Levi vs. Kitzbühel in a battle for the right to host the 2023 Interski Congress

March 20 2019

The Finnish resort Levi faced off against the Austrian giant Kitzbühel for the privilege to host the 2023 Interski Congress. Both destinations presented their candidatures before an audience of over 1 000 at the Convention Center of Hotel Perelik in Pamporovo.

‘The guidelines for applying to host an Interski congress are clear,’ said Erich Melmer, the organization’s president. This year, we shall be voting for two resorts that could not be more competent as far as skiing is concerned. Both are well known, both operate professionally and know how to organize major events. In the vote for a venue of the next congress there will be no loser. Both Levi and Kitzbühel have made great efforts and have demonstrated what they are capable of.’

The candidature of Kitzbühel wasjointly presented by the President of Interski Austria, a member of the Tyrolean government and the chairperson of the organizing committee on behalf of the Austrian resort. ‘Interski was established in Austria, and in Kitzbühel skiing is a passion, a beating heart and a way of life,’ they said. ‘Without quality instruction in skiing and snowboarding, however, no further development of the resort is possible, therefore we wish to play host to the next congress of Interski.’

Kitzbühel alsohighlighted as its advantages the resort’s perfect location, its superb infrastructure, and its closeness to airports, train stations and the like. The Austrian top ski destination has 230 kilometers of ski runs, 57 ski lifts, 1,100 snow guns and 2,000 ski and snowboard instructors. The resort hosts World Cup races on the famous Streif slope, and the first ski club there was established in 1902.

This is the Finnish ski resort Levi’s third application to host an Interski congress, after one loss to Pamporovo. Here to tout its advantages was Tanja Poutiainen, one of the most successful Finnish female Alpine skiers. The winner of three Crystal Globes, who has been living in Levi for 15 years now, cited some numbers that speak for themselves: the resort has 43 ski runs, 28 chair lifts, 10 children’s runs, 3 gondola lifts operating all year-round, and 2,053 saunas. Currently Levi is the No. 1 resort in Finland, and the Finnish Ski Instructors Association has a membership of 1,966.

The advantages of Levi as would-be host of the 2023 Interski congress are its excellent location and the accessibility of all facilities within 5 minutes from any point in the resort. Levi has 230 km of cross-country ski tracks, 43 ski runs, 28 lifts and over 300 snow guns. Its candidacy is supported by none less than Santa Claus himself, who surprisingly showed up in person at the presentation. Levi is one of the few resorts to hold a special green certificate for environmental protection; the demo slope where the teams can show off their skills is located smack in the center of the resort.

The Finnish representatives called upon the ski instructors to join them from March 26 through 31, 2023, in order to enjoy the long days with 13 hours of sunshine. Levi is located beyond the Arctic Circle and every year hosts the first race in the slalom for the World Cup in Alpine Skiing. The resort boasts the cleanest air in the whole world, with a skiing season that lasts from October well into May.

The next venue for the Interski Congress will be chosen on Thursday, by the General Assembly of Interski International.