Sunkid Celebrate 25 Years
Sunkid, the world’s leading manufacturer of moving carpet lifts and supplier to numerous dry ski slopes worldwide is celebrating 25 years in business.
The company was conceived in 1996 initially to provide a solution to ski instructors and beginner skiers who had no ski lift really adapted to beginners. As a result everyone spent more time and energy on the uphill trek than on actually learning to ski.
“The workload for the skiing instructors was accordingly high and learning success for the beginners accordingly low,” a spokesperson for Sunkid remembered.
By the early 1990s many of Austria’s leading skiing schools were only too well aware of this and formed a working group to deal with these questions in 1996. They brought Dieter Zimmermann on board, a manager at several large German aerospace and mechanical engineering companies.
Further research and the results from this working group culminated in drawing up a detailed specification for a new type of lift. A prototype was then tested on the Kaunertal glacier on 25 September 1996. Named the KID 900, the moving carpet proved an early success, both in design and in functionality, even in extreme weather conditions.
The knowledge acquired from this initial trial was used to eliminate potential weaknesses, increase user-friendliness, and eventually develop the finished moving carpet.
This product was to change skiing instruction forever as it became established as the third mode of transport, supplementing cable cars and drag lifts.
Among Sunkid’s many installations over the following years and decades, learning to ski on a dry ski slope became much simpler as their conveyor lifts replaced drag lifts.
Many of the dry slope lifts were installed through Sunkid’s close cooperation with partner “Neveplast”.
Among the biggest projects the two companies completed together is the famous CopenHill dry ski slope complex in Denmark on the Amager Bakke garbage-to-power incineration plant which opened in late 2019.
There are three Sunkid conveyor belts (36 m, 51 m and 96 m long) to carry skiers and boarders up the 500 metres of slopes that culminate 85 metres above the ground.
Sunkid not only supplied the conveyor belts but also contributed to planning the conveyor solutions and the ski slope. The slope has been divided into three sections, all of which can be reached via the conveyor lifts. The lower area of the facility has the flattest stretch and is particularly great for beginners and the ski school.
Sunkid recognized the need for year-round solutions early on. And so not only was the magic carpet used for summer applications, but a comprehensive range of products for everything to do with the magic carpet for all seasons was developed.
Over the years Sunkid has continuously expanded its offerings in these areas and continuously developed the magic carpet. The ascent aid for ski children’s countries has become a versatile transport solution throughout the entire ski area and far beyond.
As a practice lift in the vicinity of beginners’ slopes, the magic carpet has increasingly replaced old tow lifts and thus became an indispensable aid even for adult beginners. As a connecting lift, ascent aid for tobogganers and for tubing tracks, the magic carpet also demonstrated its capabilities.
The two employees Herbert Zopf and Emanuel Wohlfarter, who joined the company in 1997 and, as Max Bruckschlögl’s right hand, helped shape the technology (Zopf) and commercial (Wohlfarter) areas, were there from the start.
Shortly before his 60th birthday, Max Bruckschlögl handed over his company to the two of them in the form of a management buy-out and since then both have run the group equally.
Sunkid today has developed into a group of companies consisting of seven subsidiaries, four production sites, more than 125 employees and 45 sales partners. The group was able to realize over 9,000 projects worldwide.
Sunkid is a global leader in the design, development, production, installation and, above all, customer service for year-round leisure attractions for children and families.
Accordingly, the two managing directors take stock of the 25 years: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the courageous and future-oriented founders and supporters of Sunkid and its magic carpet.
We thank our customers all over the world for their trust, suggestions and ideas. We would like to express our special thanks to our employees and partners for their loyalty, commitment and hard work, without which SUNKID would not be what it is today.”
Under the motto “we move. you smile. ” Sunkid will continue to ensure that innovative experiences will put a lasting smile on the face of Sunkid customers.