Strong Winter Season in Bulgaria

Strong Winter Season in Bulgaria

Sofia Echo, Ivan Vatahov, with excerpts

Strong Winter Season in Bulgaria Seemingly unaware of the summer heat, Bulgarias developers are preparing for a strong winter season. Bulgarian company Prima Invest BG has started the construction of a 15-million euro ski resort in Rila Mountain, which could take four years to complete, a local municipal official said. The Kartala ski resort will target not only locals but also tourists from the European Union and neighbouring countries Greece and Macedonia, Blagoevgrad deputy mayor Georgi Milev said. Construction of ski resorts in Bulgaria, where the tourism industry is a major driving force for the economy, is set to rapidly develop over the next years. Currently, only 15 per cent of the countrys annual tourism revenue comes from winter resorts. The ski resort is planned to have 45km of ski runs and 15km of ski lifts and will be built in three stages, Milev said. He added that about three million euro will be spent on the first stage of the project, envisaging the construction of a 4.5km ski run with tow rope by the end of this year. The next stages include building a hotel base with about 3000 beds and the remaining ski runs. Kartala is located about 25km from Blagoevgrad. The construction will be financed with own funds of Prima Invest BG, set up to implement the project and in which Blagoevgrad municipality is a shareholder, and borrowing from Bulgarian-American Credit Bank, Milev said. Chepelare, another ski resort in Bulgaria, has borrowed three million leva from HVB Bank Biochim, a unit of Italian banking group UniCredit, for seven and a half years to finance road repairs, the bank said. The small town in the Rhodope Mountains will use the money to repair streets and its central square, and to refurbish its park, HVB Bank Biochim said in a statement. Five banks had offered to finance the project, which should be completed within two years, the head of the municipalitys finance department, Veska Dimitrova, said. It is obvious, however, that the holiday-attractive nature of Bulgaria is also turning it into the hottest European property destination according to the UK real estate news website assetz.co.uk. With a range of beautiful landscapes spanning the cultured capital of Sofia and the ever-popular ski resorts of Bansko and Bovorets, Bulgaria is tempting more and more Brits with its endless buy-to-let possibilities, assetz wrote.