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The history of the Alpencamp ...

How it all started...


The Gailtal merchant "Komm. Rat. Georg Essl II", known far beyond the borders of Carinthia, son of the equally well-known "Georg Essl I", bought and leased together with the deacon "Otto Römpp" from Bayreuth.  in 1965  several contiguous properties that made up part of today's campsite. In the same year, with the construction of a makeshift sanitary building, the district authority granted permission to operate a campsite.


youth camp...

The increasing mobility of people in the 1960s was the basis for a new travel trend. The two gentlemen "Georg Essl and Otto Römpp" created a tourist offer for this trend.

In the mid-1960s, it became very fashionable for parents to send their children to holiday camps during the summer holidays. These summer and youth leisure activities were offered by a wide variety of youth organizations at the time.

Due to Georg Essl's religiosity and contacts and the cooperation with the deacon Otto Römpp, special offers were also made for various church youth organizations. The "Red Falcons" from Berlin were also guests at the Alpencamp during the summer months for years.




Driving across the Alps in the direction of Italy was already part of the holiday travel experience from the mid-1950s. With several stopovers, including in Kötschach-Mauthen, the holidaymakers slowly approached their destination. The last stage, in order to recover from the strenuous everyday life in reconstruction on the beaches of the upper Adriatic, from Lignano via Caorle, Jesolo, Venice, etc., and to enjoy the ""dolce far niente" - the sweet idleness under the southern sun, led over the Plöckenpass. Many of these transit holidaymakers, who came primarily from Germany and the Netherlands, later became regular guests and then often spent their holidays in Kötschach-Mauthen as well.

The travel frequency on busy travel days was so enormous at that time that the traffic jam in front of the border crossing at the Plöckenpass sometimes reached as far as Mauthen.

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George Essl II...


was a very innovative one throughout his life  Entrepreneur who constantly expanded the offer of the campsite with the pitches and the associated infrastructure such as toilets and showers and supplemented them with additional facilities.

In addition to the "Haus Sonnblick" bed and breakfast and the 4 camping bungalows, there was already a kiosk and a notorious cellar bar  the "Plöckenstüberl" to the center of the night owls among the camping guests and also among the locals.


A special innovation from 1971 was a total of 14 huts on the campsite, which attracted camping visitors without their own camping equipment to the Alpencamp and thus to Kötschach-Mauthen.


Today, this tourist product, which was unique at the time, would be called a "glamping resort".

Christian Sölle...


a grandson of "Georg Essl II" took over the Alpencamp from his grandfather in 1985, after Georg Essl's death. Christian Sölle also carried out a number of modernizations.

One of the most important modernizations was the complete modernization of the sanitary building in 1989.

When the Leitner family, who had already managed the campsite under Georg Essl and then also under Chriatian Sölle, went into well-deserved retirement at the end of 1993, a new management team had to be organized.


From 1994...

the Alpencamp operates under the name of the Josef Kolbitsch family. It was no coincidence that "Sepp", as everyone calls him, was able to take over the Alpencamp. On the one hand, Sepp has held managerial positions in the companies of the Sölle family since 1986. On the other hand, Sepp and Christian Sölle have a close friendship that has lasted to this day.


On January 1st, 1994, Sepp took over the Alpencamp, which is closely linked to the family history of the Essl/Sölle families. The Sölle family placed their trust in Sepp that the Alpencamp should be continued in the spirit of its founder "Georg Essl II". This trust was then also the basis for Sepp being able to take over the Alpencamp on his own account in the form of a lease.


In 1998, Sepp and his family bought the property "Alpencamp" with all the buildings and land belonging to it.


This purchase...


was then also the basis for further sustainable development and for a series of investments in the Alpencamp. Below is a chronological list of the development of the Alpencamp since 1994.


  • 1994: Conversion and modernization of the Sonnblick building.

  • 1995: Conversion and opening of the small shop "Gutes und Schönes"

  • 1998: Already in the first year with Sepp as the owner, the Alpencamp opened its doors in winter for the first time. Before this time, the Alpencamp was a seasonal operation geared purely to summer. (May 1st to September 30th

  • 2001/2002: Demolition of the old huts and new construction of the first ECO-GLAMPING-RESORTS with its 5 allergy-friendly chalets.

  • 2003: Purchase of the old "Hauserle Keesn" from 1900. Then demolition, renovation and installation as a carport at the campsite.

  • 2004: Purchase of the property at the western end of the campsite.

  • 2004/2005: Creation of the infrastructure for the new comfort parking spaces on the purchased property.

  • 2005: Certification with the EU-ECO-LABEL as the first campsite in Austria. This goes hand in hand with the positioning as a campsite in which sustainability plays a central role.

  • 2006: Start of construction for the first construction phase to expand the main building in spring.

  • 2006: Extension and shell construction for the new main building from October 2006.

  • 2006: Construction of Europe's most modern bio-heating system in the time window November 2006.

  • 2007/2008: Interior design of the feel-good barn and commissioning  the first wellness facility on a Carinthian campsite in December 2008.

  • 2009/2010: Reorganization and thus reduction in the number of parking spaces, but additional larger parking spaces were created.

  • 2011: Construction of our machine store, or from now on we have an officially approved bottle gas store available and we can provide our guests with exchange bottles.

  • 2012: Installation of our first e-charger for e-cars and purchase of our first e-car (Renault Zoe).

  • 2016: Beginning of cooperation with "Papin Sport". From this year our guests and of course external guests can use the largest bike rental in the Upper Gail Valley.

  • 2016: Additional certification with the Austrian Ecolabel.

  • 2017: Conversion and expansion of the wellness area with its own therapy and massage area.

  • 2018: Electrical performance optimization and construction of 3 Tesla destination chargers to be prepared for the incipient transformation of mobility.

  • 2020: Conversion and expansion of our GLAMPING CHALETS with elegant bathrooms.

  • 2020: Installation of a 66 m² PV self-sufficiency system.

  • 2021: In order to create another offer for the strong trend towards e-mobility, purchase of a VW ID3 as a rental car for our guests. This is an additional offer, especially for our guests who are traveling with a motorhome.

  • 2021: Start of construction of our new nature playground "over hill and dale" in autumn 2021.

  • 2022: Completion of the playground in spring after the snow has melted. 

    ... Of course, the investments and optimizations mentioned above are only an excerpt of the most important activities for ensuring quality and for the further development of the ALPENCAMPS.

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