Helmut Lunner is 53, works as an event manager at the Paznaun tourism association in Ischgl, and lives in Galtür. He’s the man responsible for bringing the really big stars to Paznaun. Originally from Carinthia, he explains to Trisanna how you grow into a job, and what makes an event a good event.
phOTOS: NIKO HAVRANEK
Helmut, you come originally from Liesertal in Carinthia, and now you’ve ended up in Galtür. How did that come about?
As a child, I went to the skiing secondary school in Feistritz and wanted to become a professional. So the logical step next step was a move to the west – to the skiing grammar school in Stams. I was also in the ÖTV Austrian Tourist Club squad at the time, but then at the age of 17 I couldn’t carry on because of my knees. But even without the skiing, I had hardly any roots at home, my whole circle of friends was from the Tyrol region.
And then pretty soon after that you went to Australia anyway.
That’s right. I worked for a mail-order business at first, and then got together with a friend who was a photographer and began to produce action ski photos. Then after three years without skiing, I rediscovered the joy and went to Mount Puller in Australia as a ski instructor. And there I gradually drifted into doing what I now earn my living with –events.
What did you organize there?
Ski races, cross country races, continental cups, Jump4Cash. We got better from event to event. Generally speaking, you grow with each job and each challenge. That was also the case when later, in the mid-nineties, I started with Air+Style, and then again later with Air Race and the European Olympic Youth Festival.
It sounds as if you were away a lot.
Yes, that’s how it was. During my time with Air Race, for example, I was abroad for 260 days a year. But with a family, that’s difficult.
That’s got easier since you started working with the tourism association, hasn’t it?
Absolutely. I gradually got closer and close to staying, and wanted to find a job here. And that worked out with my current position. I live with my partner in Galtür, where we’ve also taken on a guesthouse.
You’ve been with the tourism association since November 2016. You’re the guys who bring the really big stars to Ischgl. This year, for example, we’ve already had Jason Derulo here. What makes an event a good event for you?
So first and foremost, it’s definitely when all the guests have left the event site and got home properly and safely. That makes an event successful. On the other hand: when people have had a real experience.