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Serbian investor reportedly interested in Kanin ski resort

Ljubljana/Bovec, 26 April (STA) - Kanin, Slovenia's only true high-altitude ski resort, which was closed this winter after failing to extend its cable car permit, is reportedly being eyed by Trgovinsko preduzeće Ri-komerc Beograd. Delo reported Friday that government officials had been contacted on behalf of the Serbian company by former Slovenian ski champion Bojan Križaj.

In the latest story involving the resort, known for its abundance of natural snow but also perpetual problems due to lack of investment in harsh conditions of above 2,200 metres, the paper quotes the Infrastructure Ministry as saying Ri-komerc is also interested in investing in hospitality, golf courses, and an airport.

Minister Alenka Bratušek said that the government does not oppose these investments, having itself been looking for ways to keep the ski resort going, but she referred the potential investors to the Bovec municipality, the owner of the slopes and infrastructure at the resort in the far west of the country.

Municipal representatives are however not familiar with the case, while Križaj, who enjoyed near cult status as a skier in the 1980s before becoming a businessman, refused to comment.

The owner and director of Trgovinsko Preduzeće Ri-komerc Beograd is Dejan Ljevnaić, since 2017 the director of the heavily indebted Jahorina Olympic Centre, which is majority-owned by Republika Srpska.

Križaj has been a frequent visitor to Jahorina for years, where he has also invested in a tourist resort, Delo reported.

The Kanin ski resort, which is connected to the Sella Nevea ski resort on the Italian side of Mount Kanin, failed to get its cable car operating permit extended last autumn.

The cable car from Bovec was built in 1973 and renovated at the turn of the century but the municipality has failed to secure the dozens of millions of euros needed for a new one.

The resort's operator Sončni Kanin is still operational and has been looking after the maintenance of the ski lifts on the mountain, which were renovated with the help of EU and state funds a decade ago to allow the resort to start operating again in 2017 after an almost four-year hiatus.

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