Light Ragaz develops promising overall solution

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, Light Ragaz AG presented its future project to the public for the first time with a film. The “World of Light and Water” is intended to boost tourism in the region and give the high-tech industry in the Rhine Valley greater visibility.


On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, Light Ragaz AG was able to present its “Light and Water World” project idea at a public information event organized by the political municipality of Bad Ragaz. Rosa Ilmer and Larissa Marthy from Light Ragaz AG were able to show the interested audience what they have been working on over the past three years.


Broad-based project team
The future project “Worlds of Light and Water” emerged from the spatial tourism development concept (rTEK) for Bad Ragaz-Pfäfers and Light Ragaz in October 2020. It is currently co-supported by the canton and the federal government as a New Regional Policy project. The project sponsor is Light Ragaz AG, which has been involved in tourism development in the region since 2017 and is very familiar with the current challenges. “With the Board of Directors, we have enough experience and expertise to be able to drive forward and implement a project like this,” says Rosa Ilmer, initiator and project manager.
A broad-based project team has helped shape the project idea in recent months. In addition to the Canton of St. Gallen’s location promotion agency and Heidiland Tourismus AG, a core team with representatives from business and politics has also been involved in the development since the start of the project. Numerous strategic partners such as universities, associations and other institutions have also provided ideational and strategic support for the project.


A project with charisma
The result is the idea of a year-round, season- and weather-independent overall offer with accommodation, gastronomy, adventure world, conference center and place of learning. The basis for the overall experience is the connection to the high-tech industry in the St. Gallen and Graubünden Rhine Valley and the Principality of Liechtenstein. The project thus takes a new approach and not only connects two sectors of the economy, but also offers new, untapped value creation potential. Both sectors can benefit from each other and the project will thus gain international appeal and appeal.
“It is an overall solution that could provide answers to numerous challenges in our region,” summarizes Rosa Ilmer. An authentic visitor attraction including accommodation in the mid-price segment is necessary to counteract the decline in overnight stays. “We also want to make the high-tech industry more visible and position the region as an attractive place to work and live,” Ilmer continues.


Enhance an area already used for tourism
A suitable location is crucial for implementation. The project is to be realized in an area already used for tourism. A multifunctional main building is planned in the immediate vicinity of the castle hotel, as well as the conversion of the old arsenal. The centerpiece is an adventure world in the mountain with a large event hall, where there is also access to the connecting lift to Wartenstein. With a transport height of 250 meters, this would currently be the highest passenger elevator in Switzerland and has a symbolic character as it connects the two communities of Bad Ragaz and Pfäfers. A new hotel with 160 rooms and studios in the mid-price segment, a restaurant and a rooftop bar are to be built on Wartenstein. Additional attractions can also be planned – such as the conversion of the old Wartenstein railroad line into a staircase connecting the village.
In three years of project work, numerous ideas were spun and discarded. In the end, a well-founded detailed concept with a corresponding business plan was created, which forms the basis for the next project steps. The next financing phase is now pending so that the eligibility for approval can be checked and the required building land can be secured. Furthermore, a rough architectural plan is necessary to bring the realization a big step closer.


Information events are planned
As the project grew and additional components were planned, it was hardly possible to put the overall idea into words. The vision was therefore summarized and visualized in a 10-minute project film. “The project was made tangible and in just a few minutes we were able to show what we had in mind,” says Ilmer. The film was presented to the public for the first time last Wednesday. Anyone who missed the event will soon have the next opportunity.
Public events are planned for late fall 2023. “The public is cordially invited to join in the discussion and make suggestions,” says Rosa Ilmer. The exchange is explicitly desired and is important for the next steps, as the realization of this major project is only possible together. According to the project managers, the “World of Light and Water” project offers the opportunity to revitalize the Bad Ragaz tourism region. “Let’s seize it,” concludes Ilmer.


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