How important is the KIA Speed Skating Academy for Inzell?
"I cannot really emphasize how much the skating academy is going to help us put Inzell back on the map in the oncoming years. Naturally it is fantastic that we have managed to be host of the 2011 World Championships for distance skating, but despite the massive publicity, after a few days everything goes back to normal. Each season the skating academy generates new publicity, and certainly once we have an indoor ice rink here in the summer. Skaters from more than 25 countries all over the world will be coming here to train. This is being spoken and written about, television clips and interviews are being made, these can also be found on the internet. The academy is a marketing attraction that money just cannot buy. And just as important is that our youth will be more motivated to skate and take a good look at examples like Jeremy Wotherspoon and other famous skaters. I am almost certain that Anni Friesinger, Monika Holzner-Pflug or Erhard Keller will have a successor from Inzell."
Inzell had to give up its hospital for the academy.
"On the other hand, the building had been out of use for years, to our great disappointment. The municipality not could not bear the costs of the hospital any longer. You should know that I was born in this very hospital in 1961, that also made it a difficult decision for me as mayor to close and sell it. The building had been there for 99 years. It was the end of an era. One and a half years ago the name Herr Wieberdink was mentioned at the town-hall; he was interested in a building and wanted some information. It was then that I took him to the hospital. He was enthusiastic immediately."
Is it important to the community of making a success of the KIA Speed Skating Academy?
"Absolutely. Although, of course, we also know our boundaries. Here we have to comply to the Bayerisches Baugesetz (Bavarian building laws) and the regulations did not make things easy for Marnix Wieberdink. This was the result of a roof collapsing at the Bad Reichenhall ice hockey hall a few years ago. The building regulations became much stricter due to this. But we helped him wherever we could. Like the complete Inzell ice hockey team helping pull down the roof of the annex.
What's more, I am also available for interviews, because we don't want to miss this opportunity of promoting Inzell. I hope that a lot of people will rediscover our town, because we do have a lot to offer. We have affordable hotels and apartments, a new camping, good affordable restaurants and a beautiful and exciting natural environment during summer and winter. As mayor and former biathlete I, as a sportsman, like to set goals. The 530.000 accommodation facilities that Inzell has at the moment, will have to increase to 780.000 like it was a few years ago. This is going to be achieved in 5 years. Also, no top-class sport could exist without a goal or purpose."
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Martin Hobmaier Mayor of Inzell
00 49 8665 9869-0