The Next Mountain Spot in Bulgaria

The Next Mountain Spot in Bulgaria

SofiaEcho, with excerpts, 11 Sept. 2007

The Next Mountain Spot in Bulgaria There are plans for a grandiose tourist complex in Bulgarias biggest Rhodopi Mountain, where the the former biggest Balkan ski resort Pamporovo can also be found. The project, called Perelik, is planned to be constructed at the foot of the highest Rhodopian peak, Perelik, and consists of 200 km ski runs and about 100 km of ski lifts, Bulgarian-language Standart reported. On August 29, Smolyan municipal councillors voted on, and approved, the establishment of a mixed company between STC Perelik AD and the municipality, which is expected to give its share of land to the new enterprise. The construction works under Perelik are planned to start in the autumn of 2007 and will take about six years. The councillors said only ski runs and lifts would be constructed, not huge concrete buildings and heavy infrastructure. Only four restaurants are planned, which is, however, hardly possible when setting up tourism infrastructure of such a size. The project is estimated at more than 300 million euro. The sports complex is planned to be spread over the villages of Stoikite, Gela, Solishta, Stikul and Mugla. Gela and Mugla are traditional Bulgarian Rhodopi villages that have thousands of visitors during the annual fairs and are famous for gifted folk singers and unspoilt nature. The Perelik project received an Investor First Class certificate from the state. An airport near Smolyan and a 100km three-lane road from Plovdiv are planned for construction, with state participation. According to Assenov, the profits could reach 300 million leva a year. The part of the project near Gela village is planned to envelop about 40 hectares (0.4 sq km), including the area near Shilestata Chuka peak (2188m). The Perelik project is intended to be completed in the period 2012-2014.