Remediation of Bovec’s Kanin cableway continues to remain on schedule for its much anticipated reopening this winter, drawing a veil over one of the darker periods to affect Slovenia’s tourism sector.
The state-backed renovation of the eponymous lift tasked with serving the Slovenian slopes of Mount Kanin will once more facilitate high altitude skiing that cannot be found elsewhere in the country. Crucially for Bovec, the reactivated cableway will ensure more tourist euros(€) stay in the resort than in recent times that have seen the soul-destroying process of a dwindling number of overnight guests being bussed each morning to Sella Nevea on the Italian side of Kanin.
A combination of challenging terrain and the vicissitudinal nature of alpine weather present many challenges to the construction team tasked with bringing the lift online for an official opening penciled in for December. Work to reinstate the foundations heavily rely upon benign conditions and have been made a priority during the recent favourable weather. Despite initial estimates slightly misreading the amount of time needed to successfully conclude the project, the rugged topography involved was always going to ask questions of even the most experienced civil engineers who specialise in alpine infrastructure projects. It is anticipated the scheme will be delivered on time and to specifications broadly in line with previous incarnations of the Kanin cableway.
After several years in the doldrums precipitated by the untimely demise in 2013 of the lift system after several of its carriages inexplicably fell to earth, Bovec’s Municipality secured control of the cableway and Prestreljenik mountain-top restaurant after several auctions failed to dispose of the assets of the now defunct former owner, ATC Kanin. A formal transfer of assets into local authority ownership became a formality once the two creditors – Heta and HIT Nova Gorica – with a interest in the operating company removed their objection to Bovec’s Municipality acquiring the lift and attendant assets, including the Prestreljenik restaurant. Whilst many will assume the local authority inherited the cableway for free, a six-figure surety to cover the liquidator’s costs and asset transfer rubber-stamped the deal. The caveats attached to the state aid received from Slovenia’s incumbent administration aren’t known but I assume Bovec will be expected to retain ownership of the cableway for an indeterminate period rather than selling it on to a private operator, ensuring history doesn’t repeat itself. There are though no guarantees for a public or private institution that a ski resort can forever remain financially viable due to the unpredictable nature of Slovenia’s snow record. Periods of insufficient snowfall and/or where temperatures are too high for artificial snow-making equipment to be productive can put enormous pressure on a ski resort, a financial bottomless pit that neither state nor private concern will feel inclined to service indefinitely.
The time though is at hand to focus on the positive news emanating from Slovenia’s northwest that its primary ski area, so unceremoniously dethroned three winter seasons ago is nearing a triumphant return to lay claim to its crown wrested so cruelly by what appears, but has never been categorically confirmed, to be a meteorological quirk of fate.
Further reading(and pictures) on this subject can be found at:
Obcina Bovec website: Kanin lift on schedule for winter reopening