Bansko & Kranjska Gora: a World Cup newcomer and a regular go for snow from TechnoAlpin
The ski areas of Eastern European have done a lot of catching up and now offer very good conditions for a winter sports holiday. In the last few years Bansko, for example, a medieval town situated 150 km south-east of the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, has developed into a veritable gem of a winter resort, investing a total of 40 million euros in an area comprising 70 kilometers of skiable terrain located around the 2746 m high peak of Todorka mountain. Bansko's snowmaking system was supplied by TechnoAlpin. At present, snow cover for the whole area is maintained with the help of 25 km of lines located at an elevation of between 900 and 2200 m, 255 pits, 122 stick-type snowguns and 59 fan guns. The snowguns are supplied via two pump stations with a total capacity of 500 l/s and a compressor station with a capacity of 42.25 m³/min. The ski area has also invested in the latest generation of Pistenbully snow groomers and Doppelmayr lifts and gondolas for an outstanding winter mountain experience. The resort itself offers hotel accommodation for 7000 visitors, including 65% with a 4-star rating, a ski kindergarten, ski rentals and après-ski pleasures to suit all tastes.
Until this year Borovets, the oldest ski area in Bulgaria, hosted the last World Cup races to be held in the country, namely the 1984 men's downhill events. Thanks to the untiring efforts of Tseko Minev as President of the Bulgarian Ski Association, however, the country has now returned to the prestigious FIS World Cup calendar following the successful bid made by Bansko after just four years of intensive development work. From 27 February to 1 March, the Bulgarian resort hosted the ladies' downhill races and a ladies' super-G, which were won by Fabienne Suter (SUI), Andrea Fischbacher (AUT) and Lindsey Vonn (USA). The Bansko organizers made a highly positive impression with their perfect handling of two big downhill races in two days (following the cancellation of the World Cup ladies' downhill in St. Moritz due to strong winds). With their excellent standard of organization and outstanding conditions for the events, the Bulgarians certainly recommended themselves to the FIS, also with regard to their big ambition to host a men's World Cup race in Bansko in the near future.
TechnoAlpin took advantage of the World Cup events to invite some of its German customers to the Bulgarian winter resort. In addition to blue skies and perfect snow conditions, the party enjoyed the exciting ski races and the fine Bulgarian cuisine and also took a close look at the TechnoAlpin snowmaking installations.
On the same weekend, the Slovene resort of Kranjska Gora was the setting for the 48th edition of the Vitranc Cup. Ted Ligety and Julien Lizeroux were victorious in the last but one races in the technical disciplines, and the winner of the crystal ball now has to be decided in the finals in Are. But all the competitors in Kranjska Gora were winners in that the top-quality snow came courtesy of TechnoAlpin.