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Pontresina Youth Hostel to be refurbished Mar 30, 2012

Reopening on 23 June 2012

From the beginning of April until June 2012, the Youth Hostel Pontresina, built in 1979, will be getting a bit of a facelift; the youth hostel will remain closed during this period. This partial refurbishment will get the youth hostel in shape for the next ten years. In addition, the municipality of Pontresina and the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism (Schweizerische Stiftung für Sozialtourismus) have concluded a new, ten-year lease agreement. Under this agreement, the Swiss Youth Hostels Association will undertake the urgently needed partial refurbishment at a cost of 900,000 francs, and also will take on the future maintenance costs of the Youth Hostel, and the municipality in turn will reduce the rent.

Both the municipality of Pontresina and the Swiss Youth Hostels association have been aware for some time of the need for refurbishment of the Youth Hostel Pontresina. As part of a preliminary design study, the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism, which is the leaseholder of the building for the Swiss Youth Hostels association, carried out an evaluation of the need for refurbishment. A full renovation will cost around three million francs. As the municipality does not have the funds for this refurbishment, it had terminated the existing lease agreement as from 30 June 2012.

A joint solution found

Over the past few months, the municipality and the Youth Hostels Association have been seeking an avenue to enable Pontresina to continue to have a youth hostel. The solution found provides for the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism to take on the costs of the partial refurbishment in the amount of 900,000 francs and the future maintenance costs of the building. The municipality, for its part, will reduce the rent. The municipality of Pontresina and the Swiss Youth Hostels Association are also concluding a new lease agreement for ten years, to supersede the current contract which will expire at the end of June 2012. This means there is still time to find a long-term solution that will work for all parties. Options to be looked at include the purchase of the youth hostel by the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism, an additional wing or a new building. A feasibility study on these options will be commenced next year.

With the partial refurbishment, the building can be adapted to suit contemporary guest requirements

As part of the partial renovation now being planned, all showers will be upgraded. On the second floor, a lounge will be installed in the common area. In the current guest laundry room on the third floor, two additional guest rooms are to be provided. Five of the present 13 six-bed rooms are to be remodelled into four-bed rooms. The public restaurant, which belongs to the youth hostel, is to be given a facelift, with new furnishings and lighting. In addition, the current heating system is to be replaced. The partial facelift will be carried out by Annabelle Breitenbach architects in Champfèr.

Around 18,000 guest nights per year

The Youth Hostel Pontresina records around 18,000 guest nights each year. After the remodelling, the youth hostel will have a total of 131 beds.
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Media information:

  • Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism
    René Dobler, CEO Schweizerische Stiftung für Sozialtourismus
    Tel. +41 079 610 38 37, email r.dobler@youthhostel.ch
  • Swiss Youth Hostels Association
    Fredi Gmür, CEO Schweizer Jugendherbergen
    Tel. +41 079 610 41 30, emai: f.gmuer@youthhostel.ch
  • Municipality of Pontresina
    Fritz Hagmann, Vice President of the municipality of Pontresina
    Tel. +41 079 610 27 75, email: fritzhagmann@hotmail.com

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