Site Evaluation and Feasibility Studies

Masterplan Wintersport-Arena Sauerland 3.0

Client: Wintersport-Arena Sauerland e.V. | Year: 2018/19

Snow sports tourism has experienced an enormous boom in the Sauerland over the last 20 years. A trigger for this was the master plan process, which was initiated in 1999.

However, there have been clear signs of concentration recently: visitors are increasingly interested in the large ski resorts. Therefore, the Wintersport-Arena e.V. as the representative of the entire industry has set the goal for the 3rd update of the master plan to develop ideas to strengthen the small ski resorts. These small ski resorts fulfil important functions: as identity-building recreational facilities for the local population, as a capacity buffer on peak days, as local suppliers for population centres and as preservers of winter sports heritage in the region.

In cooperation with the local operators and the management of the Wintersport-Arena e.V., Christoph Schrahe worked out development approaches for strategically important ski resorts as well as strategies on a regional level and a pool of ideas that the small ski resorts of the region can use in many ways.

Feasibility study Gondola Stöckerkopf

Client: Baiersbronn Touristik | Year: 2016 and 2018

Baiersbronn is especially known for its top hotels and star chefs. The municipality in the Murggtal also accounts for a large part of the Black Forest National Park and is a popular holiday destination for hikers and families. At the 790 metre high Stöckerkopf, the village also offers the most attractive ski slope in the northern Black Forest, an excellent area for aviation, downhill runs for mountain carts and the Glasmännlehütte. The mountain has been accessed by a double chair lift 50 years ago. Montenius Consult examined the possibilities of replacing the lift. The feasibility study examined various line options, including those that would offer a direct connection of the lift to the Baiersbronner station. For all options, profitability calculations were prepared under different assumptions and the advantages and disadvantages of each option were discussed. A preferred option proved to be the replacement of the railway by a small-cabin cable car on a largely unchanged route. After a technical feasibility study had been carried out by the Schweiger Ingenieurbüro, Montenius Consult updated the profitability calculation as the prerequisite for an investor search in 2018.

Concept study Biedenkopf

Client: Town of Biedenkopf | Year: 2018

The town of Biedenkopf operates a recreation centre on the Sackpfeife, the highest mountain in the district of Marburg-Biedekopf at 673 m, whose main attractions include a summer toboggan run and a ski slope. Most of the installations are in need of renovation. Together with the Schweiger Ingenieurbüro, Montenius Consult therefore developed an overall concept for a potential modernisation or further development of the recreation centre. In addition to various leisure attractions, different variants of technical snowmaking were examined with regard to their economic effects.

Project evaluation Flying World

Client: ift GmbH | Year: 2017

The corporate concept of a planned aviation experience center at Munich Airport was subject of an in-depth review as part of this project. The plausibility of the targeted number of visitors and average revenues as well as the estimated operating costs were examined on the basis of extensive benchmark analyses.

Masterplan Naran Gondola

Client: Samsons Group | Year: 2017

The Samsons Group of Companies has been awarded a contract by the government of Pakistan to build and operate a Naran cable car to the approximately 3,200 m high mountain lake Saif-ul-Maluk. The mountain village of Naran, 240 km from Islamabad, is already a popular holiday resort and offers numerous accommodation options. With the construction of the cable car, tourism is to be promoted in this mountain region, which was previously only accessible in summer. Montenius Consult supports the Samsons Group in the conception of the project. In addition to the cable car, other offers and attractions are to be supplemented in the medium to long term. With a master plan, this development should be organized and sustainable.

Potential analysis Bikepark Hürtgenwald

Client: Town of Hürtgenwald | Year: 2016/17

The Bikepark in Hürtgenwald, which opened in August 2015, was a project of the district of Düren, which was able to obtain 80% EFRE funding for its implementation as part of the Objective 2 of the competition Erlebnis.NRW. The park has already established itself in the mountain bike scene shortly after its opening and enjoys a high demand. The two to three shuttle buses used to transport the bikers back to the starting point often reach their capacity limits. While the gastronomical facilities in the traditional resort of Simonskall have already adapted to the demand from bikers, there is a lack of services beyond the shuttle. In addition, the shuttle journeys are associated with noise-emissions. Montenius Consult examined development options such as the construction of different cable car versions as an alternative to the bus shuttle.

Potential analysis Gondola Tecklenburg

Client: TieBor Betriebs GbR | Year: 2015/16

It would be the northernmost cable car in Germany and an enormous upgrade for the popular tourist and holiday destination Tecklenburg in the Teutoburg Forest: a gondola lift from the Tecklenburg station up to the Münsterlandblick, to the castle ruins with their large theatre stage and to the historic old town. In addition to this cable car, which would connect the attractions at the foot of the Teutoburg Forest with those on the mountain, the two initiators are planning to build a summer toboggan run, restaurants and other leisure and cultural facilities. The hospital Tecklenburger Land is to be connected via a middle station. For the patients there, the laborious ascent to the old town would thus be a thing of the past.

