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Monday, July 10, 2006 

Ski resort Bansko bans construction, developers eyeing nearby Razlog, Dobrinishte

The local government in Bansko, a ski resort town in the Pirin mountain, has banned construction to prevent its booming tourism industry from the searing effect that overdevelopment has had on the nation's Black Sea resorts.
The ban will enter into force after the elapse of a month-long court appeal window.
Only a fourth of the 29,000 beds in the town's accommodation facilities are registered and actively marketed to tourists. As many as 20,000 of bed total are in facilities still under construction.
The civic infrastructure will be overstretched by this scale of construction, said mayor Alexander Kravarov.
The town's electricity grid is primed to fail this winter when consumption is expected to reach a new peak. The municipal council is tackling the problem by providing the local electricity distribution company with land plots for the construction of new transformers and substations.
The municipality said it has invested 15 mln levs in new infrastructure in zoned areas in 2006.
The municipality has issued 350 construction permits since 2005 and these are the last projects that will be completed after the ban is enforced.
The foiled property developers are already sizing up the potential of neighbouring Razlog and Dobrinishte.
Some 40 km of new ski runs will be built in the Dobrinishte area under one of the larger projects in development. Austrian and Irish funds as well as Bulgaria's Galchev Engineering Group are interested in the project. The investor will be picked by the municipal council.
According to municipal data, land properties in Bansko fetch between 30 and 200 euro/sq m while the going sale rate for finished apartments is 1,200-1,500 euro/sq m. Land plots in Dobrinishte sell at around 60 euro/sq m.

Source: Dnevnik

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