Honoring a great entrepreneurial personality

Salzburg Business Award WIKARUS for the life's work of Peter Hettegger sen.

Great honor for Peter Hettegger senior: the 66-year-old was awarded the WIKARUS for his entrepreneurial life's work by Salzburg's Governor Dr. Wilfried Haslauer.

"Where does the man get the strength to put all this together?" the governor began his laudatory speech about Peter Hettegger senior: "He has always led the way with great entrepreneurial courage. He has always shown enormous commitment, not only to his hotels but also to politics and the mountain railroads. Peter Hettegger is a visionary. He gets down to work, he doesn't just talk, he implements. He looks to the future and has a very fine sense of what is feasible and what is not." For all his projects, the award winner has not forgotten one thing: "He is a businessman through and through. And that's not an aptitude, it's a character trait. And the strength, that comes from the family, the mountains and the faith" Haslauer concluded.

Peter was the second oldest of 11 children and knew at a young age that he wanted to become a restaurateur. However, his parents wanted each of their sons to learn a trade, so Peter became an electrician.

The start as a hotelier
At the age of 17, he and his father bought their first property, where they built a small guesthouse with 14 rooms and a café in 1978. In 1985 Peter took over his father's share and the pension was expanded to 35 rooms in 1985/86, in 1989/90 and in 1993 to 75 rooms.

Already in 1986 the first big fairs in Germany and Holland and later in half of Europe were visited. The visitors were always spoiled with regional specialties to increase the awareness of the region of the Grossarl Valley and the Edelweiss strongly.

In 1998, a major expansion was undertaken once again. The hotel was expanded to 220 beds and an indoor swimming pool with sauna area and beauty and vitality residence was built.
Only one entrepreneurial personality per year receives the lifetime achievement award, and this time the honorable distinction went to Großarl.
THE EDELWEISS Salzburg Mountain Resort and the Hotel EDELWEISS in Berchtesgaden

Twelve years later, the Hotel Edelweiss was opened in Berchtesgaden, managed by daughter Martina and son Stefan. This was not an easy undertaking, but despite all prophecies of doom, it too became a success project of Peter Hetteger senior.

In 2018, Peter Jr. and his wife Karin took over THE EDELWEISS Salzburg Mountain Resort. In July 2019, the 5-star hotel, which was once again remodeled under the aegis of the senior chef at a cost of 49 million euros, was opened. "I have always bet on the right horse and everything has developed well. It also makes me proud that 14 family members are involved in our operations."

In 1994, Peter Hettegger Sr. was also elected mayor, and during his term of office a planned landfill was prevented. Many positive decisions were made and tourism in the Grossarl Valley was thus made fit for the future. In addition, he was active in the industry, among other things as chairman of the professional group of the hotel industry, and is still involved in the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce.

The prize for entrepreneurial life's work has visibly moved Peter Hetteger senior: "I have succeeded much more than I ever imagined. The family has always stood behind it, that's the most important thing!"

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