At the beginning of September 1864, St. Moritz hotel pioneer, Johannes Badrutt, made the following wager with four British summer guests: they should return in winter and if things were not to their liking, he would bear the cost of the journey from London and back. If they found St. Moritz attractive in winter, he would invite them to stay as his guests for as long as they wished.

His guests, familiar with the cold, damp English winter, could not begin to imagine that it could be different in the Swiss Alps. We now know that Johannes Badrutt won his bet; the guests were astonished by the sunny weather and the majestic winter landscape. They didn't depart until springtime, replete with suntans, and enthusiastically recounted their Alpine winter experience to friends back home. They were the first winter tourists in the Alps and discovered a whole new world: the white winter holiday.

While St. Moritz became a favourite excursion destination for celebrated and cultivated guests, it also developed a remarkable pioneering spirit. The progressive mountain village was at the forefront of establishing facilities and sporting events that today are considered a matter of course.

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