Back On The Ski Lift In Austria

"Carving" skis boost sales--and efficiency is up

When snow piled up in the Alps in December, officials in the Austrian ski town of Lech cooked up a special deal to lure folks to the slopes. Early birds could rent a pair of innovative hourglass-shaped skis and get a day-long lesson on how to make sweeping turns on them, all for $60, including lift ticket. The new skis, which are wider at the tip and tail so they carve like a snowboard, have caught on. "The demand was really surprising," says Bruno Strolz, an official at the Lech Ski School. With the holiday rush over, he adds, "we're thinking about offering a similar package deal."

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