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Austria greater Arlberg region becoming v expensive?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey all,

Year after year we've enjoyed Austria's Arlberg. This year we were looking at ischgl.

Last year got a bit funny when the prices were suddenly very steep, and luckily managed to secure an affordable spot.

We figured it'd be busy.... It was private skiing.

Later we found out all the local hotels had banded together to artificially inflate the prices - and it bit them in the behind. Hence the lack of tourism.

This year, looks like the same deal. Looking around at Anton, solden, ischgl.. pretty much all looking at some very steep prices for accommodation.

Is this the new normal? Pay 300-400 pp minimum to spend it sharing a bed or sleeping on a couch?

For this kind of money it's looking like Switzerland is becoming affordable? France does not yet look to be joining in on this.

Anyone got some information on this?

Regards
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There has been a ski-hire cartel type pricing going on there for years...and it must have been very profitable indeed.
I'm not that surprised if the hotel owners have seen it and thought...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The days of cheap skiing in Western countries are long gone.
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We've booked Ischgl for Christmas this year, different hotel to last year because we fancied a change but prices weren't notably more expensive. I think this year is actually slightly cheaper than last.
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@SnowySno, Ischgl is expensive and in general the hoteliers etc do not care as they know they will sell all the rooms they want to. I never like the atmosphere of the whole place despite the decent skiing. Something similar has been going on in St Anton with some of the reasonably priced places clearly putting up their prices but there are still plenty of places not charging silly money. Look at places in Nasserein and Pettneu, Pettneu especially still has plenty of the traditional Pensions.
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Im seeing an increase in places charging per person instead of per room
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Earlier this year we were in the same hotel in the same resort (Zell am See) as I had been in January 2007. A couple of months afterwards and by pure coincidence whilst clearing out some old files I found the CC statement that covered the January 2007 holiday spending. In particular the two largest items being the hotel bill and the lift pass purchase. The hotel was twice as expensive and the lift pass two and a half times as much. Took my own kit both times so no data there but I suspect the story would have been the same. So it's Austria wide, although I have always at least perceived the Arlberg to be the most expensive part of Austria.
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@robboj, Shocked thats 100% increase against a 27% inflation calculation. I didn't increase my prices in Austria from 2011 to 2017
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Arlberg ramping up prices year on year in general, more so than other Austrian resorts in my opinion. Using beer as a barometer in main apres hang outs, it's increased by around 40 pc in my view in last 5 years.
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Prices on the mountain in Ski Amade feel very similar to where they were in 2011. The Huber Reisen shuttle transfer is still €50 euro return - hasn't gone up at all.

2011 Season Lift Pass prices from a thread here

Adult €440 (ADV) - €470 (NORMAL)

ADV - Bought before the 6th December

2019

Adult €592 (ADV) - €632 (NORMAL)

ADV - Bought before the 4th December

So about 35% increase since 2011, about twice the rate of inflation but there has been huge investment in lifts over the past few years
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Was just discussing something the other day re prices. A bottle of rather nice wine we buy (not telling anyone the name as they only seem to stock about four at a time) has been 3.99euros since we bought our place in 2005. God knows how long before that. Wine prices, and Im assuming because of the tax element, hasn't changed over the last 14 years, which is incredible. The beer prices in the local bars/restaurants have increased though.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Arlberg or in general the higher mountains resorts of Western Austria have always been more expensive than the Eastern Side.

Re: Bier Price. In Vienna a 0.5l beer will cost €5 so in a resort €6 to €7 is to be expected

If your coming from the UK you are not getting the same amount of Euros you used to ….
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@stanton, we are comparing Euro prices vs Euro prices. it doesn't matter what the exchange rate is
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
A lot of impressions here.
The facts:
Winter 18/19 vs winter 17/18
St.Anton +1% overnights
Lech-Zürs -3,7% overnights
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@Langerzug, what do those figures mean? number of visitors?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@holidayloverxx, no of overnight stays
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
A quick look on the Arlberg tourist board website shows availability in January for one week for pensions and apartments starting at €550 for two people. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. A 6-day lift pass is €300 per adult. Again comparable to similar sized ski areas.
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clarky999 wrote:
@holidayloverxx, no of overnight stays


thanjks - not sure what these facts add to the thread though
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@queenie pretty please, in my opinion, €550 for a 2 person apartment / pension in low season is not at all reasonable - and because that is the cheapest price I am assuming that those are the most basic options, possibly in a less convenient location.

On our January holidays (which are usually to France, but that's because of flights more than anything else) we'd usually look to pay about half of that, or two thirds of the price but for a bigger apartment.

Now of course it's possible (probable?) that the standards of accommodation are higher in the Arlberg, but €550 would price us out of that area regardless of how nice it is.

