The history of the Hotel Zauchenseehof
…how it all started – from an alpine hut to 4 star Hotel
The Walchhofer's home farm at the start of the Zauch Valley in Altenmarkt
The Vorderkuchelberg farm in Altenmarkt around the turn of the last century in typical Salzburg Pongau farmhouse style (wooden house with bell tower). Life on the farm wasn’t easy but fulfilling and varied. Summers up on the alpine pastures were particularly beautiful. The animals were lead up to the alpine meadows in Zauchensee, where today the 4 star Hotel Zauchenseehof stands.
Zauchensee at the turn of the last century - in summer alpine pasture area
The lush alpine meadows, the Zauchensee lake with its fresh spring water and the secluded location in this valley bowl were ideal pre-requisites for productie mountain farming.
Zauchensee im Winter - the first ski turns
In winter the few alpine huts belonging to farmers from Altenmarkt, Radstädt and Flachau huddled together on the valley floor in Zauchensee. Earlier the alpine hut were made winterproof in autumn and the valley was closed off. Slowly the individual huts were rented out to winter guests. In the beginning these holiday-makers were primarily Alpine Club members, who catered for themselves or were looked after by the hut’s dairywoman.
Those were the days…
In comparison to today the journey was difficult. The guests had to walk from Altenmarkt to Zauchensee. In 1936 our foresighted Grandfather Peter Walchhofer set up the first transport business with horse and carriage, transporting the guests’ luggage. A comfortable development which was well received by the guests. There were no prepared pistes, therefore before descending on touring skis you had to head up the mountain first. Dressed in warm clothes, with knitted gloves and skis with cable bindings you could whiz down the deep-snow slopes after a strenous ascent. You certainly needed guts in those days.
Grandfather was a keen skier all his life.
Crucial to the development of Zauchensee were amongst others Rupert Mooslechner, Peter Walchhofer and Benedikt Scheffer (left to right).
Peter Walchhofer und Sohn Rupert Walchhofer, der das Erbe seines Vaters mit Geschick und Weitsicht ausbaute.
Rupert Walchhofer senior
Rupert Walchhofer sen.
In 1962 Rupert Walchhofer senior and Benedikt Scheffer explored the area around the Rosskopf, Tagweideck and Gamskogel on touring ski for possible ski lift sites. This was the beginning of the successful development of the World Cup ski resort of Zauchensee. Rupert senior and his wife Maria gradually extended the Gasthof Zauchenseehof, from which the 4 star Hotel Zauchenseehof and next door the 4 star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral developed. They created a solid base for a total of 6 children and 23 grandchildren. Home ties and a strong, warm family relationship characterise the whole of the Walchhofer family until today. Appreciation, friendship, helpfulness, and respect are values which are particularly upheld by the “Walchhofers”.
The first Stemag lift in Zauchensee Unterberg
The first Stemag lift in Zauchensee Unterberg was in operation from 1956 to 1967 and a real development in those days. In 1964 the Zauchenseer Lift Company was founded and the first drag-lift was opened in Zauchensee Unterberg.
Piste preparation back then…
In 1967 Maria and Rupert Walchhofer opened the Gasthaus Zauchenseehof and looked after their guests with much enthusiasm. Michael and his brother Rupert, today’s hoste, were allowed to help in the winter months and learned all about the hotel industry and skiing from a young age.
Zauchensee in the 1980's
There has been a connection from Altenmarkt – Zauchensee to Flachauwinkl and Kleinarl since 1984.
The first piste bashers
Extension of the Hotel Zauchenseehof
In 2009 the 4 star Hotel Zauchenseehof was extended again and in 2012 became a partner hotel of Familotel. Today the Zauchenseehof is a family and children’s hotel for your summer and ski holiday in Salzburger Land.
The 4 star Hotel Zauchenseehof in Altenmarkt – Zauchensee in Salzburger Land
Sons Rupert and Michael Walchhofer with their families and parents Maria und Rupert.