Reto Gurtner LAAX_2016.jpg

Reto Gurtner

CEO, Chairman of the board, architect, Weisse arena gruppe
PResident and CEO, laax

Session: from the first kilometer to the last kilometer - how using big data, insights and consumer data can drive a winning business
Country: Switzerland
Region: Graubünden

Reto Gurtner studied economics in St. Gallen and law in Berne, Switzerland. He originally wanted to be a commercial lawyer but when his father, Walter Gurtner, passed away in 1983 (Reto was 25 at the time), the young Gurtner took over the family business. Walter Gurtner bequeathed his life's work to his family - the cable car from the Lax base station to Crap Sogn Gion.  In 1996, Reto Gurtner merged this cable car with the Films cable cars from Weisse Arena Gruppe.


Inspired by the surf scene in California, the entrepreneur enjoyed the snowboarding subculture in Europe. While others looked down at what was a new sporting trend at the time, the visionary realized its potential and placed the freestyler scene at the heart of his business. Innovation plays a key role in the business of the father of two.

Reto Gurtner is renowned for taking risks, going off the beaten path and elaborating on ideas. The holiday region is now an Alpine business model with much more to its name than just the former cable car. While other businesses tend to outsource, Gurtner adopts a holistic service approach. This integrated organization enables Weisse Arena Gruppe to offer its guests everything from a single source - from accommodation, bars and restaurants to a ski school, snowboarding school, and the Freestyle Academy, as well as lift tickets and high-quality rental equipment. Reto Gurtner is now the CEO, Chairman of the Board, and architect of Weisse Arena Gruppe.