Bulgaria's Bansko aims for skiing extremes

Bulgaria's Bansko aims for skiing extremes

SofiaEcho, Petya Raykova

Bulgaria's Bansko aims for skiing extremes Bulgarias most popular winter resort, Bansko, is on the verge of joining the world skiing elite with a brand new Alpine-style downhill run attraction. The facility is planned to be one of the most dangerous ski slopes in the world. The international ski association has approved only eight up to now. The ambitious project is to start this summer and the new run will debut next winter. The hosts hope to be immediately awarded an international certificate and thus become part of the World Cup alpine skiing tournaments circuit. Currently, the Pirin mountain resort is included in the Balkan Cup championship. If the new facility works out as planned, Bulgarias candidacy to host the European Cup in 2007 will get a major boost. The building of such large-scale infrastructure, with modern ski facilities, accommodation and security systems according to all international standards, is expected to boost the stream of tourists to Bansko. If Bulgaria wins the right to host the European Cup, millions of dollars in earnings could pour in, as well as the publicity that follows world-famous Alpine skiing stars. The downhill venue in Bansko is the brainchild of Austrian Kurt Koch, former president of the downhill World Cup for women. During a visit to the Pirin mountain region a few months ago, Koch became interested in the region of the Todorka slope, and offered to become a consultant during the construction of the venue itself. The project drawn up by Koch and his Bulgarian colleagues will see the start of the venue located right under the Todorka slope. The new skiing track will run along the Balkaniada and Todorka venues, to join the most famous Bulgarian slope, the Alberto Tomba. The course has an overall length of 3800 metres and the distance from start to finish is 950 metres.