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VÖLKL says THANK YOU: Open Doors Day a tremendous success!
Over 3,000 visitors toured the main factory in Straubing and celebrated the ski maker's 90th anniversary
"Come on in, there's lots to see," proclaimed Gerd Schnitzel, who seemed to pop up everywhere at Völkl's Straubing campus last Saturday. The comedian, taking on the role of host and emcee for the day, wasn't kidding: the Open Doors Day held a trove of different attractions for winter sports fans young and old. Over 3,000 visitors took advantage of the chance to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Germany's sole ski manufacturer. And that’s not all: there were also rides and hands-on stations to turn the event into a real festive public occasion.
The event was organized in celebration of the 90th anniversary of Völkl's founding. Marker Völkl President Dr. Christoph Bronder took special pleasure in welcoming the representatives of the founding family, led by Irmgard and Erwin Völkl, as the event's honorary guests. In his welcome speech, Bronder underscored the close bonds between the company and its roots, both geographical and ancestral, in Straubing.
The guest list also featured many former Völkl stars as well as athletes from the current World Cup and Freeski team. Also on hand were an array of political personalities, including Straubing Mayor Markus Pannermayr, the ex-mayor of Straubing Reinhold Perlak, Deputy District Administrator Josef Laumer, Parliamentary Representative Ernst Hinsken and his successor Alois Rainer, and the mayors of Bogen (Franz Schedlbauer) and Aiterhofen (Manfred Krä).
One clear highlight was the introduction of the Völkl athletes and the subsequent autograph session. Among those drawing the biggest crowds were two legends of Olympic and World Championship skiing history — Hilde Gerg and Frank Wörndl. But the current troop of Völkl racers also got in on the fun: Austrian GS specialist Steffi Köhle even arrived with her own fan club in tow. Other in-demand signees included Eva-Maria Brem, Gina Stechert and Phillip Schmid, as well as ski-crossers Heidi Zacher, Anna Wörner and Julia Eichinger.
The tour of the Völkl production facility, among the most modern ski factories in the world, proved enormously popular — so much so that extra tours had to be organized on the fly to supplement the scheduled hourly ones. The view into the "hallowed Völkl halls" drew an enthusiastic response from the visitors, not to mention astonishment at the incredible amount of advanced technology built into every Völkl ski.
Völkl did more than just open its doors for the event — it turned its entire campus into an amusement park: inside the tent there was cool music and Bavarian delicacies, while outside a six-person trampoline, longboard obstacle course, ski simulator and "snowboard rodeo' lured in the daring. The thrill-seekers in the crowd headed straight for the bungee catapult for some breathtaking high-altitude action. Younger guests were well served by the crafts and facepainting stations. And to fit the skiing theme, the festival was celebrated in proper après ski style, with a DJ spinning tunes from a rustic ski shack to get the guests good and ready for winter. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…