Nordic centre Planica upgrading before 2023 World Championships
Planica, 11 February - The Nordic centre Planica has been open for more than three years and it has already made a name for itself among professional athletes and tourists alike. Before hosting the Nordic World Championships in 2023, the centre wants to update its artificial snow-making system and add a new accommodation facility.
The director of the Planica sports centre, Jelko Gros, said that they were satisfied with the business results, which have exceeded expectations. They are investing all surplus into development, acknowledging that several bigger projects will have to be done before the World Championships in 2023.
The artificial snow-making system will have to be updated through the replacement of snow cannons and groomers, and accommodation facilities will have to be expanded.
"We still cannot tell for certain when this new accommodation facility will be completed. However, we will endeavour to make it happen in time for the World Championships," Gros told the STA.
There is already a hotel in Planica which caters to the requirements of professional athletes all year round and is on average running at 60% occupancy.
Even though the majority of visitors includes national sports teams, 20-30% of them are tourists from all over the world. It is difficult to say which season is more profitable since the tourist season peaks in the summer, while in the winter Planica turns into a paradise for Nordic ski enthusiasts, said Gros.
The most popular tourist attraction is the zip-line on the ski flying hill which is the steepest in the world and lets visitors experience an adrenaline fall from the top of the hill.
Guided tours are also quite popular among tourists. When it comes to the sport facilities, the most frequented ones are ski jumping hills and cross-country tracks that are available also in the summer months.
According to Gros, instead of developing new activities, the centre is focusing on those already established. "The visitors are coming because of our particular list of activities. Planica is an open space where everybody can choose whatever they prefer," he added.