Bulgaria Gives Go-Ahead to 3-Tier Super Borovets Project

Business | October 9, 2007, Tuesday // 00:00
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Gives Go-Ahead to 3-Tier Super Borovets Project Super Borovets ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Prime minister Sergey Stanishev, his predecessor Simeon Saxe-Coburg, as well as Oman's Sultan and Prime Minister Qaboos bin Said al-Said. Photo by Nadya Kotseva (Sofia Photo Agency)

A mega-project, dubbed Super Borovets, in the Rila mountain, was given the final go-ahead with a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday after years of controversies and opposition from environmentalists.

The enormous complex will encompass the towns of Samokov and Beli Iskar and will expand one of Bulgaria's most popular skiing place Borovets resort.

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, former king and former Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg, as well as Oman's Sultan and Prime Minister Qaboos bin Said al-Said, who is one of the main investors in the project.

The first level in the project, the so called "Low Borovets", will be situated at 1100 m above the sea level, 6 km away from the town of Samokov. The second tier will cover the nowadays Borovets resort situated at 1300-1350 m above the sea level . The third level "Super Borovets" will accommodate those tourists who are looking for the luxury and will be located at 1600-1800 m above the sea level.

Rila-Samokov 2004 AD, the company that will implement the project and owns 2 mln sq m of land in the Borovets mountain area, plans to invest EUR 500 M over the next few years.

The mega-resort is projected to sport nineteen new ski tracks with a joint length of 42 kilometres and the accompanying infrastructure, lifts with capacity for 37,000 tourists, ski facilities, hotels on a built-up area of 100,000 sq m and around 400,000 sq m or no more than 4,000 units of vacation homes.

The project was launched in 2004 on the back of strong support by the centrist government of former king Simeon Saxe-Coburg and amid allegations of vested interests.

Top banker Emil Kyulev, who was murdered in broad daylight in October 2005, owned a 51% stake in the project. Kyulev's death shook up the line-up of the share-holders with investment fund Equest Investment Balkan acquiring a 67% stake in Borovest developer Rila-Samokov 2004 AD.

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