In Featured, Gudauri

Georgia’s most popular alpine resort is gearing up to host an increased number of visitors this winter with new lifts, hotels, entertainment facilities and more.

Gudauri is undergoing a 23 million GEL (about $10 million/€9 million*) transformation to equip the area with the latest infrastructure and technologies ahead of an anticipated busy winter season. Some of the development is almost complete while other parts will take years to finish.

Part of the development saw the addition of three new ski lifts, adding to the seven ski lifts already operational at Gudauri.

If more people come to the area, they will need  place to stay, said officials. New hotels including Sheraton and Radisson branded 5-star hotels, apart-hotels and cottages are almost completely built, as are various new restaurants and entertainment facilities. These will all be ready for guests this winter.

These projects will help improve our country’s tourism potential and make Georgia more attractive,” said Georgia’s Economy Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili.

He visited Gudauri today to see the progress of the infrastructural works.

The Minister promised the long-term Gudauri development plan would be ready as “a normative document very soon”.

This will enable us to develop Gudauri in the right and long-term way. The development plan will determine exactly where and how to build ski lifts and tracks, hotels and any other kind of infrastructure,” Kumsishvili said.

A master development plan for the area was earlier created by Canada’s Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners. The master plan specified ways to make develop Gudauri so it was more attractive to visitors.

The overall concept of the resort development plan created by Ecosign focused on Gudauri’s potential capacity; the mountain’s personnel capacity, the size of the area and the marketing potential of the resort. The plan envisaged building 26 new buildings in Gudauri, mainly accommodation and other tourist facilities.

As mentioned above, a Sheraton and Radisson hotel, among others, will soon open at the winter resort. Local Real Estate Development Company (Red-Co) signed a deal to bring these two international hotel brands to the Georgian winter wonderland.

Both hotels will be ready to host guests during the 2016-2017 winter season.

Red-Co also planned to invest $70 million USD to develop more hotel infrastructure on 10ha of land at Gudauri. Georgia’s Ministry of Economy said these works will begin in November and will be completed within five years.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s Ministry of Infrastructure has started comprehensive rehabilitation of Gudauri’s water systems. This will end water provision problems that currently plague the resort.

All these efforts were to ensure Gudauri could adequaltely host growing tourist numbers.

Figures released by the Economy Ministry showed Gudauri hosted 127 percent more tourists in 2015-2016 compared to 2011-2012.

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