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BGN 140 M to Be Invested in Luxury Ski Resort in Bulgaria's Panichishte
Updated: 2008-04-23

BGN 140 M to Be Invested in Luxury Ski Resort in Bulgaria's Panichishte

The Bulgarian company Rila Sport is going to invest BGN 140 M in the construction of a five-star ski resort close to the village of Panichishte in the Rila Mountain.

The news was announced Tuesday by Slaveyko Staykov, the Executive Director of Rila Sport, reported. Staykov's firm was assigned the realization of the project by the administration of the Sapareva Banya Municipality. The future ski resort is expected to be completed by 2016.

The total investments in the new resort might reach up to BGN 900 M. The project envisages the creation of about 100 km of ski tracks, plus snowboard parks and ski-running paths.

Staykov emphasized that the hotels would have no more than 10 000 beds, and that they would not be located on the territory of the Rila Mountain Natural Park.

"We aim to attract upper-class tourists; the resort will be managed by leading firms with appropriate experience", Staykov said.

The investors expect that the new resort would become one of Europe's top ten tourist destinations. About 10 000 workers will be hired for the construction, and once completed, the new complex is expected to employ permanently some 2 000 people.

The institutional procedures for the environmental assessment of the planned resort are currently under way.

The plans for the construction of a ski lift and a resort in the Rila Mountain, and especially close to the Seven Rila Lakes area, and the reports about the potential environmental destruction have triggered violent protests around Bulgaria by leading environmentalist and other NGOs, and by regular citizens.

These have been met with counter-rallies by the local people from the Sapareva Banya Municipality, who hope to profit from the development of their region.

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