Anecdotally I've found lift passes to be cheaper in France and more expensive in Austria / Italy (with some exceptions), but the standard of the lift systems in France are correspondingly lower (again, there are exceptions).
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@denfinella, up to €300 per person for a week's accommodation not reasonable??? That equates to less than €50 per night. You'd struggle to find a bed and breakfast in the UK for that sort of money. I've just come back from a holiday on the Italian coast where I stayed in a budget but clean and well-equipped family-run hotel with the room costing €88 per night. I consider that bargain pricing. Anything cheaper would fall into 'hostel' territory.

Remember hoteliers and apartment owners need to make a living and have significant overheads.
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@queenie pretty please, Serre Chevalier, for 11th - 18th jan, has apartments for 2 people for £218. Bunk bed butted up against the dining table, or a sofabed - some not showing a a bed at all so who knows! There's clearly a market for low quality accommodation for folk on a budget. I would expect considerably better for €550 in Austria and expect I would get it.
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@denfinella,
Are you talking about places like Val d’Isere and Megeve? Because that’s the category we’re talking about.
Apart from that France has huge price differentiation between high and low season due to many ‘cold beds’ (second homes), unlike Austria and definitely Arlberg
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
remember 3 room 2bedroom apartment in 2015 was 449 per person, second or third week of January, ski pass included. Now 589 eur per person.

https://www.sunweb.de/skiurlaub/osterreich/zillertal/ski-gletscherwelt-zillertal-3000/mayrhofen/sdorfl-chalets?


speaking prices from the past:

2014 payed 2400eur for 12person chalet on piste in Les Arcs. https://en.ski-france.com/ski-area-paradiski/les-arcs-1600/chalet-deux-tetes-I/

2015 449 pp with ski pass included in Mayrhoffen. Ski pass was worth 230eur ar the time so accomodation 220eur pp. https://www.sunweb.de/skiurlaub/osterreich/zillertal/ski-gletscherwelt-zillertal-3000/mayrhofen/sdorfl-chalets?

2017 end of feb was ~170eur pp for a House in BSM, 7 persons. 1km drive/walk down the hill to main funiculaire. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16176482?adults=7&source_impression_id=p3_1570014954_677UN3Q%2Bg1sCW8I7

2018 ~120 eur pp 8persons in total, middle of Jan in Les Menuires, 800m walk from chairlift. https://en.ski-france.com/ski-area-3-vallees/les-menuires/chalet-f-133-16/ not a looker thought

upcomming winter will stay in Wald Im Pizgau, between Zillertal Arena and Wildkogel Area. 10 persons, 2200eur total. 5 bedrooms, 3 of them en-suite. 2 saunas.

As you can see, no bunk beds, plenty of room, some are very good looking, top ski resorts.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 2-10-19 12:26; edited 1 time in total
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There do seem to be some unrealistic thoughts about what is reasonable here, the folks running pensions etc do need to make a living, bear in mind that they can only rely on three months a year with a decent level of business and a few bookings outside of that time. Whilst I do agree that a number of places have been pushing up prices that does not apply to everywhere. To give a couple of actual examples. I used to stay in the Nassereinerhof in St Anton, I could usually pick up a single room for around €90 - €100 per night B&B, last year the prices increased dramatically I stopped looking as the cost had risen to around €200 per night. However I had no problem in finding rooms for around €80 / night in the more traditional Pensions elsewhere and also found a very nice modern Pension / small hotel with a single room around €100 / night (much higher quality of furnishing and breakfast). Given that these stays were all for only a couple of nights, I had no issue with the prices and are what I would expect to pay in other places. From my recent experiences in the UK I would say the prices are broadly similar.

As @stanton, says some of the western Austrian resorts are more expensive than many of those found further east, that has always been the case. Lech, St Anton, Ischgl and Kitzbühel are not and never have been places for a "cheap" holiday. Plenty of smaller resorts for those looking for a more budget option but do remember that skiing has never been a cheap hobby!
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@queenie pretty please, I'm really talking about apartments, not bed and breakfast arrangements. Maybe I phrased it a bit strongly - I understand that owners need to make a living - but if I can get an apartment for c. €300 in a large French resort but it's €550 euros in the Arlberg, then you can see why the Arlberg doesn't look so enticing.

@Langerzug, fair point about price differentiation. Perhaps in half term Arlberg accommodation compares favourably with France. We ski in January or March, so we don't see that. As for resort - our budget might price us out of Courchevel 1850 or Val d'Isere for example, but I have certainly seen accommodation for around €300 in plenty of the major ski areas: Arc 1600 & 1800 or most of the La Plagne resorts for Paradiski; Les Menuires for the 3 Valleys; St Gervais and Megeve (yes!) for Evasion Mont Blanc... etc.

