Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Friday, February I, It74 THE LeTHVrlioae HEHALU v Crime takes over Historic castle now Italian hotel Castello Labers, a castle that can be traced back to 1077, has been trans- formed into a hotel with a breathtaking view of the Tyrolean Alps. Located near Merano, in northern Italy, the hotel is filled with antique furniture and ancient arma- ments. (CP Photo) Historic castle salvaged from past in South Tyrol By JIM POLING MERANO, Italy (CP) When you take a room at an- cient Castello Labers you have a guarantee of more than food, lodging and a splendid view of a sun-soaked northern Italy valley. Included is an incredible journey into part of Europe's exciting through two world wars, the magnificent living of the late 1800s and even farther back to the days of warring dukes who built mountain-top castles to oversee their lush valley domains. The journey begins with the fyrst footsteps down the me- dieval main hallway of La- bers, a castle that can be traced to 1077 and that now is a pleasant hotel. Battle axes, helmets worn by a duke's foot soldiers and hard-carved fur- niture are part of a decor. Well concealed behind these reminders of ages past are most of the conveniences found in North American ho- tels. There's electricity, run- ning water, a modern bar and a swimming pool. ONCE NOBLE HOME Castello Labers, a four- storey stone and stucco relic, sits amidst 30 acres of vine- yards and light forest one-half mile above this quiet south Tyrolian town about 125 miles northeast of Milan. Once the home of noblemen, and at one time even bought for a king, it now is a holiday spot. It is one of several castles salvaged from the past in South Tyrol, a region which once was the southern section of the German empire. "Converting them to hotels is the best way of keeping old says Labers owner George Stapf-Neubert, a 35- year-old career hotelman who first dreamed of operating Labers when he was 15. "The maintenance costs are just too high for individuals to keep up these castles them- selves." BUILT BY GERMAN The site originally was owned by Ulrich Von Lau- bers, a nobleman who built the first castle about 900 years ago. Just how much of the first building remains is not known. In 1699, it was sold to a fam- ily of grape farmers who struggled with the vineyards which today still produce a tart red wine. In 1843 an architect named Von Klenze bought it and tried to transform it for King Ludwig I of Bavaria. However, the king changed his plans and the architect sold it to another grape fanner. Stapf-Neubert says that un- til the First World War, La- bers was an exclusive resort, for rich people from northern Europe. The war resulted in South Tyrol becoming part of Italy, rather than Austria. By the Second World War, Stapf-Neubert's grandparents were operating the hotel- castle and were driven away by the German secret service. It became the headquarters of a clandestine group which printed counterfeit British pound notes used to buy up gold. When the castle reopened to guests in 1954 it was rented to a group which managed it for the family. It was about that time that Stapf-Neubert decided he wanted to become a botelman some day and operate Labers. He took hotel management training and later worked in hotels throughout Italy and in London, Paris and Copenha- gen. In 1964, he returned to Merano and took over the an- cient castle-hotel. The castle now sleeps 65 persons, has a bath in each of the huge rooms and has cen- tral heating. Stapf-Neubert says the age of the castle makes it quiet and unique, but difficult to op- erate and maintain. The single rate for a room at Labers is about Cana- dian a day. This includes all meals and services. Natives feel pinch on Virgin Islands HeroU Travel By EARL COPELAND CHRISTIANSTED, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (Reuter) This largest and loveliest of the Virgin Islands is in trouble. The tourist ness, mainstay of the econ- omy, has slumped as crime flourished and the islanders are beginning to feel the pinch. The streets of this Danish colonial' city are almost deserted at night as residents stay at home, often with a loaded gun close at hand. The nightmare began in September, 1972, when eight persons died and four were wounded after five Negroes attacked and robbed them at a resort. There were 12 mur- ders on St. Croix and seven on nearby St. Thomas in 1973. The Fountain Valley Golf Club, one of Laurance Rock- efeller's resorts and the scene of the 1972 massacre, may have to close for lack of golf- ers. Three St. Croix hotels have closed, others have cut oper- ations, cruise ships have can- celled stops here, airlins flights have been reduced and local businessmen have f our d sales slumping badly. Pos- sible travel reductions result- ing from the energy crisis would be in addition to those already in effect. St. Croix faces a bleak win- ter season, with minimal re- turns from tourism, by far the largest source of revenue in the territory. Governor Melvin Evans, who has alternately denied there was a crime wave, de- nied the crime wave was ra- cially of those killed were white, most those accused or tried for murder are claimed it was all over any- way, recently told a tourism workshop, "We have been badly hurt by crime and vio- lence." The largest murder came just after Evans returned from a trip to mainland cities where he tried to convince travel agents to send tourists to the Virgin Islands. His 10- day tour of five U.S. cities served mainly to demonstrate booking agents were becom- ing wary of St Thomas as well as St. Croix. The economic crisis brought about by the tourism drop has begun to spread to St. Thomas. A survey of hotels Expo sales boom SPOKANE Pacific Northwesterners are showing support for the World's Fair by buying tickets at a pace unexpected by even the most optimistic forecasters. Before the first of the year, when the pre-season price went up to level number two, Expo sold million worth of tickets. Tickets are available throughout the west, through travel agents and air lines ticket counters. Better facilities needed for tourists to N.W.T. there showed occupancy rates much lower than last year, al- though December and January are considered the peak of the winter season. Evans told travel agents' high prices, competition from other areas and adverse pub- licity were the real culprits in the drop in tourist bookings. Evans has promised im- proved