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Austrian tourism official admits snowcat story was hoax

Posted 12:49 p.m. Monday

— The head of an Austrian ski resort's tourism office is acknowledging that he made up a story about a snowcat being mistakenly shipped to a German town with the same name.

Elias Walser said Monday that the story was meant as a publicity stunt for Seefeld village, and "got out of hand."

Walser's office had claimed that the trail groomer made a 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) trip, first to the German Seefeld — a town with little snow and no mountains — and then to its Austrian destination. The supposed blunder received international media coverage, including in The Associated Press, after tourism officials confirmed it Friday.

Mayor Werner Frieser of the Austrian Seefeld said he was informed only on Saturday that the story was a hoax.

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