Meet Andy Gohl, a professional skier and co-owner of Arl.Park, a unique sports and recreation destination located in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. In this interview, Andy shares his experience on how organizing Clift Challenges on Arl.Park's Clift wall has helped to boost the number of visitors and create a fun and engaging experience for climbers of all levels.
Clift: Can you describe your professional background as a pro skier and co-owner of Arl.Park?
Andy: Skiing has been my passion since I was two years old. I competed in my first world cup races in freestyle skiing - halfpipe in 2012, and achieved my career highlights at the Olympic games in Sochi in 2014 and my 8th place in the Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang. In 2019, I teamed up with my former freestyle skiing coach, Giggo (Christoph Wolf), to found Arl.Park, a sports and recreation destination that offers a wide range of activities for sports enthusiasts.
C: Can you share with us the story of Arl.Park and why it is a unique destination to visit in St. Anton am Arlberg?
A: Arl.Park originally started as a trampoline park, but in autumn 2021 we were able to lease the whole sports center. We expanded our offerings to include a climbing gym, sports bar, squash and tennis court, and bowling lanes. St. Anton am Arlberg is a destination for real mountain sports with steep slopes, endless off-piste possibilities in winter, and great mountain biking, trail running, hiking and climbing in the summer. Arl.Park offers everything you need to round off your St. Anton am Arlberg experience, whether you're looking to prepare for an outdoor adventure or just spend a fun time with friends.
"Clift Challenges gives us the opportunity to reach out to a wide range of people"
C: You have organized three Clift Challenges so far, can you share your experience about it? How climbers reacted, what was their feedback?
A: In spring 2022, we installed a Clift on our 12m climbing wall, equipped with auto-belay. This helped us and our climbers to give more possibilities on less space. Clift Challenges gives us the opportunity to reach out to a wide range of people, as challenges can be set that are doable but still challenging for everyone. The climbers have been very positive about the Clift Challenges, and we've received great feedback on the variety and fun of the challenges.
C: Do you think that challenges can help boost the motivation of climbers?
A: Boosting the motivation with a challenge is not always easy, as it can be demotivating if the challenge is too hard or too easy. With Clift, there is the possibility to build challenges that are motivating for both beginners and expert climbers. For example, a distance challenge in a specific time is an easy way to challenge all kinds of climbers. Climbers can see the names of everyone joining on the leaderboard and we often see them battling for every meter. Overall, Clift Challenges have been a great way to boost the motivation of our climbers and attract new visitors to our gym.