Jürgen Kurz, 50 years old, is the owner of the Ischgler Hof hotel, as well as chairman of the supervisory board at the Silvretta cableway company (Silvrettaseilbahn AG or SSAG). He tells Trisanna what it takes to be good host – and why he has every confidence in the future.
PHOTOS: NIKO HAVRANEK
Jürgen, you grew up here in the hotel, then in 1997 you took it over. How does this kind of upbringing influence you?
It’s difficult to say because I don’t know anything different, it was totally normal for me. But what I notice is that I need that bustle you get in bigger hotels. I need to have things going on around me to be able to work well. Then everything goes much better.
Paznaun is known for its warmth and hospitality. It must be difficult some days to deal with every guest personally, surely?
Paznaun has a lot of regular visitors, and so do we here in Ischgl, too. No, I wouldn’t say it was difficult. I think, in fact, that it’s definitely one of our strengths that we’ve managed to stay personal despite our size.
What tips would you give to hoteliers who are just starting out?
As banal as it sounds, the most important thing is to really like the guests. Then it’s not difficult to deal with them and the guests feel comfortable. It’s important to be friendly, but if you don’t really mean it, it won’t work.
You also have a second role, you’re the chairman of the supervisory board of the Silvretta cableway company.
That’s right, I’ve been the chairman since 2002, that’s almost 20 years now. It’s a really wonderful job, because on the one hand, you get to know a lot of people, and on the other, it’s great fun, of course, to be part of a company which works as excellently as SSAG. The company’s also important for our people here, a lot of local people are employed by the cableway, after all.
Finally: when you think of Paznaun and the future, what do you hope for?
I hope that Paznaun and Ischgl stay just as they are. And more than anything, that we, the local people, stay as we are. I have great confidence in that. When I look at our young people, there are many who take the hotel and gastronomy business very seriously – and who, I think, are born for this job, too.