Yet another gaping hole has emerged in the Slovenian tourist industry, with news emerging of Sport Hotel Pokljuka recently closing after its operating company – having succumbed to bankruptcy – seeing no alternative but to close the doors. Whilst it will be hoped that the hotel’s closure is temporary rather than terminal, the facility popular with biathletes has suffered from a lack of guests, despite a relatively recent renovation programme that sought to breath some modern-life back into a wonderfully positioned hotel, situated above Bohinjska Bela but nearer to Lake Bled than its counterpart in Ribcev Laz.

Provisional plans for a public auction scheduled for September will see the Sport Hotel presented for sale, with a swift transition into new ownership required if it is able to operate during the 2015/16 winter season. Whilst though the hotel remains empty and without a custodian present to address routine and unforeseen maintenance issues it will become increasingly difficult for a sale to be concluded at a market value which could reach €1 million, if interested parties become embroiled in a bidding war. A hotel seen to be a going-concern over the summer months and not being allowed to materially deteriorate will enhance the chances of an expeditious sale at the right price; should therefore a new lease be signed with the previous or a new tenant for six months or more, a working hotel seemingly operating as a worthwhile proposition should give sufficient encouragement to a raft of potential investors of the Sport Hotel’s continued relevance within the winter-sports and hiking fraternities.

With forty seven creditors claims already filed against the Sport Hotel’s bankruptcy there are many parties to satisfy – all of whom will be hoping that the sale by public auction doesn’t end up becoming the Dutch variety. There is though a nagging worry that the hotel was allowed to accumulate and carry such levels of debt and, questions will inevitably be asked whether another operator can make a success of an accommodation provider outwardly having so much going for it but which ultimately succumbed to being hamstrung by its ruinous finances.

Whether the closure of Pokljuka’s Sport Hotel can be attributed to mismanagement, poor snow conditions or cyclical popularity, it is hoped that the new owners closely study the reasons behind its demise and insulate themselves against history repeating itself with a robust and diverse business plan. I hope to see the hotel back up and running before its sale when I visit the area in the next few months.

Further reading on this subject can be viewed at: Gorenjski Glas: Sport Hotel Pokljuka set for autumn auction