law enforcement and' an effort to explain the impor- tance of tourism to the people. The tourist boom brought a flourishing -construction in- dustry into being and popu- lation tripled in a little more than a decade. Approximately people live in the U.S. virgins, mostly on St. Croix and St. Thomas. Black aliens from nearby islands flocked to do the building work for the tourist boom. Evans has several times blamed the aliens, many of them illegal resi- dents, for the crime that has erupted. In the last 15 years the pop- ulation has changed from mostly native black to mostly alien blacks, and whites from the U.S. mainland. The tourist construction boom has benefitted the new- comers more than the na- tives, and also created luxury hotels and facilities which form a big contrast to the lifestyles of the majority of black islanders. On St. Croix there has-been both a long-standing crime problem which the authorities played down instead of sol- ving, and the growth of mili- tant black consciousness such as erupted into riots and dis- orders in several U.S. cities in the 1960s. And as tourism drops on the islands, more people will be put out of work, in a vicious cycle that could easily lead to greater unrest and more vio- lence. New guide book features Banff Canada's oldest national park, with two of the country's finest resorts Banff and Lake Louise is also the site of one of North America's most noted art schools. The Banff School of Fine Arts is among the fascinating features described in the Banff National Park entry in the book Explore Canada, a 476-page Reader's Digest guide to Canada's natural and man-made treasures. It is published in conjunction with the Canadian Automobile Association. The major part of the book is a 384-page gazetteer describing things to be seen in and around some cities, towns, villages and national parks, from Abbotsford, B.C., to Zurich, Ont. The entries deal with scenic wonders, historical reconstructions, great buildings, works of art and annual events. The Banff School of Fine Arts is part of the Banff Center, an institution affiliated with the University of Calgary. It offers, in addition to courses in theater, painting, ballet, music, handicrafts, decorative arts and playwriting, instruction in various business studies. Also in Banff are the Archives of the Canadian Rockies, some of the best skiing in the world, caves, sulphur springs and breathtaking mountain scenery. In the midst of this profusion of natural beauty art students take part in a residential summer school staffed by many of the world's most distinguished teachers. The Banff Festival of Arts is held at the close of the summer sessions. The Explore Canada gazetteer is illustrated with some 600 photographs by leading photographers. Entries are located on one or more of 23 maps in an accompanying atlas section. Some 25 major cities have maps showing the location of their attractions. Highly readable, profusely illustrated and crammed with information, Explore Canada is ideal for armchair travelling and trip-planning alike. Its glove-compartment size makes it an invaluable reference companion on jour- neys anywhere in Canada. Tourist income up in B.C. VICTORIA (CP) It is estimated that the total income from tourists coining to British Columbia in 1973 will be million, according to the annual report of the Department of Travel Industry. The report, tabled in the legislature, said that research is still not complete on the tourist revenue for'the year but the department is "reasonably confident" of its estimated figure. The million figure represents a 15 per cent increase over the 1972 tourist revenue figure of million, the report said. YELLOWKNIFE, N.W.T. (CP) The Northwest Territories Administration should do more to establish tourist accommodations and to attract tourists to the north, a councillor said. Louis Hamelin told Deputy Commissioner John Parker that the administration should improve tourist facilities in order to get a share of the growing tourist industry in North America. Mr. Hamelin said: "Millions of dollars may come from the south and I think you can't wait for the U.S. to build hotels in these communities." Mr. Parker said there are no government- funds available for tourist facilities and "the conventional sources of finance aren't tuned in to provide money for off-season vacations." He said northern natives aren't ready to provide hotels, "so if we went ahead we'd have to do it with people from the south." Only the larger communities in the Northwest Territories, including Yellowknife, Inuvik, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Norman Wells, Resolute Bay and Frobisher Bay have hotels. Specialists in all types off ENGINE REBUILDING CYLINDER BORING AND RESLEEVING CRANKSHAFT REGRINDING about our Guarantee ENGINES CYLINDER HEADS Passport Photos Candid Weddings Picture Framing Photo Supplies A. E. CROSS STUDIO "None 328-0111 7103rdAve.S Phone 328-0222 CRANKSHAFTS WISCONSIN ENGINE Sales and Service Centre Custom Engine Parts Ltd. 1605 3rd Avenue South Phone 328-8181 Read TheWorkJ Almanac Charier Flights to LONDON Aboard WARDAIR luxury jet Weekend departures and 5 weeks duration 5 For I MIMNM A.M.A. WORLD TRAVEL SERVICE I Mi Am S. The new 1974 World Almanac knows a lot about a lot of things: Sports, Government, Ecology, History, Politics, Personalities, Watergate, Personal Finance, Social Security and Medicare, Zip Codes, Consumer Information, the World since B.C. It's The Authority since 1868 and now it's bigger, with bigger type that's easier to read. It has indexed full-color maps of the world and the flags of all nations, It's indispensable in schools, homes, offices, libraries. To find a fact fast, read The 1974 World Almanac and Book of Facts, co-published by this newspaper as a public service. THE WORLD ALMANAC FACTS ttmng For Om A CtrtMty Clip and mail this handy crtfe- forrr. for your copy ot The World Book Almanac! Please mail .......copies of The World Almanac I am enclosing 2.25 plus 35e harxSiog and mailing charges'or each copy. NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP Now on sale af newssfands, super-markefs, drug sfores and our pubfic service counter. Use coupon and add 35 cenfs postage and handling to order by mail, you preJerto vp your order The World Almanac is available The Ltednidge Herald Business Office for 275 per copy Man to The lethtorttge Herald PO 6ox 670. The lithbruipc Herald "Serves the South"