Environmental Protest to Mark Opening of Vitosha Ski Season

Society » ENVIRONMENT | December 26, 2011, Monday // 11:34

A protest initiative titled RIDE 4 VITOSHA will mark the opening of the 2011/2012 ski season at Sofia's Vitosha Mountain.

The campaign, backed by the 'For the Nature in Bulgaria" Coalition, will be organized by skiers, snowboarders and mountain lovers.

The new ski season will be declared open at 11 a.m on Monday at the Aleko hut, without any ski lifts in operation as a sign of protest against Vitosha Ski AD, the company which controls the ski facilities on the mountain.

In the beginning of December, Vitosha Ski AD announced that "Tourist and Ski Zone Aleko", which is on the territory of the Vitosha Natural Park, would be non-operational throughout the 2011/2012 winter season.

The RIDE 4 VITOSHA campaign attracted over 700 fans on Facebook.

"The past 10 years have allowed Bulgarian ski sport and tourism to be overtaken by several mutually intertwined offshore companies which have deployed concerted pricing practices to make ski sport and tourism and expensive pastime activity," 'For the Nature in Bulgaria" cautioned.

"Bulgarian authorities have turned a blind eye to this illegal cartel agreement, thereby forcing an increasing number of Bulgarians to go abroad to practice the sport," the environmentalists add.

"The authorities are still keeping secret the privatization agreement for the ski lifts on Vitosha and the concession contract for the ski lifts in Bansko," the NGO reminds.

The "For the Nature in Bulgaria" Coalition is currently supported by close to 50 organizations.

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Tags: Vitosha, Vitosha Ski, ski lift, Bansko, For the Nature, environmental activists, ski facilities, Vitosha mountain, Vitosha Natural Park, concession
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