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Bulgaria's snow is hot
Updated: 2006-11-10

Roxana Popescu

The Herald Tribune

The Pirin Mountains of Bulgaria are the new European hot spot, where low prices and high appreciation rates have driven sales recently. Of the two main resorts there, Bansko is more developed and more international than Borovetz, the affordable alternative. Bansko has complexes with apartments of as many as three bedrooms that can cost as much as €250,000, or $318,000. But, on average, units are less than half that amount, said Emma Cornah of SkiPropertyBG, an agency based in Britain.

For example, the most expensive two-bedroom duplex available in the Vihren Complex, which is 50 meters, or 165 feet, from the gondola and 1 kilometer, or about half a mile, from Bansko village, is listed at €150,500.

Bansko, a quiet town whose old stone houses have started to make room for modern apartments and après-ski amenities, primarily draws crowds from Britain, France and Russia - young people looking for bargain investments and older individuals "who had been skiing for years in the Alps and decided to try something new and up and coming," Cornah said.

Alpine charm

As the Pirins are being touted as the "New Alps," the originals are experiencing a bevy of new developments.

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