After several years of planning, a co-operative hostel was opened in Hochneukirchen-Gschaidt (Wr. Neustadt district). With this, residents took collective action against the death of bars in the community.
The death of bars has made many places clear. When hostels are closed, it often affects social life in villages. In the community of Hochneukirchen-Gschaidt they did not want to accept it. After the village inn closed in 2020 and the last tenant left the site, the first thoughts about establishing a slightly different inn arose.
“For two years we discussed what such an inn would look like, what to expect, and how to make the inn economically viable,” says Mayor Thomas Heisenberger (ÖVP), head of the Hudwich regional cooperative.
The village establishes a co-operative hostel
When hostels are closed, it often affects social life in villages. Buckligen Welt in Hochneukirchen-Gschaidt have now taken completely new paths. The community and local residents have developed a brewery on a cooperative basis.
Many local residents were interested in the idea of establishing a village hostel on cooperative basis. 6,000 shares of €150 each were subscribed. This means that the old inn can be renovated and redesigned. “Share subscribers are also called upon to make additional contributions. If financial difficulties arise, the initial payment may have to be repaid,” says Heisenberger.
“Village comes back to life”
The hostel finally opened in early December 2023. Bernard Hayes, the inn's location manager and managing director, says pre-Christmas business has been very good. Since the Hochneukirchners are members of the cooperative, they show a close connection to the restaurant.
Johann Toppler, local councilor and co-founder of the new inn, was keen on the idea from the start: “My intention has always been: if the village inn dies, the village dies. Now the village is coming back to life.” Like him, many in Hochneukirchen now believe the new hostel is having a positive impact on the town's social life.