Looking back over my last 8 trips where accommodation has been booked separately, the most I have paid for an apartment is £339 and the least £212. The mean is £258. The quality of accommodation has varied between 2-6 beds, tired to smart, studios to full size apartments. Only once has the only bed been a sofa bed, which we would not like to repeat Laughing

I know that many of my examples are less stylish bases than St Anton or Lech, but they still have straightforward access to good ski areas. Is there somewhere in the Arlberg where I can stay cheaply and still access the ski area? Perhaps that's the reason for the lack of budget accommodation in the Arlberg: there aren't any budget resort bases.

And then what about Ischgl, mentioned in the first post? I'm not aware that the resort is an "upmarket" place, but it still has high prices.
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@denfinella, I think the type of accommodation you are used to is far less common in Austria. Pensions and hotels are more common. Apartments tend to be larger and with more facilities. Your pricing is in pounds, so the falling pound will have an effect on what you are used to paying.
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@queenie pretty please, agreed that apartments are less common Austria. So yes, perhaps not comparing like with like.

Although prices are rising (in pounds) as a result of the exchange rate, I should mention that the two cheapest apartments were in 2018 and 2019, i.e. when the exchange rate was similar to now. Our apartments for 2020 are broadly in line with the previous years' average.

The unfortunate result is that, I feel, it's difficult to ski in the Arlberg with a low budget, in contrast with many French and Italian resorts. Which leads me to agree with the "Arlberg region is becoming very expensive" claim, at least for our circumstances. Is that a fair statement, do you think?
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@denfinella, from what I can see from the Arlberg tourist office website the prices vary from the budget end of the pension offering, i.e. under €300 per person per week, to the very luxury end of the accommodation offering. The type of accommodation that you want is clearly not available, but that's not to say that the Arlberg is becoming more or very expensive. From what I can see the prices have not risen significantly above the inflation rate in recent years and they are broadly in line with other ski areas in Western Austria. These areas simply do not offer what you are looking for in terms of accommodation.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I might add that I have never been to Vorarlberg for skiing, it's the other side of Austria to where I live and not on my season pass. In my area of Austria there is probably more of the budget end of accommodation available and less of the luxury stuff, but visitors (of which there are plenty) would expect to pay €600-€900 per week for a twin room for B&B in a decent pension and around €400-€700 per week for a family-sized fully-equipped and serviced apartment (around 60 sq m).
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@queenie pretty please, fair enough.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The power of the cartels in St Anton is legendary. Skis for 6 days were about €180 there last year, €70 tops in Tignes.
Likewise try setting up a ski school in St A. It took New Gen about 8 years to jump thru all the hoops.
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@denfinella, An apartment in Austria is far more superior to an apartment in a French resort.

Try this guy he is a Brit who lives in St Anton

http://www.st-antonamarlberg.co.uk/apartments/
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@stanton, depends where it is and when it was built. There are lots of fabulous apts in France, likewise there are lots of small ones with little renovation where people cram themselves in. In our block it's noticeably the Dutch and the folk of the Balkan countries that are happy to cram themselves in.
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@SnowySno, You need to look harder at your spending.

I'm booking next season, same 4* hotel, same ski-week at Easter, 10% less than last year in St Anton.

On balance I find that the Arlberg is much better value for skiing than EK or 3V's. However, I don't hire skis, nor use ski school.

Now that the Arlberg lift system is more integrated it has much better connections and ski areas to access. And better value for money.

Having a car in St Anton really helps, you can enter the system exactly where you want, and be ahead of any skier queues.
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boabski wrote:
Using beer as a barometer in main apres hang outs, it's increased by around 40 pc in my view in last 5 years.


in my main apres ski hangout 2014 beer =4.90, 2019 5.90
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@stanton, there are no prices on the website - I wouldn't even bother enquiring
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@holidayloverxx, They are reasonable for the locations and I know are very popular.
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stanton wrote:
@denfinella, An apartment in Austria is far more superior to an apartment in a French resort.

Try this guy he is a Brit who lives in St Anton

http://www.st-antonamarlberg.co.uk/apartments/

"Situated right in the St.Anton village centre we have a very nice modern 30 sq m studio apartment." Looks like a typical french appartment
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@stanton, well, he keeps the prices hidden, only available on request....I prefer it to be up front. I'm certainly not going to email an enquiry and wait for him to get back to me. I will have already booked somewhere by the time he does. Same if something isn't priced in a shop. I don't ask, I don't buy it.

@BergenBergen, to be fair it looks a lot nicer than many tatty old french apartments,. but given we don't know the price there is no comparision to be made
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@SnowySno, 300-400€ a week pp for a b&b is about right, in fact I’d say it’s a bargain, not sure what you expect but 50€ pppn is where it’s at for budget rooms in Arlberg.
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