A historical cableway on the southern side of Mt. Chopok open to the public

A historical cableway on the southern side of Mt. Chopok open to the public
A historical cableway on the southern side of Mt. Chopok open to the public
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Despite the dust of history and advanced age of the old “lady”, the departure station tells a story of real technological magic. “It was more or less for nostalgic reasons that we decided to clear a part of the 3rd and 4th section of the Von Roll cableway, repaint the facade and open the entrance area, the central control unit, the workshop, the construction itself, a repair cable car and the engine room of the legendary cableway. Unique photos made by Ondrej Dobrík helped us create tempting stories about the beginnings of skiing and the symbol of tourism on the interconnected Mt. Chopok, which is still alive,“ said Ivan Temniak, the director of the Chopok South mountain resort.

Interconnection of two significant regions was considered really unique in Europe at that time. Ondrej Dobrík, the author of the photos, who was helping to build the cableway and working as a machine operator, remembers the times as follows: “It was very responsible and difficult work as the means of communication were much simpler than today and there was a higher risk of accidents or injuries. The only way how to communicate between the stations was via a military field phone. When transporting heavy burdens on an additional cableway, machine operators had to do without walkie-talkies. They could just check the motor load with help of an ammeter. What´s more, heavy constructions had to be lifted with bare hands in some sections. The cableway construction was started by the company Pozemné stavby and continued by the Management of Tourism, which was later renamed Tourist – national enterprise and had its seat in Liptovský Mikuláš. We had very good and friendly relationships in our team, without disputes or quarrels. There was a lot of enthusiasm everywhere. Fans of hiking and various engineering experts from Podbrezová and nearby enterprises were helping with the cableway construction as well. I like to remember the grand opening of the section Kosodrevina – Srdiečko on 19/9/1954, when I was allowed to release the first occupied chair. And of course, as a keen lover of winter sports, I will never forget great skiing on the slopes of Mt. Chopok. I began to go in for photography more seriously only during the construction of the cableway. And now we can admire these unique pictures.“

“The Von Roll cableway system represents a real historic milestone in mountain transport in Slovakia and deserves proper attention. We hope that fans of history but also friends of the mountains will be happy about the spontaneous initiative of our staff, who wish to commemorate the 60th anniversary of cableway sections 3 and 4 on the southern side of Mt. Chopok. This activity shall be considered the first step on the way to preserve the legacy of Alojz Lutonský. In the Low Tatras and also in the High Tatras, we plan to keep restoring cultural heritage in the form of real architectonic masterpieces – cableway station buildings designed by Dušan Samuel Jurkovič,“ added Dušan Slavkovský, the director of mountain resorts managed by Tatry mountain resorts, a.s.    

In cooperation with the Regional tourism organisation Región LIPTOV, the village of Demänovská Dolina initiated a commemoration of Alojz Lutonský in the resort of Jasná on 12th July 2014, on the occasion of 50th anniversary of Demänovská Dolina. The avid hiker and speleologist Alojz Lutonský, who was instrumental in the development of the ski resort of Jasná and initiated the construction of the first detachable chairlift that was interconnecting both sides of Mt. Chopok, has a plaque put up to in the area to remind of his significant work.
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. is a top subject in the field of tourism in Central and Eastern Europe, which owns and operates attractive ski resorts and hotels. These include the resort Jasná Low Tatras and the following hotels in the Low Tatras: Wellness hotel Grand Jasná, Boutique Hotel Tri studničky, Chalets Záhradky De Luxe, Mountain Hotel Srdiečko and Rotunda Hotel. TMR also owns Aquapark Tatralandia, the largest Slovak water park with all-year operation, which offers a lot of water and other entertainment, a Tropical Paradise – a special tropical hall with sea water, a Fun Park and accommodation in bungalows and suites of the Holiday Village Tatralandia. In the High Tatras, TMR owns and operates resorts Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec and cooperates the resort of Štrbské Pleso. It also owns the following hotels: Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica, Grandhotel Starý Smokovec and Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso. TMR owns 19% of the Melida, a.s. company, which leases and operates the mountain resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. In Poland, TMR owns the resort of Szczyrk. The company also owns and rents hotels Slovakia, Kosodrevina, Liptov and Ski&Fun Záhradky and Bungalows. More than 190 million Euros were invested by the end of 2013 in the above mentioned resorts, to support development and modernisation. The TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague and Warsaw.