Bulgaria's Vitosha Ski Season Launch Postponed to Dec 20Tourism | December 16, 2012, Sunday // 11:18| views
The controversial Vitosha Ski company closed all lifts and ski tracks near the Bulgarian capital for the entire 2011 – 2012 season. File photo
The ski season in the Vitosha mountain near the Bulgarian capital Sofia will be opened officially on Thursday, December 20, instead of Sunday, as initially scheduled.
The news emerged after the Agriculture Ministry signed late Friday evening the proposed contract for concession of the Vitosha ski tracks.
Ski lovers in Sofia and visitors will finally be able to practice their favorite winter sports after a 20-month interruption because the controversial Vitosha Ski company closed all lifts and ski tracks for the entire 2011 – 2012 season.
The opening ceremony with start at 6 pm with a snow show and a night ski slalom.
Vitosha Ski owns the lifts since 2007, when Sofia Municipality, then headed by now PM Boyko Borisov, sold them in a privatization deal.
Vitosha Ski is known to be controlled by Bulgarian Ski Federation president Tseko Minev, a notorious Bulgarian businessman also controlling First Investment Bank and Yulen, the company that operates Bulgaria's biggest winter resort Bansko.
End of 2011, the company pushed controversial amendments in Bulgaria's Forestry Act that would have virtually scrapped administrative hurdles to go on with expanding facilities in the mountain.
When Parliament adopted the legislation June 13, this triggered spontaneous large-scale protests in Sofia that led to a presidential veto on the act.
Public pressure led to the Forestry Act's being readopted by Parliament with the controversial amendments scrapped.
Vitosha Ski agreed to reopen lifts following a meeting with Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, which some criticized as long overdue.
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