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Georgian mountain resorts meet ski season unprepared

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Thursday, January 9
The skiing season in Gudauri still has not opened. It was originally planned to start the season on December 15. Due to a lack of snow, some tourists started leaving the resort. Also, several media outlets have reported that both in Gudauri and Bakuriani water supply system is not working properly.

Some people have claimed that the problems of the water supply systems are connected to the artificial snow system in Gudauri. As the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Maia Tskitishvil said, this is just speculation.

“In Gudauri this year we have about 50 new legal entities, as well as new hotels under construction, which increases overall consumption. Therefore, taking into account the climate and all the factors, work is being planned so that the infrastructure can help the resort to develop,” noted Tskitishvili.

As for Bakuriani, Minister of Infrastructure says that there are new plans for the resort as well, and additional water supply works are underway to address the emerging problems for the new season.

Minister says that the artificial snow system has a different water supply, so the information claiming that the water supply problems are connected to the artificial snow system is not true.

According to Tskitishvili, the main cause of the problem is the dry fall, which was reflected in the water supply.

As the IPN reports, Gudauri will not be able to open the season on January 11, as it was reported earlier.

"Due to the weather conditions and the lack of snowfall, the official opening event of the season will not take place on January 11th. The season continues on those skiing routes where there is enough snow cover – Snowpark, Kudebi, and Kobi-Gudauri," said the Mountain Resorts Development Company.

Lelo for Georgia calls on the authorities of the relevant ministries to take responsibility for the problems of water supply at winter resorts.

As the statement of the party reads, the problems of Bakuriani and Gudauri are something that is happening all over the country, "it is the irresponsibility of the government, the inability and lack of management.”

Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia held an ad-hoc meeting of the coordination group members on the immediate recovery of jeopardized water supply in ski resorts.

As officials of respective public institutions explained during the meeting, the problem originated from a mostly dry climate with no rainfall, as a result of which water resources have been reduced sharply. Also due to insufficient water resources, an artificial snowfall system failed to be put in motion.

Gudauri and Bakuriani are Georgia’s one of the most popular resorts. Gudauri is a young and rapidly developing resort in the Kazbegi region of Georgia, it is 120 kilometers away from Tbilisi, at the height of 2,196 meters. Generally, the skiing season starts in December and lasts until April.

Bakuriani is in the Borjomi district of Georgia. It is located on the northern slope of the Trialeti Range, at an elevation of 1,700 meters above sea level.