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Brilliant Buys: Investing in Borovets

Across the world, many people still don’t realize that Bulgaria has a well established ski season with resorts to rival many of Europe’s best winter destinations. Borovets, Bulgaria’s biggest ski resort still offers low prices in terms of accommodation, lift passes, food and entertainment - the UK Post Office Travel Services said that it was far cheaper than destinations like Vail, Colorado yet offered much the same in the way of facilities. Borovets is probably the Bulgarian ski resort with the most potential. The Super Borovets project will receive over 500 million Euros in investment over the course of the next five years, making this one of the most ambitious investment programmes ever undertaken in Bulgaria.

Investment is Pouring into the Area

The largest investors in Borovets currently are the UK investment fund, Equest Balkan plc and the State Fund of Oman. No other Bulgarian ski resort has managed to attract such prestigious investors or such high level investment.
In 2007, leading investor Lewis Charles, whose Bulgarian property portfolio is worth over 83 million Euros bought 20, 000 sq. m of land in Borovets close to Govedartsi, 500 m from the new ski lift. The previous year his company acquired over 100 sq. m. in a deal priced at around 9.2 million Euros.

The Launch of Super Borovets

Over the last four years, since the notion of Super Borovets was conceived, the area has received millions of Euros of government and foreign investment, which has been spent on improving the infrastructure and adding new ski facilities; the number of ski pistes will cover over 100 km and there will be two new gondola and five other new ski lifts. As Borovets positions itself to rival ski resorts in Italy and France, it has one added benefit in that its ski season is longer running from December through to April, additionally, and another reason that makes this resort a great area for investment is its future expansion into a year round destination.

Year – round Tourism Facilities

Such positive developments have lead to an influx of large-scale investors keen to join in the resort’s renovation. It is not just the resorts ski facilities, which are undergoing transformation; several golf courses of international standard are to be constructed aimed at turning Borovets into one of the world’s best golfing destinations; the country’s first Jack Nicklaus designed course is under construction in Dolna Banya a short drive from the centre of Borovets and this is due to open in 2009. But, it’s not only golf, which will transform the summer season here; Borovets is 15 km from Bulgaria’s largest inland lake, Lake Iskar, which is an ideal location for water sports and fishing, indeed plans to develop these activities in this area are already underway.

Caring for the Environment

Expansion in Borovets will not be to the detriment of the environment and investors and the municipality are determined not to create a Super Monster from Super Borovets. Hotels and apartments are to be low-rise with low concentrations of new buildings so as not to spoil the magnificent scenery and the resorts ambience and this positive action has not gone unnoticed by the international media; in fact The Irish Sunday Tribune newspaper listed the resort in sixth place in its Top Ten lucrative property destinations, which included London, Dubai, Geneva and Orlando.

Easy Access

Other advantages, which make this resort Bulgaria’s number one is that it lies only an hour from the capital, Sofia and the construction of the Rila motorway will shorten the journey time to around 40 minutes. The growth in Bulgaria’s middle class has already lead to many Sofians purchasing holiday property in Borovets as well as many slipping away for regular weekend breaks. Improvements at Sofia’s international airport and an increase in foreign carriers travelling here mean that Borovets is well-poised to attract a greater number of international tourists. Additionally, Borovets is only 90 minutes from Plovdiv airport, which is also likely to undergo expansion and open all year round – this will also add to the growth in Borovets tourism.

Rising Property Prices

Investors still have a large degree of choice in the type and location of property in Borovets. The most popular property tends to be two-bedroom apartments, which average prices of around 73,000 Euros. Smaller apartments are available for as little as 45,000 Euros. There is a shortage of regulated land as this has been snapped up as part of large development projects and at the moment there are few villa properties although this is set to increase with the constructions of the golf complexes and the proposed Upper Borovets area.