As part of the potential analysis, Montenius Consult provided a comparative analysis of various ropeway systems, an estimate of the investments for cable car, summer toboggan run and gastronomy, a calculation of the expected operating costs as well as an assessment of the economic feasibility on the basis of an environmental analysis. Thanks to numerous suggestions for optimisation, the project as a whole has a good perspective. The opening is planned for 2018.

Masterplan Wintersport-Arena Sauerland 2.0

Client: DSHS Köln
Year: 2013

The Masterplan winter sports arena Sauerland that was carried out 1999-2002 and implemented in the following years was one of the most successful development projects in the German tourism. Compared to 1999 the number of skier days in the alpine ski areas increased by more than threefold. Not least thanks to the initial funding of snowmaking projects by the state of NRW with a sum of 4.3 million euros. A total of around 95 million euros were invested in the development of the alpine and nordic ski areas since 1999 in the Sauerland. To ensure the success of the winter sports arena's sustainable, the Wintersport-Arena Sauerland e.V. now has commissioned an update of the master plan by the DSHS Cologne, Institute for Outdoor Sports and Environmental Science. Montenius Consult Montenius as a subcontractor is working on key elements of the Master Plan 2.0.

Development concept Liftbetriebe Alberschwende

Client: Gamon & Partner GmbH
Year: 2012

The Liftbetriebe Alberschwende operate a chairlift and six surface lifts in the Brügglelekopf-Dresslerberg-Tannerberg  ski area. Alberschwende is the first ski resort for winter sports in the Bregenzerwald for skiers from Bregenz and southwestern Germany. Due to the expiry of the concession the single chairlift built in 1967 requires renewal. In this context, the lift company wants to re-adjust the basic positioning of the ski area. The overall development concept includes an analysis of the initial situation, a project definition and the assessment of economic feasibility. Montenius Consult worked in behalf of gamon & partner company of Nenzing/Vorarlberg and developed ideas for additional attractions in the summer and winter season.

Feasibility study Bergwelt Sophienhöhe

Client: RWE Power AG
Year: 2011/12

On behalf of RWE Power AG Montenius Consult examined the potential for settling commercial or recreational activities on the Sophienhoehe, the stockpile of Hambach opencast mine, which is the largest landscape structure in Germany with a height of over 200 m and an area of ​​22 square kilometers. Montenius Consult provided a concept from idea development through the rough concept to business planning including calculations of the expected costs and revenues. The basic idea is the use of gravity for a variety of recreational activities, from downhill biking or summer tobogganing, monster scooters, paragliding and zorbing to flights on the zip line - made ​​available through a central help to climb the pile plateau, preferably an eight seater gondola. Currently, the legal planning preparations for implementation are underway. For more information, inter alia an image film for the project, see

Feasibility Study Erlebniswelt Goldisthal-Masserberg

Client: Town of Goldisthal

In cooperation with gamon&partner consultancy from Austria, Wald, Wild, Landschaftsökologie from Bad Krozingen and ift Freizeit- und Tourismusberatung consultants from Cologne, Montenius Consult produced a feasibility study of an interconnected system of ski trails between the villages of Masserberg and Goldisthal in the Thuringian Forest. Planning issues as well as ecological and economic impacts had to be addressed. The main features of the project are the establishment of a new slope on the northern side of the Farmdenkopf above the village of Goldisthal. On the mountaintop is the upper reservoir of the Vattenfall hydroelectric power station. The Ramdenberg can be accessed by gondola from the Rennsteig area in the village of Masserberg (300,000 bed nights p.a.) across the Schwarzatal and the reservoir. The new slope and gondola schemes will be enhanced by the establishemt of a mountain hiking trail and a Skywalk as well as several downhill attractions. The existing hiking trails (including four certified quality trails), cycling and trails for Nordic skiing are included in the Goldisthal-Masserberg Erlebniswelt.

Feasibility study Schnee-Aktiv Alpe Neuhornbach

Client: Town of Schoppernau, Austria
Year: 2009

Located at 1650m altitude above the villages of Au and Schoppernau the Neuhornbachalpe is the starting point for many hikers, tobogganners and ski tourers exploring the mountains of Bregenzerwald and Kleinwalsertal. In the primary stage of a feasilbility study ist was outlined how Neuhornbachalpe could be transformed in a snow activity centre by developing high-altitude Nordic trails amongst other proposals and how this required the establishment of a gondola or tramway to the Alpe.

