Ischgl - après ski to spa & speakeasy

The global king of après ski had a makeover following revelations it was a covid super spreader. Gone is any mention of après ski on the Ischgl homepage, whilst the resort opened a significant spa complex to great fanfare this winter. So, what remains of this après ski behemoth?

The Ischgl corporate tagline used to be ‘Relax. If you can…’. Today you won’t find any mention of this pipedream of earlier times, nor any mention in their marketing literature of the countless venues which hosted thousands of revellers from November through to May each year. Filling the gaps in content are now ski, music, and spa articles. And on the northern flank of the village stands a shiny new spa complex allowing visitors to, well, relax. Welcome to Ischgl - 2.0.

So, with visitors to Ischgl now enjoying the thermal waters and water colours classes on the alpine pastures, what has happened to the world-beating après ski venues following this cultural pivot? Après ski aficionados need not worry - the reality on the ground is little different to pre-covid times, when Ischgl was unashamedly the least relaxing ski resort on the planet. This weekend saw the start of the season closing, with the annual season-ending concert at the Idalp mountain station. The resort centre was crammed with revellers with countless outposts of live music and DJ’s. Thousands lined the streets, dancing and staggering to après ski anthems – the town was indistinguishable from pre-covid Ischgl.

As rare as vegans at a Trump rally, those floating in the thermal waters on the edge of Ischgl were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the revellers in the resort centre. The PR message hasn’t reached the ski market and those looking for ludicrously potent après ski on any given day of the winter, haven’t changed their travel plans. The Silvretta Therme may need to attract a new market segment – that of health restoration for the mid-morning client – those who were caught up in the après ski mayhem that Ischgl continues to deliver.

A final note of the Silvretta Therme spa complex in Ischgl – it comes complete with a swim-in bar. Pivots only go so far!

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