The project formally titled the “Rehabilitation of cableway installations in the resort Kanin” has arisen following confirmation of the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Municipality of Bovec and preferred contractor Dr. Duhovnik d.o.o. After a tender process that yielded only one interested party, the inevitability of Dr. Duhovnik acquiring the contract was something of a foregone conclusion, negotiations between the two parties would therefore centre upon the overwhelming desire for the project to commence in a timely fashion and result in the reopening of the Kanin cableway this winter.

The significant work undertaken just to arrive at this starting point has seen assets from the former but now defunct operating company ATC Kanin transferred into public ownership, following a succession of auctions that failed to garner sufficient interest in the ailing cableway and Prestreljenik mountaintop restaurant. Bovec’s Municipality agreed to pay €170,000 to secure the lift’s infrastructure and restaurant; although the terms of the agreement state that the local authority assumed control of ATC Kanin’s former assets free of charge, the six-figure sum involved in the transaction covered the formal transfer of assets and the Official Receiver’s associated costs. Crucially, two of ATC’s creditors Heta and HIT Nova Gorica acquiesced to the agreement once it became apparent that no amount of auctions were ever going to raise the requisite finance to cover their substantial losses.

Without state intervention from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology who have contributed €5.7 million towards the cableway’s reconstruction, Bovec’s local authority would have ownership of one of the town’s prime tourism assets but little or no finance with which to bankroll the necessary remediation of the lift and attendant infrastructure. Other Slovenian resorts whose financial struggles have been well documented will react with some dismay that their legitimate arguments for state aid have been ignored whilst Bovec, despite offering the highest altitude skiing in the country, only raises 13% of its annual income from the winter-sports season. Bovec does though offer a more attractive case for state intervention from a position of being an established resort, in contrast to the unrealistic Bohinjska Bistrica-based 2864 Bohinj scheme whose plans very much remain on the paper they were originally designed on.

Despite being the only applicant from the tender process to register a firm interest Dr. Duhovnik d.o.o. met all the relevant criteria and as part of the negotiation process with the local municipality have reached consensus on a defined timetable of events, culminating in the reopening of the cableway scheduled for the forthcoming winter season. The Medvode-based industrial engineering company have subcontracted the venture to Kaskader d.o.o., whose speciality is predicated on undertaking projects involving difficult terrain. The respected cableway manufacturer Leitner-Poma endorsed the credentials of the contractors tasked with Kanin’s renaissance; it is at this time unknown if a new Poma-designed device will be installed but it is unlikely that the incumbent but dormant device will be reactivated in its current guise, albeit after extensive restoration, such was the near-catastrophic event – several of the cableway’s empty carriages in 2013 inexplicably crashed to earth – that ground the lift to an immediate halt and precipitated ATC Kanin’s demise.

Further reading on this subject can be viewed at:

Obcina Bovec: contracts exchanged for Kanin’s reconstruction

Dr. Duhovnik d.o.o. website

Kaskader d.o.o. website

Leitner Poma cableways website