You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 30, 2011.


King Simeon's Saragyol Palace in Rila Mountain, a wooden royal residence used as a hunting lodge.

Borovets is the biggest mountain resort in Bulgaria. Located at the foot of Musala peak in Rila, less than an hour away from the capital, the resort is a magnet both for the fans of extreme winter sports and those who seek the coolness of the mountain in the summer.  In addition to the excellent ski-slopes, the resort offers horse-back riding, mountain biking, golf, hiking trails, and some interesting opportunities for sightseeing. To me, the “palaces” of Borovets are a telltale of the Bulgarian entrepreneurial thinking and practices.

The King’s Hunting Lodge

Borovets is the oldest mountain resort in Bulgaria. It used to be the haven of relaxation for the noble and the rich. In 1914, the Bulgarian king Ferdinand I built his summer hunting lodge here.  In 1946, the monarchy became a republic after a referendum conducted under Soviet pressure. The royal family was banished and the lodge was nationalized.

In 2001, the former king Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who was only nine years old at the time of the flight, returned to Bulgaria, won the parliamentary elections to become the prime-minister, and regained his rights over the property his family owned before 1946. This restitution was very controversial because it wasn’t completely clear what belonged to Ferdinand’s heirs, what belonged to the state, and what belonged to the institution that mediated between the two. The public debate continued when it became clear that absurdly, the Bulgarian government had by mistake (!) returned to Simeon more property than what he had originally claimed. The value of this property is somewhere about 160 million euro and includes 2100 hectares of forests around Borovets and parts of Rila’s highest peak.

The 5-Star Palaces

This five-star hotel in Borovets was notorious fame

Today, there are several “palaces” in Borovets. The resort, as too many other Bulgarian resorts, has been overbuilt with huge hotels that might be completely full during the winter season, but remain empty during most of the year. Such hotels are the projects of megalomaniacs with a distorted vision for the development of the resort.

The problem is that Borovets is full of 5 and 4-star hotels, yet its infrastructure is horrible: roads are bad, the sidewalks and sweeps of grass are untidy, weeds grow in the fountains, there is not enough street lights or maps with directions. Some of the closed-down restaurants (seasonally or permanently) look scary and run-down, and one simply doesn’t feel secure walking by them. Apparently our businessmen invest in luxurious hotels forgetting that tourists will have to leave their premises at some point and will encounter surroundings that do not live up to their expectations.

The financial crisis is probably partially responsible for the many abandoned hotel construction sites and empty apartment buildings that lack tenants and buyers. On the other hand, such unfinished projects invariably suggest shady affairs. One such popular case is a palace-like hotel built by one notorious mafia boss who was later shot dead abroad. While the police was investigating the origin of the mobster’s fortune, his wife sold the hotel and thus legalized the profit from the sale.

This problems and controversies around the resort are a pity because the nature surrounding Borovets is truly awe-inspiring.

Only one of the many lifts in Borovets

Borovets, Rila Mountain

***

Did you see my photos from the Seven Rila Lakes?

Advertisements

Enter your email address to subscribe to Zikata's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 73 other followers

Follow me on Twitter!

Share this Blog

Share |
July 2011
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Read it? Rate it!

RSS Getting curious:

  • Federal judge orders changes to some of Bud Light’s corn syrup ads
    MillerCoors has claimed a partial legal victory in its attempt to get Bud Light to stop its campaign that mocks Miller Lite and Coors Light for using corn syrup. A federal judge denied Anheuser-Busch InBev’s move to dismiss the false advertising suit, while ordering the brewer to stop using certain language in some of the ads. The decision, released Friday e […]
  • Retailers reeling, more trouble in store
    Retail took a beating last week: Kohl’s, JC Penney and Nordstrom reported sales declines, while Ascena Retail Group announced the shuttering of its 650-unit Dress Barn chain.  And more bad news is yet to come. A group of 170 shoe companies last week urged President Trump to reconsider a proposal that would add a 25 percent tariff on shoes from China. “We can […]
  • New Coke pops... 34 years later
    F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote: “there are no second acts in American lives” in 1941. And he has been famously proven wrong (his own reputation a case in point) time and again. The most recent example? New Coke. Modern marketing’s most ostentatious blunder is back for a victory lap. In the summer of 1985 Coca-Cola changed the formula of its core product […]
  • NRA says ad firm stole its thumb drive as legal duel escalates
    The National Rifle Association’s escalating legal feud with its longtime public-relations agency has taken a bizarre turn, with the gun lobby claiming that the PR firm stole a confidential PowerPoint presentation detailing its courtroom strategy. The new controversy centers on an April 29 executive session at the gun lobby’s annual meeting in Indianapolis. D […]
  • LVMH slapped with subpoena
    LVMH Moët Hennesy–Louis Vuitton, the Paris-based luxury marketer with an expansive brand portfolio that includes Christian Dior and Sephora, was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in the probe of U.S. media buying practices, according to people familiar with the matter. The far-reaching inquiry has moved into broader territory and across sectors of the indus […]

Your Green Eyes

Ad

Advertisements