Contents page 1 — Who is the Rigi heard? Page 2 — “The Rigi is one of the Alpine symbol mountains” page 3 — “Why do we need this Kitsch?” On a page

read below the fog is billowing, and the sun beckons, then one speaks in the Central part of Switzerland from a “Rigi-day”. Then hundreds of excursionists and tourists flock every hour on the mountain, on the lake of Lucerne. And then it is fully in the gear trains, the sting from Arth-Goldau and Vitznau, through the sea of fog, in the cableway hanging from Weggis to light. To find René Stettler.

The 63-year-old culture scientists in Rigi Kaltbad on the platform and waits for the next train. Together with countless hikers, seniors and families. He’s wearing a hat, in the hands of wall horn-rimmed glasses and a healthy tan sticks in the face. His gaze is sceptical. The two trains per day travelling from Vitznau, are occupied. With luck, we’ll find a place.

There are moments like this that give Stettler, the feeling, the Rigi am a member of the population, the recovery of addiction. But a group of tourists from Asia and the Rigi-Bahnen, the, how, Stettler says, “want to grow come hell or high water,” economically, with bold plans on the mountain. A Million tourists will soon be every year on the Kulm carted. “The Rigi is completely overrun by mass tourism,” says Stettler.

For nine years, he lives in a wooden Chalet from the 1940s on the edge of the car-free village of Rigi Kaltbad. The peace and quiet at 1400 metres above sea level, unobstructed views of the Alps, the seclusion to be the perfect space for creative Thinking and free thought. “To live here is a privilege,” says Stettler. However, in the years on the mountain, he experienced a development that worried him first, then angry, and to be made in the summer of 2017, an activist.

at the Time, the Rigi Railways had announced that they want to invest up to 70 million Swiss francs in new rolling stock, the renovation of the station of Vitznau, a new guests arrival at Rigi Kulm, as well as in the construction of the cable car from Weggis to Rigi Kaltbad, whose concession runs out this year. The investment is absolutely necessary to say the Rigi-Bahnen. The René Stettler looks so. However, the trains and gondolas are not the Problem – but the 300-page master plan, in which it is designed, what is to be built on the Rigi once.

This article dates back to the TIME no 03/2019. Here you can read the entire issue.

There is areas of the “experience” and “Staging”. Of a historic mountain village, a “Swiss-Shopping-world”, “walk-in pine cones-tower”, an “Augmented-Reality-nature-experience path”, or screens, to see where a virtual view; for the case that the fog creeps but once up on the Kulm and the tourists can enjoy the perfect view of the Alps and the Mediterranean country live.

Just visions, said, the Rigi-Bahnen to be, no planning applications. René Stettler recognized this as the closeout of the mountain. He started the Petition “no! to the Rigi-Disney-World”. Instead of another “leisure to build the Ghetto”, is to be lived at the Rigi, a soft tourism, in the “living heritage” and “small regional peculiarities” are to be taken into account. Soon, he gathered 3000 signatures, including those of well-known Swiss politicians and business representatives.

© TIME-graph

On a Sunny Benches, he speaks of his green commitment, the limits to growth, of over-tourism and the fact that he wants to get to the Rigi for future generations. Stettler is a serious wear and tear concerned about the Resources, the scarcity of water, the Littering on the mountain, and calls for an annual limit of up to 800,000 guests on the Rigi. In fact, the number of tourists has increased greatly in recent years: from around 600,000 in 2013 to 910,000 in the past year. So many as never before. Soon the one million mark could be broken.

especially group travellers from China and Korea were responsible for the growth. They are actively courted by the Rigi-Bahnen, looking to secure a part of the lucrative Asia-business. Some of the tourists stay only one hour on the mountain. Then you need to go to the next program point in their hasty journey through Europe.