Mr. Plaickner, two large umbrellas, height-adjustable wind walls, glass doors that can be opened completely – with Meissl you have completely redesigned the panorama patio of the Rufana Alp lodge. How did this happen?
Due to the many weddings and other events, we told ourselves that we need to create weather protection here for aperitifs and also outdoor wedding ceremonies, which are very popular with us. But just building a room or a conservatory does not meet the goal. People want to sit outside as soon as the weather permits and do not want stay in a closed room.
Especially at a wedding, one can’t help but wonder if the will weather hold.
Everyone wants to be outside, and then it starts to rain. You have to clear everything and it is then crowded in the restaurant. We have two weddings here every weekend, which are very well attended. We also have big events, e.g., for the Hilti company we had 140/160 guests so we simply need space.
Has this solution proven to be optimal?
We are all totally hooked on this solution. Qualitatively in any case, since we were already completely convinced from the beginning. It’s an investment, of course, but we have had several weddings and so far everyone is thrilled. Now we just open the umbrella and then the guests are protected and can remain sitting in their spot and be dry in every kind of weather. You can also set up everything without worrying that the weather will change.
Not to mention the mobile wind walls?
That’s right; this combination has height-adjustable wind walls so all the pieces really fit into place here! Yesterday, for example, it was very hot. Since we used the umbrellas as shade-givers, the walls were lowered completely and this provided great ambience and the temperature was very pleasant.
And with lowered windows, the patio can be used as an extra dining room, even when it’s cool?
Exactly. We have installed a super-circulating air heater with additional infrared heaters. We tested it and it worked like a dream. We had an evening meeting to open the umbrella system and everyone was very excited. Although it was a very cold evening here in the mountains, it was wonderfully warm with these heaters. In principle, we have gained space for 140 seats.
How did the Rufana Alp lodge come about?
About 13 years ago I became mayor in Bürserberg, but I knew that I did not want to do that until I was 70 years old. So we looked for a second foothold in tourism and decided to build a ski lodge here at 1,333 meters. We opted for a solid wood construction because the stability is much more comfortable. Then we expanded and now the new patio solution. Our Rufana Alp lodge has developed into a great event location – in summer and winter!
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