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10.11.2023 // Tirvas LLC, a resident of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF), is undertaking two large-scale projects to erect cable ways on the southern and northern slopes of the BigWood Ski Resort in Kirovsk, Murmansk Region. The infrastructure is being developed in response to the dynamic increase in tourist arrivals. During the 2022–2023 season, the resort welcomed over 335,000 winter enthusiasts, a 25% increase from the previous year.
The first gondola lift (the cable way type) will transport guests to an altitude of 873 m above sea level in comfortable panoramic cabins on the southern slope of BigWood Ski Resort. Currently, 17 pillars ranging from 12 to 20 m in height are being constructed here. The new cable way will have a capacity ranging from 1,200 to 2,250 passengers per hour, and boarding will be directly from the parking lot, providing convenience for resort guests.
Additionally, a 300-metre-long T-bar lift with double towing devices is being built on the northern slope of BigWood Ski Resort. This lift will have a capacity of 1,200 passengers per hour. The lower station is conveniently located right at the entrance to the equipment rental building.
The total investment in these projects, as per the agreement with the Far East Development Corporation (FEDC), exceeds RUB 1.5 bn, with their completion planned for 2023–2024.
'The dynamic increase in tourist traffic has posed a challenge to the existing infrastructure of BigWood Ski Resort. To make winter vacation conditions more comfortable, the investor, Tirvas LLC, decided to construct two new cable ways on the northern and southern slopes of the resort,' noted Alexander Sergienko, Director of the BigWood Ski Resort.
He stated that the new cable ways are complex engineering structures that comply with all safety standards. Building in the Arctic has its unique challenges: the brief summer doesn't allow for delays in work schedules. Operating equipment in Arctic conditions comes with a multitude of intricacies. The units require a higher level of maintenance. The Khibiny mountains boast the longest ski season in Russia. However, the cable ways are also in use outside of the ski season— during summer, visitors can come to Kirovsk to explore mountain trails and hiking paths.
The resort management is hopeful that Tirvas LLC's substantial investments in new cable way construction won't impact the price of ski-passes. The plan is to maintain tariffs at a level accessible to a broad audience, as BigWood Ski Resort is popular among both seasoned skiers and youngsters, attracting families with children and those planning to ski for the first time.
The AZRF resident has already executed several projects aimed at boosting Kirovsk's tourism sector. In 2021, the investor constructed Plateau, the panoramic restaurant complex, atop Aikuaivenchorr mountain, leveraging tax benefits among other things. Full preference packages were also granted to new cable way construction projects.
'We have been provided with a comprehensive set of support measures. Undoubtedly, tax benefits and priority land plot registration opportunities are likely the main advantages for our projects,' highlighted German Simakov, CEO of Tirvas LLC.
'Arctic investors benefit from zero profit tax (federal part) for 10 years, zero land tax for the first 3–5 years, a reduced corporate property tax rate of 0 to 1.1% for the first 5 years, 75% compensation of insurance premiums for job creation and other preferences apply. This enables businesses that actively invest in their regions' development to grow dynamically,' stressed Alexander Shutov, Director of FEDC Murmansk.
In total, according to the FEDC, over 670 AZRF residents are implementing investment projects worth approximately RUB 825 bn, creating more than 25.6 thousand jobs.