Sometimes referred to as the “gate to hell,” the start house of the Hahnenkamm descent will get a significant makeover this summer with a more modern look set to debut in 2021, Kitzbühel Ski Club (KSC) announced.

“The start house has been in use since 1946 and smaller and larger conversions have followed since then, the last one around 25 years ago,” said KSC President Michael Huber.

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Start house in Kitzbühel in 1989. Photo: Kitzbühel Ski Club

The start house has always been used mainly in January for the Hahnenkamm event and as a year-round warehouse. It is also a popular attraction for visitors and plays host to several important meetings and gatherings throughout the year.

According to KSC, there is an urgent need for an upgraded start house to be used as an expanded lounge for athletes and “supervisors” from the races’ presenting sponsor, Red Bull. There is a need for a toilet and wet rooms on the ground floor, which will be accommodated in the new facility, the club says.

The start house received its most recent expansion in 1996. Photo: Kitzbühel Ski Club

The club says it went to great lengths to ensure the new start house matches the overall look and theme of the Hahnenkamm, relying primarily on “natural materials” (aka wood) for the new construction.

“The start house is a calling card for the Hahnenkamm races and Kitzbühel. That is why it is important that the landowners and the ARGE Kitzbühel also positively support the project idea here,” said Huber.

On May 4, the Kitzbühel town council unanimously decided on the basics for this new adaptation of the start house.

Construction of the new start house is set to get underway this summer. Photo: Kitzbühel Ski Club

History of the start house

Until 1945: A wooden shed that served as an air force barrack

From 1946: The shed is used by the KSC for the Hahnenkamm descent

1973: First renovation, extension of the shed to a starting room with a basement

1986: Extension of the club house with service, sleeping and sanitary rooms, a club room with a tiled stove, expansion of the material cellar

1996: Start room with warm-up room, toilet, abandonment of bedroom

2020: Expanded lounge for athletes and sponsors

Release courtesy of Kitzbühel Ski Club.

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