Abundance of snow enabled the re-launch of Kozji hrbet ski lift

Kobla ski resort on the road to revival

Kobla ski resort on the road to revival

A new investor aims to turn the dormant area into a modern, sustainable resort boasting the longest ski runs in Slovenia

Ten years after the lifts of the popular Kobla ski resort in northwestern Slovenia ground to a halt, the Kozji hrbet ski lift serving a 440 m trail was launched again last December. The event, which international audiences might have brushed off as insignificant, was locally heralded as the first step towards the long-awaited revitalization of the winter sports area above Bohinj in the Julian Alps.

Ambitious aims

Prior to Kobla-Bohinj’s closure in 2011 due to the insolvency of its former concessioner, the ski and snowboard zone had 23 km of slopes at an altitude between 540 and 1,480 m, which were serviced by 3 chair lifts and 3 ropeways.

The EUR 30 million partnership project spearheaded by 2864 Bohinj, a company set up by cable car manufacturer Leitner, aims to turn the dormant area into a sustainable, eco-friendly resort and bike park boasting the longest ski runs in Slovenia. The area dominated by Triglav Mountain is perfect for all-seasons tourism with amenities including a hotel, congress centre, wellness, sauna and aqua park with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, with the world-famous Lake Bohinj not far away.

Project enjoying local support    

The 2864 project (named after the altitude of the country’s tallest peak, Mt Triglav) suffered years of delays caused by bureaucratic hurdles and legal challenges by former resort operator KOBLA ŽTG.

“Bohinj desperately needs this ski resort,” mayor Franc Kramar told MMC RTV Slovenia in a 2017 interview. “They (KOBLA ŽTG) use all legal and non-legal means to challenge everything that is happening with the new ski resort. They destroyed Kobla, and they don't even have the money to put anything new,” said Kramar at the time.

Boštjan Mencinger, head of the Bohinj Tourism Association, told the press during the re-launch of Kozji hrbet ski lift, that the new ski centre is expected to boost Bohinj’s flagging reputation as a skiing destination. The lack of functioning skiing facilities nearby has resulted in decreasing number of winter tourist nights and forced the municipality to start a ski bus service to the pistes of Kranjska Gora, Soriška planina and Pokljuka, just to make guests stay.

Lucky streak

Last year, the Municipality of Bohinj granted a concession to 2864 Bohinj for the Kozji hrbet ski lift which, due the lack of snow (and snow cannons), became operable only recently. Prior to that, the company had acquired all facilities of the bankrupt KOBLA ŽTG company.

On 8 April 2021, 2864 Bohinj submitted an expression of interest to the Ministry of Infrastructure regarding the construction of cable car facilities in the Bohinjska Bistrica area. In a preliminary procedure in February 2012, the Ministry already justified the need of cableway installations between Bohinjska Bistrica, Ravne, Sedlo pod Mali vrh and Slatnik.

On 29 January, 2022, the Slovenian government finally granted a concession to the investor for the construction of gondola lifts in the area, STA newswire reported. The concession, which is one of the conditions for obtaining a building permit, is granted over a period of 40 years. To progress further, the project also needs to pass an environmental impact assessment.

The construction of three gondola lifts is planned, the first one going from Bohinjska Bistrica to Ravne, the second from Ravne to the top of Kobla (Sedlo pod Mali vrh) and the third representing an extension to Slatnik. The hospitality services will be expanded, alongside a skiing school, and ski and bike rentals.

So, adults who nostalgically recall skiing on the slopes of Kobla in bygone days may soon have a chance to relive the sensation. And children eager to follow in the footsteps of Tina Maze, Slovenia’s most famous alpine skier, will surely join in the fun.  



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