An interview with Sonja Tipotsch
An Interview with Sonja Tipotsch from Intersport Shop&Rent
With its own Intersport Shop, the Neuhintertux offers its guests a service that is otherwise rarely found in a hotel. Sonja Tipotsch explains what is offered in the sports shop and what the guests of the hotel especially benefit from.
In other hotels there may be a shop with souvenirs or a small boutique, in the Hotel Neuhintertux there is a large, professional Intersport shop. How did that happen?
ST: It actually started when my father-in-law opened a small shop in 1972 - today's department store. When the glacier lift was built, he wanted to expand his offer and opened a sports shop. We have now been an Intersport shop for more than 30 years.
You are a sports shop, a service center and a ski rental. What is the focus? What is used most by the guests?
ST: The ski rental is certainly the area that is visited most frequently. I think there has been a general rethink in recent years: If you rent skis or snowboards, you can be sure that you are always driving the latest models - and they are always well maintained. Another advantage is being able to travel comfortably without equipment. Many hotel guests are now borrowing their equipment. You receive a discount, can have the invoice written to your room and pay at the end of the holiday.
How big is the rent area?
ST: In our 100 m² rental area there are 400 pairs of skis and 40 snowboards for rental - always the latest models, of course. It is often the case that we already get the next season's models at the end of the season so you can test them in advance. With our wide range, everyone will find the ideal material - regardless of whether you are a beginner or a top driver.
If I want to rent my equipment on site: how does it work?
ST: All we need is an ID. First of all, your personal data will be recorded at the check-in. Then there will be personal advice, which is very important to us. It's about driving style, level and what you expect from skiing or snowboarding. So we can choose the perfect equipment. Our guys from the ski rental shop are very well rehearsed and even when there is a lot of people, the rental is very quick.
What can you do if you are not satisfied with the chosen model?
ST: Of course it is possible to switch to another model at any time. Even if guests want to test several skis or snowboards during their stay, it´s no problem. If you want, you can ski or snowboard practically every day with another model. It is also possible to reserve your rental skis conveniently online.
How is this service accepted by guests? What good is it to make a reservation from home?
ST: The service is very well received, even if no advice can be given. But if someone knows what he or she is looking for it will save them some time when booking online. The ski or board is already prepared and the binding only has to be adapted to the shoe.
Can you rent everything or do you have to bring some of the equipment with you from home?
ST: With the exception of clothing, guests can borrow everything in the rental area, from skis or snowboards to boots, poles and helmets.
You offer a professional ski service in the Intersport Shop, you have the best and newest grinding robot in the Tuxertal. How much time do I have to plan for a ski service?
ST: Yes, we have the most modern equipment. This enables us to offer a mechanical ski service that takes barely more than ten minutes. That means: afterwards the edges are sanded smooth and the base is waxed. So if you bring your skis or board to our service, you can receive perfectly prepared equipment the next morning. It is different if you want a large professional ski service. Of course this will take longer because everything is still done by hand here.
A special feature in your shop is the ski boot fitting, but is the customized ski boot really THE solution for everyone who has problems with painful ski boots?
ST: It works really well! We carry the brands Atomic, Salomon and Nordica - all top ski boots. Our ski boot fitting professionals adapt them perfectly to the respective foot.
How does it work and how much time does such a fitting take?
ST: The fitting takes about 45 minutes. The shoe is warmed up, then you put it on, close it and let it cool down. The material of the liner adapts perfectly to the shape of the foot.
As a woman, the sports boutique is probably important to you. Which brands do you have in the Intersport Shop? What do you value when choosing brands and collection items?
ST: We carry brands such as Sportalm, Salomon, Schöffel, Descente, rh + and Icepeak. When choosing brands, I particularly pay attention to the quality of the materials. Good value for money is also important to me.
For which sports can you dress in the Intersport Shop?
ST: In winter, of course, for skiing and snowboarding and in summer for hiking and biking. In addition, we have a small range for running and for fitness as well as swimwear. Funnily enough, we sell swimwear very well, especially in winter. Due to the anticipation of the snow, some guests forget to bring their swimwear to enjoy our pool.
How important is providing good consulting services in the Intersport Shop?
ST: It's extremely important to me! Fortunately, I have a very well-trained team around me. Apart from that, everyone is an enthusiastic athlete himself - so they know what they're talking about.
Is ski rental in winter the same as bike rental in summer?
ST: Yes, it is actually used very often. E-bikes in particular are becoming increasingly popular. It's like a perfect day: skiing in the morning on the glacier for a few hours and taking a bike ride in the afternoon. This works perfectly with us in Hintertux - also thanks to our loan service!
Intersport Shop Hintertux
Rent: 400 pairs of skis, 40 snowboards, mountain bikes, e-bikes, online reservation possible.
Service: expres or profi ski- and boardservice, bike service.
Shop: top brands for skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, etc.
Special: ski boot fitting