Site evaluation for a hotel project in Söll

Client: Gamon & Partner Unternehmensberatung

Montenius Consult was commissioned to develop a location analysis for the Blue Vital Hotel, a four-star hotel in the Tyrolian village of Söll. The analysis included an evaluation of the supply and demand situation in Söll and the surrounding tourism regions of Wilder Kaiser as well as a study of the hotel market in Tyrolia.

Master Plan for the expansion of the Wurmberg ski area

Client: Wurmbergseilbahn GmbH & Co. KG

The Wurmberg ski area plans to develop the Kaffeehorst area which at present provides a secondary access to the ski resort of Lower Saxony’s highest mountain into an independent, attractive ski resort. As part of a feasibility study, Montenius Consult has planned new lifts and slopes, developed a plan for snowmaking systems, suggested feasible summer activities and provided a profit and loss projection.

Preliminary concept Mountain Experience Park Oberhof

Client: Woodjump Hochseilgarten GmbH & Co. KG

The development plan for the Rennsteig village of Oberhof includes a Mountain Experience Park. Various options were defined, planned within the available area and capital requirements established. The preliminary concept is the basis for a future business plan.

Feasibility Study Rennsteig Ski- und Bergerlebnisarena Oberhof

Client: Oberhof Town Council

Oberhof is well knows as the centre of world cups and world championships for biathlon, Nordic skiing, Nordic combination and tobogganing. A small ski resort is located on Fallbachhang. Oberhof is looking at an extension of the skiing facilities including a tie-up with the existing slopes a few kilometres outside the village.

Development programme for winter sports in the Thuringian Forest

Client: Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Free State of Thuringia, Germany
Year: 2007

In co-operation with the Institute of Outdoor Sports and Environmental Science at the German Sport University Cologne an analysis of the winter sports infrastructure, a climatic evaluation, a potential analysis, a market and competition analysis as well as concept and strategy development are carried out. Based on the results a catalogue of measures will be developed providing details for defined projects in Nordic and alpine skiing about costs, financing, carrier and operator as well as a forecast of the economic impacts which can be achieved through the realization of the measures.

Feasibility study tourism projects Hochtaunus

Client: Hochtaunuskreis
Year: 2007/08

Feasibility study for various tourism project in the Hochtaunus area: Ski slope with access support system, tree top walk and a summer tobogganning run.

Future concept and feasibility study for the ski slopes in Hellenthal/Eifel

Client: Gemeinde Hellenthal
Year: 2007/08

Assesment of development opportunities for the ski lifts by integrating existing infrastructure and additional activities to achieve a profitable economic result.

Analysis of various locations for the Bergplanet concept

Client: Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH
Year: 2007/08

Doppelmayr is the leading manufacturer of cableways. The idea od Bergplanet is to offer a wide range of winter sports facilities in skiing halls near population centers to enable visitors a wide-range mountain experience. For a short-term realisation of two projects in Germany, various locations had to be identified and analysed. The necessary location analyses and feasibility studies for the preferred locations were carried out by Christoph Schrahe.

Preliminary feasibility study Winter Sports Centre Langewiesen

Client: Langewiesen Town Council, Germany
Year: 2006

In view of the upcoming development of a concept for winter sports offers in the Thuringian Forest which also included the identification of potential development sites, the city of Langewiesen received an assessment of their potential for the development of alpine skiing offers, particularly considering the district Oehrenstock as well as the conflict potential of nature conservation. The objects of the preliminary study were a validity study of the climatic suitability, a terrain analysis based on a digital height model as well as mapping and evaluation of protected areas. The result of the study was the identification of suitable areas for the development of an alpine ski resort.

Master Plan Alpinsport Harz

Client: Harzer Verkehrsverband e.V., Germany
Year: 2003/2004

In the course of this project planning concepts for the ski areas of the Harz Mountains have been developed. They were based on the evaluation of the snowmaking potential with SnowPlan as well as on a sound analysis of the terrain potential that has been carried out with the aid of a Geographical Information System. Measures in the fields of snowmaking, infrastructure, services and marketing were defined. The identification of potential ecological conflicts as well as an analysis of the market potential and possible target groups for new offers also belonged to the scope of this project that has been supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the state of Lower Saxony.

Master Plan Wintersport-Arena Sauerland Stage 2

Client: Tourist Board Sauerland, Brilon, Germany
Year: 2001-2002

Based on the results of the area’s regional development concept, measures for the improvement of the services in the central ski area of the Sauerland were developed. These included recommendations for snowmaking systems, lift and trail quality, network, general services, catering, accommodation, traffic guidance systems, ski rental, marketing, sales and quality management. For the Ministry of Economic Affairs, SME’s, Energy and Transport the findings were a basis for the allocation of subsidies for projects that improved the quality of the ski areas in the Sauerland. The aim was to establish the Sauerland as the leading ski area in Germany's low mountain ranges until 2006. Until the season of 2005/06 visitor numbers in the regions ski areas had already climbed from 300,000 to 1,000,000.

