ARTICLES 
Bansko drops behind its ski center
Article by Boryana Gencheva, Capital Weekly Newspaper, 2-8 April 2005

The project for the construction of ski zone in the mountain above Bansko two years ago started as a necessity for the town. There were many hotels and restaurants and the lack of enough pistes and lifts was bad for their business. Now Bansko has luxurious ski center for about 40 million euro with 56 kilometers ski pistes and 23 wired equipment. However, the towns infrastructure is collapsing from the construction works and the huge tourist interest. It is no wonder as the ski zone is with brand new equipment, while Bansko is as every other town in Bulgaria and the state gives the same amount of subsidy as for the other small towns, says the mayor of the town Alexander Kravarov. He reported that this season was better than the previous and the town gained even more international popularity.
The main aim in front of Bansko now is to change the drainage system and the water-conduit, as well as to asphalt the streets. The mayor of the town explained that they need around 35 million BGN, while the government gave the municipal just 66 thousand BGN for capital expenses. That is why the mayor relies on money from pre-integration funds and from the ministry of Regional Development and Environment.
In spite of the construction works in Bansko, now the ski zone has bigger capacity compared to the capacity of the beds in the hotels. The pistes and equipment is for around 9-10 000 people per hour. The beds in the town are 5400 in around 38 hotels, six of them granted with four stars. Another brand new five star hotel Kempisnski Grand Arena will open in May.


Almost all of the hotels in Bansko support the idea of popularization and development of the tourism in the region and apply a coordinated marketing policy. Bansko is offering its product on introducing prices and every year the prices will increase according to the added value of the new supply, announced a popular tour operator.
According to information supplied by the Mayor the total number of building permission is 274, of which 79 new hotels received permission for construction works, 66 new residential buildings and 11 blocks of flats. This season was the start for six new hotels. The expected hotel base in the next two-three years will increase up to three times, because the new hotels are with 350 beds. The number of the so-called apartment- hotels is still not determined.
The anomaly from the times when the town had guests only during the holidays no longer exists. According to information from ULEN for the new 2005/2006 season, new extras in the ski zone are not expected, because some finishing works have to be done on the pistes (it is very likely to wait for the development of the town). The reconstruction of some new pistes starts, which means that the pistes will be grassed and the building of new drain canals will stop the erosion. Together with the management of the National Park Pirin, from ULEN plan to put anti-avalanches barriers. This precaution is taken because of the avalanche that endangered part of the ski zone in Bansko. That was the reason why parts of Alberto Tomba and Banderishka ployana pistes were temporary closed this season.

The so-called lull around the ski zone for the next season looks contemporary. A week ago, the municipal council in Bansko approved the offers from Ulen to build one more wire lift in the region of Cerna Mogila as well as two new ski pistes. Now they are in a process of receiving an assessment for impact on the environment as well as public discussions about the project. At the same time, the municipal council denied the other part of Ulens demands for the building of new pistes south of Todorka peak. The motif for that decision is that thus there is a possibility of invasion of the reserve and the water zone of the town.
To summon things up, the hotel base in Bansko and the ski zone in Pirin will continue developing.
Up to 1200 Euro/sq.m for vacation apartment

The development of the property market in Bansko began together with the building of the ski equipment. For the last three years, the price of the land went up from 10 Euro/sq.m to over 120 Euro/sq.m and the interest of the investors continues to be high. The prices of the vacation residences in the town start from 600 Euro/sq.m and reach levels of 1 200 Euro/sq.m. At least 40 luxurious new complexes are being built in the town. However, the towns infrastructure considerably dropped behind, which provoked the municipal to provide terrains in exchange to investments in its improvement.

Investment properties in Bansko

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