29 November 2017

Ukrainian ski resort to undergo 500 mln Euro investment

A Carpathian resort town is due to undergo extensive investment and development to turn it into a major all year round destination.

The investment will be provided by Vitaly Antonov, owner of Galnaftogaz and the OKKO gas station network.

The town in question is Slavsk, located just over an hour away from Lviv city and easily accessible from its airport. Over 500 million Euros is due to be spent on Slavske and the surrounding resort villages to provide a modern rival to Bukovel.

Antonov has moved his business interests to the Skole District (the municipality in which Slavsk is located) and in an official announcement at the end of October, Skole District Council Leader Mikhail Luchinets stated that “ Since 1st January OKKO Group has registered in Slavske and are now taxpayers in the region contributing 3.2 million Dolalrs monthly. The plans laid out by OKKO include the construction of a summer-winter resort”.

According to Luchinets, OKKO’s corporation tax payments will go towards improvement of local infrastructure to help cope with the expansion of Slavsk and the surrounding villages.

A 15km section of road between Slavske and Vyhoda will be improved to help cope with the extra traffic. Additional street lighting, road improvements and medical facilities will be added to the area.

In August an incorporation of Slavsk and the nearby villages of Volosyanka, Lower Rozhanka and Libohora was confirmed creating a new 33rd district within the Lviv region. The area, now known as Slavskoye, has a new council and will be at the heart of the developments.

In a press release in October, OKKO Group were keen to state that the project and its plans were still at an early stage.

District Council Leader Mikhail Luchinets said that “we have received a master plan from an Austrian Project Company and we are analyzing and refining it. The project is still at a feasibility study stage”.

Luchinets did not divulge specific details of the project or what was to be included but insiders say that the plans are extensive for the resort, aiming to make it as big if not larger than Bukovel. There is strong focus on creating a resort that is used all year round with plenty of touristic facilities available in summer.

Former Skole council leader Igor Svitsun said that OOKO is “working very intensively with both local communities and international experts on the project. It is expected that construction will start as early as 2019”.

Rumours in the area say that over 100kms of runs will be built but those close to the project say the figure will be closer to 75kms. Ski runs will focus on mountains including Trostyan, Pogar (slavsk), Vysoky Verkh (Volosyanka), Black Repa and Zakhar Berkut.

The project will not be built in one go but likely in three stages. The first will start in Slavsk and the second will focus on Volosyanka. The third is to be confirmed.

The investment will be part funded by OKKO Group, co-investors and the local council. There are no set times for the completion of the works but investors are hoping the entire investment will take around 3-5 years to bring plans to reality.

As well as improving extensively the tourist facilities, local infrastructure will be given a big boost to cope with the increase in visitors.

Further announcements on the project are expected before the end of the year.

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