Light Ragaz realigns the spotlights

Light Ragaz will not continue the event in the Tamina Gorge in 2024 and will focus on other projects. This year is therefore the last opportunity to marvel at the light spectacle for the time being.

Light Ragaz in the Tamina Gorge has been an integral part of the event program in the region since 2017 and has delighted around 130,000 visitors to date. After a total of six editions, the last event will take place in the gorge for the time being on October 21, 2023. This decision was taken unanimously by the Board of Directors. “The general conditions have changed decisively, so that a continuation of the event is no longer viable for the young company from a business point of view,” says Rosa Ilmer, Managing Director at Light Ragaz AG.

Light Ragaz is a success story
Ilmer was the initiator and idea generator of Light Ragaz and has been responsible for the successive development of the company since day one. The Canton of St. Gallen’s location development department supported the project at the beginning and provided the necessary start-up financing. In six years, an idea to stage the Tamina Gorge with a light show has grown into a self-supporting, independent company that has successfully staged a total of nine events in summer and winter.

Since its opening in 2017, Light Ragaz has thus made a contribution to increasing the number of overnight stays and tourism value added. This is one of the reasons why the decision not to hold the event again in the summer of 2024 was a difficult one. “Light Ragaz is a success story and complements the diverse range of offers in the region to increase the attractiveness of Bad Ragaz and the surrounding area as a tourist destination,” says Ilmer. Nevertheless, recent developments showed a clear picture.

Further development is necessary
The high recurring costs for production and technology, as well as the short-term nature of ticket sales and the resulting loss of planning security, are difficult to bear for a small operation like Light Ragaz AG. In addition, various general conditions regarding the use of the Tamina Gorge as an event location have changed decisively. The tragic accident on the Badtobelstrasse in August 2022 resulted in various clarifications regarding liability and safety issues, which understandably take time. As the first results are not expected to be available until spring 2024, Light Ragaz AG has no planning certainty for holding the event next summer.

However, it was independently recognized that Light Ragaz must continue to develop in order to hold its own in such a competitive market environment. As a result, the “Light and Water Worlds” project was launched in the fall of 2020. The development of a year-round, season- and weather-independent overall offer with overnight accommodation, culinary delights, a world of experiences, a conference center and a place of learning is at the center of this project. The search for a location and the development of the detailed concept have already been completed, and initial clarifications are currently being made regarding feasibility and the possibility of obtaining a permit. In the meantime, the project has reached a size that will require more human resources.

Focus has changed
With currently two full-time positions and an event that lasts five months, it has become increasingly difficult in the past for Light Ragaz AG to move forward with the “Light and Water Worlds” project as desired. “The focus of the company has changed, which is right and important for the continued existence of Light Ragaz,” explains Rosa Ilmer. She adds that this is a project with international charisma and appeal, which is why all available energy must be used for it in this decisive phase.
Whether Light Ragaz will let the mystical Tamina Gorge glow in bright colors again at a later date remains open for the time being. “Of course it hurts to discontinue the event, nevertheless we believe that it is the right decision based on the current situation,” Ilmer concludes.

Use last opportunity
The 6th edition of the Light Spectacle is currently underway and will once again enchant young and old with the largest natural canvas for moving images. Those who have not yet visited the light spectacle should still take the opportunity to do so until October 21, 2023. The last tickets are available in advance at Ticketcorner.

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