, requested to install a combined porcelain inrun track which should improve the conditions for training and competitions. Half a year later, the decision for a conversion, which should start in late summer 2019, has been made. Our editor Luis Holuch spoke to Klaus-Michael-Tatsch, mayor of the community of Hinterzarten, about the measures.

Luis Holuch's interview with Klaus-Michael Tatsch, mayor of the community of Hinterzarten:

Luis Holuch (LH): First of all, thank you very much for your time. How are the plans for the renovation of the Rothaus-Schanze in the Adler-Skistadion?
Klaus-Michael Tatsch (KMT): You are welcome! It is actually not easy to explain the whole thing, but let us start with this: We are talking about modernizing, not rebuilding. The certificate for our ski jumping hill expires by the 26th of October 2019. The chairman of the FIS-sub-committee for ski jumping hills, Dr. Hans-Martin Renn, did an investigation of the facility and summed up the measures which are supposed to be made. So, we adapt our ski jumping hill to the modern standards. The inrun is supposed to become a bit flatter. In addition to that, we want to increase the comfort for the athletes. For example, the ladies should get their own restroom and we want to install a heated warm-up-room in the inrun tower. The investments for this project will be around 2.2 million Euro.
LH: You are mostly dealing with the financial aspects of this project. How would you pay this amount of money?
KMT: The Adler-Skistadion belongs to the Olympic training center Freiburg-Schwarzwald. And these facilities are supported and funded in specific ways. The householf of the Federal Republic of Germany pays 30 percent and the state Baden-Württemberg pays 40 percent of the costs. So, 70 percent are guaranteed. The other 30 percent are now our job, we are talking about approximately 660.000 Euro which we, the community of Hinterzarten, need to pay by ourselves. The town council made the decision that this money should be collected. And the summer grand prix is a great occasion to start with that, since here are some people which are able to help us out. We already had first meetings and made good progress.
LH: Are there any upcoming changes besides that?
KMT: The renovation of the ski jumping hill is the first and decisive step. With that, we improve the training and competition conditions a lot. Afterwards, we will improve also the infrastructure at the stadium. We will put asphalt on the streets and paths which give access to the stadium and build a fence around it. This will happen due to security reasons, but also to have the possibility to earn some more money from tourists which are visiting the Adler-Skistadion.
LH: So, that means you want to establish a touristic point, just like in Oberstdorf, for example?
KMT: In fact, we already have it, because the ski club Hinterzarten, which administrates the stadium, offers guided tours since we have our new lift. Before that, we only had our old chairlift on the opposite site of the hill, which only athletes and coaches were allowed to use. And now we have “days of skiing” where we offer these guided tours through the stadium and afterwards a visit of the Black Forest ski museum here in town. They recently opened small exhibitions about Carina Vogt and Fabian Rießle, so there are definitely good connections here.
LH: All in all, you are doing a lot of things to secure Hinterzarten as part of the Olympic training center and also improve the infrastructure.
KMT: Exactly! Another very important aspect is also the security of the workers, which are basically volunteers, that needs to be improved – especially during the winter. Winters have changed. Those people who say there is no climate change obviously did not experience it. Back in the day, you just put on snow on the hill and if necessary, you filled the small holes up or removed a bit of snow. Nowadays, the workers need to care for that every single week or sometimes even every single day, due to fresh snow, melted snow, rain, etc.. Unfortunately, there is not enough space on the inrun tower so that there is a walking way on at least one side of the inrun track and that makes works on the inrun extremely complicated. In the end, we had to recognize that we cannot use the hill in the winter months. And that is exactly what we want to change with the renovation.
LH: In 2014, you did not host a summer grand prix for a very long time. Which effects did that have?
KMT: We are now at the 36th edition of the summer grand prix and, as you said, it was only once that it did not take place. The importance of this event for Hinterzarten is insane. For us, it was very important that ARD (first German national TV, annotation of the author) is broadcasting the competitions live, because the TV audience would permanently see the name and the logo of Hinterzarten and think “I have heard of that place”. It was the same just before Christmas with the ladies’ world cup. That has been sort of romantic: Snowflakes were dancing in Hinterzarten. And in the year where we did not have the summer grand prix, you could clearly notice that: Less tourists were coming and so the hosts had less bookings in their accommodations.
LH: Well, then I keep my fingers crossed that this is not going to happen anytime soon and that the hill renovation is going to be successful. Once again, thank you very much for your time!
KMT: My pleasure!


Ski Jumps:

GER Hinterzarten (Adler-Skistadion)


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