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

Business | October 9, 2007, Tuesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 5
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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» To the forumComments (5)
#5
furian - 14 Oct 2007 // 03:57:55

Let them go ahead with the project. The numbers are stunning and totally unrealistic. Another skiresort in Bulgaria? 1 month season if lucky? Go to Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway etc. Who on earth would waste time and money in a 3 rank , underdeveloped ski nation like Bulgaria ? How many ski athlets or winter olympic winners come from Bulgaria ? No, stick to chalga and coffeebars and leave winter tourism to the professionals-in other countries!

#4
CreepyS - 9 Oct 2007 // 17:50:13

The only effective way to stop such things so far were mass rallies from the ordinary people. But its impossible to stage rallies every time some bunch of officials and their firms does illegal things. They are too much - if you stop one at the seaside they go to the mountain, if you chase them from the mountain they go to the city.

Better to have some independent body that can effectively give green light or stop such projects but there is no such a thing in BG. So for the time being Bulgaria is unable to stop all stinky projects, and maybe this one in particular.

#3
CreepyS - 9 Oct 2007 // 17:31:52

CJB,

Hm, as far as I read the article the author is not entirely happy with the project and mentions that there were alegations of vested interests and a major shareholder was shot dead.

So it is not good and okay but it is not named scandal. I personally think the project is a good candidate for a big scandal if the environmentalists and/or the media find out something illegal or evidence of corruption. But this will be difficult.

#2
CJB - 9 Oct 2007 // 16:56:42

Funny how this is not reported as a scandal.

So the logic of BG media is: Dodgy development = good/okay; Cynicism from ministers in negotiations with uncompromising teachers = scandal.

Now I get it?

#1
garxon - 9 Oct 2007 // 16:10:23

The Prince's land is now a ski resort - WOW!!!! After all he is the landowner of SUper Borovets - no wonder why his government - past and present was so adament about pushing through the complex - just think of the water and electricity that the neighboring villages will not have - just like communism - the water and electrical regime begins again!!

Naomi Klein's latest book explains it very well - privatize the state - corruption goes hand in hand and the winners are: those in power and connected to power. The privatization of the Electrical company, Water, Heating has not led to more effeciency - but rather ineffeciency - Super Borovets is part of the trend - make sure all resources are made available to the projetc and the villages and people suffer -

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