Season ends 7th April: a look back

Apr 02, 2013 9 Comments by
Bansko ski

Gondola lift last day operational: Sunday 7th April 2013

Ulen, the Bansko lift operator, have announced that Sunday 7th April will be the last day for the Bansko ski season and for the lifts to be fully operational. The gondola lift will shut and, well, that is it.

It’s all over.

Whether the snow, higher up, tomorrow and for several days would have been enough to extend things is unclear. But with Orthodox Easter in May there are fewer Bulgarians here on holidays. Deteriorating snow conditions being offered as the main reason for shutting earlier than the planned date of 14th April.

Picture taken: 3rd March 2013

I think it’s less about snow, or a consideration for the weather charts, which are delivering fresh snow on the higher slopes, but more about economics. This view is understandable, given the high cost of running lifts — just for the few visitors here.

Dobrinishte lift at Bezbog has remained open.

You should follow me on twitter @bansko by clicking here.


Reflections on the season

It’s been a fine  ski season for snow, with just this last week presenting high winds and melting snow. I managed more skiing then any other year, with some memorable and simply wonderful powder days through the trees.

From the wonderful Rossignol T9 carving skis to the WhiteDot Preacher’s skis (all part of the advanced skis bookable here at discount) they helped my confidence. But, more than this. it was the tips from expert friends and instructors that helped me the most.

With some long gondola queues at peak times, there is a growing feeling that more lifts would be in general a “good thing”. Some say a decision is getting closer on this.

I can’t stress enough the huge improvement experienced, for the vast majority of visitors, that the smoking ban had. The ban came into effect in June 2012 and early reports show a national drop of Bulgarian’s smoking of 3% to 4% since the band,

A transformational change for Bulgaria.


Thoughts of more lifts

Overall I am in favour of more lifts — but it’s not without wondering if, in 200 years time, others may see the extra lifts and think… “What were you thinking of? building more / cutting down more trees.” I have doubts, but it is hard to deny that we love good ski lifts and the slopes. It is also hard not to forget the boost to tourism which Bulgaria will gain from expansion. The French, Swiss, Austrian and Italian Alps received a similar bost to their economies from the construction of lifts and I can sympathise with Bulgaria wanting their slice of the winter tourism action too.

We’ll see.

But for now, we’ll make the most of the next few days — and think about next ski season.

Plato; picture taken 17.03.13.

But I’m already looking at things to do in the summer. The delights of the Pirin range for hiking, biking and photography are something I am now looking forward to once again. Pirin Golf is now open and I hope to re stir my passion for golf soon.

Maybe a few rounds on the Fantasy Golf machine in Pirin Golf downtown is what I need first. When I go, I’ll write about this.

Thank you for reading during the season, but stay tuned for lots more. Already I am pleased to say we will have Aly, a guest snow reporter this season. He’ll be providing ski tips in a series of articles. Looking or the same for snowboarding.

I plan to serve up a menu of variety. From restaurant reviews — some still sitting in the drafts folder — to tales from the mountain areas of Bulgaria. But more  guest articles and more pictures is the plan. A full-on technical focus is underway — on both the apps and the website.

It will be keeping me busy, and your tips for improvement are welcome both by commenting here, or by sending me an email.

As always, much of the content of this site is available on your phone and tablet, via the Bansko App (iOS and Android), by clicking here (it’s free). Be sure to subscribe and receive your free eBook, “The Essential Guide to Bansko“. It’s absolutely free.


Tips of the Day

  • EasyJet flights have been released for next season.
  • Have something to say? Comment here, or on twitter, or FB page.
  • Please rate and review the Bansko App in the App store / Google Play — it really helps keep it free!





About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.

9 Responses to “Season ends 7th April: a look back”

  1. Stuart says:

    I find that news a little sad for some reason. Thank you for your updates. We visited in Feb for the first time, had a great time and on return have rebooked for next Feb. Looking forward to your updates ahead of our trip next season. Cheers

    • Lance says:

      Hi Stuart,

      Thank you for yoru comment, I agree — I have mixed feelings.

      Today, when i looked at the blog posts, I was reminded about things I wanted to write about, but never had time. Finally, after an intense four months, I am looking forward to improving the app, the site and getting more tips down on the blog. Holiday home / property owners, managing your property, wine, beer, living and stuff to interest summer travellers.

      I’m also looking to get provide a taste of the Bulgaria outside Bansko. So, thinking about it, let Spring come and let’s go biking!

  2. fotis says:

    ulen made a fortune again this year…so the cast of running the lifts for one more week full of fresh snow is not a big deal….

  3. fotis says:

    but it looks like bulgarian businesmen in bansko are putting in their pockets us much as they can as the german runned banks that gave all these huge loan for the resort will take over very very soon…maybe for our benefit as the locals did not manage well with tourism management..

    • Lance says:

      Hi Fortis, Thank you for commenting.

      I am not sure I really understand your point entirely, so am unable to reply in detail. As for banks “taking over” I am not aware of the financial situation of the main lift operator, Ulen. This last season was good from what I could see, and the Bansko lift system works well, piste preparation was usually excellent, and the general mountain infrastructure is still considered by most as the best in the Balkans.

      • Red Leader says:

        Hi Lance
        I was also sadened to hear the news especially as the webcam suggested snow up top. I visited twice this season, the second time over the easter weekend which was OK for skiing at the top.

        I thought it was also strange that alot of bars closed 31st March when there still seemed plenty of people around, its just sad as it marks the end of another season, roll on next year.

        I have been meaning to blog since my visit in Feb. This is my 4th year and i noticed more families and family friendly bars, i struggled to find really good apres ski this year, any tips?

        Red Leader.

        • Lance says:

          Hi Red,

          Yes sad it’s ended.

          I experienced more good places for families this year. Low priced restaurants, such as The Log House, The Avalon (burgers), Victoria, Euphoria, Penguins, Lions Pub, Chateau Antique, and some mehanas, offered a lot of variety at good prices.

          In Penguins and Euphoria, as well as the Happy End (Friday and Saturday nights), the live bads were really good. One of my favourite was Harry’s Bar. The Lizard is a legend here on accoustic guitar, starting at 16:30, and he will play your favourite tunes. Harry’s bar food good too. Pirin 75 was beter than ever — albeit DJ music rather too loud.

          Bash Bar (close to Church square), TrackBar (Glazne Street) and Oxygen provide DJ party till late. For a local chalga (turbo pop folk) scene check out Nai Club at Florimont Hotel.

          Be sure to download the Bansko App to find our locations and details.

          Sing Sing piano bar, at the Kempinski Hotel, still remains the best undiscovered night venue. Tabu and iGroove bands here deliver such musicianship in a nice atmosphere that it’s still possible to go there without reservation.

          I will do a round up of all places in every category, when time allows and will go in the updated Essential Guide. This last season I really got out more than ever, both in town and on the slopes.

  4. Mark says:

    I enjoyed the skiing in Bansko this year. However, the resort itself is going rapidly downhill (no pun intended)!

    There has been a huge increase in the number of lap dancing clubs since last season – and I fear that there will be no turning back from this. The resort is increasingly catering to the lowest of the low, and will lose valuable family business as a result of this. I certainly wouldn’t want to take my family there anymore.

    Sad to see the start of the demise of a resort that could h w been perfect for families…

    • Lance says:

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your commenting.

      Adult entertainment places have increased but maybe most children do not register what these places are. Any other views? But the overall experience I got this year was of more good family places to eat and a wide range of night life entertainment. In my opinion, Bansko gives the likes of Chamonix a good run for its money in terms of apres ski and places to go. And that’s ignoring the huge price differential.

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