Snowy outlook for Georgia’s winter resorts

Gurauri ski resort. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 01 Sep 2014 - 18:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is preparing for the possibility of a warm winter and will have artificial snowmakers operating at the country’s two main winter resorts for the first time.

The winter season at Gudauri and Bakuriani will be more reliable next winter thanks to the inclusion of artificial snowmakers. The snow machines will also help improve the reliability of the snow cover at the two ski fields and extend the ski season for longer.

An official today said the opening of the ski season will not be affected by the weather conditions, which could lead to an increase in the number of guests visiting the resorts, which in turn could generate more revenue for the resort towns.

The agreement to have artificial snowmakers operating in Georgia’s ski resort areas was signed yesterday by a representative of Gudauri Resort Development Agency and Italian company Demaklenko, who specialize in artificial snowmaking machines.

The agreement was signed within the framework of a visit to Italy by Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

The Economy Minister highlighted the project will cost 25 million GEL and will be implemented in the next two years.

Overall 25m will be invested in the next two years. About 9m will be invested in the first stage ... by leading Italian and Austrian companies. The companies will install snowmaking machines for ski tracks. This project will start this year. As for the second stage, construction of two artificial lakes is planned, Kvirikashvili said.

Under the agreement, Gudauri and Bakuriani will undergo geological, geodetic and topographical testing and artificial water reservoirs will be established. Next winter will be the first time artificial snowmakers will operate at Gudauri and Bakuriani.

In Italy, Kvirikashvili also met with top representatives one of the world’s biggest ski resort developers, High Technology Investments (HTI), to discuss how Georgia could further develop its ski resorts.

Gudauri and Bakuriani are two of Georgia’s major alpine resorts for the country’s winter tourism industry.

Gudauri, a young and rapid developing winter sports resort, is located in Georgia’s Kazbegi region, about 120km from Tbilisi. The maximum mountain peak reaches a height of 2,196m (about 7,200 ft) near the Cross Pass. The ski season opens in December and continues to April and caters for skiiers and snowboarders of all abilities.

Meanwhile Bakuriani is deemed one of the most beautiful winter resorts in Georgia. The ski resort is situated on the northern slope of the Trialeti mountain range in the Borjomi valley. It reaches a top altitude of 1,700m and boasts 12 ski tracks.