Feasibility Study winter sports offers Panorama-Park Sauerland

Client: Panorama-Park Sauerland GmbH, Germany
Year: 2003

Development of possible offers during wintertime (alpine skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, tubing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, snow play area etc.) for the Panorama-Park Sauerland, a theme park on the ridge of the Rothaargebirge currently opened in summer only. The aim was to extend the park’s season. In the first stage the snowmaking potential was evaluated with the aid of SnowPlan. Moreover, a break-even-analysis taking into account the respective investments, operational and financing costs has been performed. The study also included recommendations concerning pricing, the services to be offered and a draft version of a marketing concept. As a result the feasibility was judged critically as the operators of the Panorama Park lacked specific know-how in the winter sports business.

Spatial development concept Wintersport-Arena Sauerland

Client: Tourist Board Sauerland, Brilon, Germany
Year: 2000-2001

The Tourist Board of the Sauerland region, the Tourist Authority of North-Rhine-Westphalia and the West-German Skiing Association commissioned a detailed study of the winter sports infrastructure including a strength-weakness analysis, a demand analysis, a market potential study and an analysis of the economic impact of the ski tourism. Based on the findings, a development concept for the area's winter sports options and recommendations for future measures were developed. The project was subsidised by the Economic Ministery of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Feasibility-Study SnowWave Hahnenklee

Client: Goslar Town Council, Germany
Year: 2002

A feasibility study for an indoor ski slope in the Harz Mountains: The project included a detailed survey among existing indoor ski facilities and a market and competition analysis in the area surrounding the potential location. Visitor forecasts for different scenarios were carried out and served as a basis for a projection of operational costs and possible revenues. The project turned out to be not feasible. Alternative strategies for developing winter sports tourism at Hahnenklee were proposed.

Feasibility Study snowmaking system Alberschwende/Vorarlberg

Client: Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners Ltd., Whistler, Canada
Year: 2001

The renowned company Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners (among others responsible for the planning of the ski-runs for the Winter Olympics 2002 in Salt Lake City) had taken over the development of a ski area master plan for the ski region Alberschwende, a low-altitude resort but easy to access. Christoph Schrahe has taken over the evaluation of the snowmaking potential using SnowPlan in terms of optimizing the snowmaking system.

Calculation of profitability snowmaking system Bocksberg

Client: KVG Goslar-Hahnenklee, Hahnenklee, Germany
Year: 2000

The Bocksberg Cable Railways had obtained planning permission for the installation of a snowmaking system for the 1.2 km trail from the top of the Bocksberg mountain to the village of Hahnenklee. The Nature Preservation Association lodged a complaint in order to stop the development. They argued that it would not be possible to run the ski area on a sound economic basis. On the basis of a study carried out by SnowPlan it was possible to prove in court that this was not the case. The court ruled in favour of Bocksberg Cable Railways. After two months of construction, the snowmaking system went into operation in November 2001.

Development Concept Summer- and Winter Sports area Monschau-Rohren

Client: Summer and Winter Sports Centre Monschau-Rohren, Germany
Year: 2000

With approximately 250,000 visitors per year the “Summer and Winter Sports Centre Monschau-Rohren” is one of the main visitor attractions in the county of Aachen and particularly in the region Monschau/Eifel. In line with ideas about a succession plan, Christoph Schrahe worked out a development concept indicating the potential of the economic capacity of different additional offers and giving advice about the future positioning of the leisure centre.

Feasibility Study snowmaking system Postwiese

Client: Postwiesen Ski Area, Neuastenberg, Germany
Year: 1999 (Monitoring consultancy until 2002)

Planning of a snowmaking system for the Postwiesen ski area Winterberg-Neuastenberg with SnowPlan. Due to a special climate situation it was important to determine the capacity of the snowmaking system exactly. Furthermore, the snowmaking coverage was aligned with the existing lift capacity which reduced the necessary investments considerably. Taking economic and regional aspects into account, it was proved that the project was economically viable. Afterwards the Postwiesen ski area successfully applied for government subsidies.

The installation of the snowmaking system in combination with a new electronic ticket system and a new grooming machine (total investment 1.8 million Euros) brought tremendous results: Whereas the 10-year average of operating days had decreased from 71 (1979-1988) to 32 days (1989-1998) before the installation, it increased to more than 90 days afterwards. Average daily visits increased from 250 to 625 and the turnover was increased by 800%.