Ilham Aliyev attended inauguration of cableway and ski slope No.2 of Shahdag Winter-Summer Tourism Complex

27 february 2011, 18:00

President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva attended inauguration of cable and ski slope No.2 of Shahdag Winter-Summer Tourism Complex in Gusar.

The President was informed that the construction of Shahdag Winter-Summer Tourism Complex had started in September of 2009. A ground breaking ceremony of this huge complex was held during the visit of the President to Gusar. As per direct instructions of President Ilham Aliyev, the construction works are carried out in accordance with high standards at Shahdag Winter-Summer Tourism Complex, which is located in the village of Dagliq Alayan – 30 km-s north of Gusar town. The construction works are supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Construction of this complex in the area of the Shahdag National Park will create great opportunities for mountain skiing and other winter sports. High-level construction works are being carried out by teams of local and foreign experts.

Upon their arrival to the construction site of the complex, President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva were met by heads and representatives of local and foreign companies.

Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev informed President Ilham Aliyev about the ongoing works.

President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva also checked out the elevator warehouse.

The President launched the cableway No.2 for testing.

It was indicated that the general design of the complex had been prepared by a Swiss-Austrian company implementing major projects, in particular those relating to downhill skiing centers.

The Azerbaijani President was also familiarized with new facilities of the complex.

It was noted that cable ways were considered one of the key pieces of infrastructure at the winter tourist complex. Nine cable ways will be built within the complex at the first stage. The cable ways are being laid by an Austrian company with many years of experience in this sphere. The first lift with a range of 982 meters has already been commissioned.

President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva went skiing.

It was indicated that the design of artificial snow complexes and the assembly of artificial snow facilities at the center had been carried out by Italian TeknoAlpen EC, a company internationally renowned in this area. To ensure the required snow cover, 69 artificial snow generators T-60 have been installed at the Shahdag summer and winter tourist complex. Ice generators demonstrated their effectiveness during initial trials of skiing tracks.

After becoming familiar with the conditions at the center, the head of state indicated that the construction of the Shahdag summer and winter tourist complex, one of the major infrastructure projects aiming to develop sports and tourism in Azerbaijan, was of great importance for the country. President Ilham Aliyev said:

- This is a great and momentous day in the life of our country. Azerbaijan’s first skiing resort is being commissioned. The first skiing track is ready and we have marked its opening. This is a major and historic event indeed. Azerbaijan has never had skiing resorts before. Not even in Soviet times. Today, independent Azerbaijan is capable of making great achievements. We are developing and modernizing our country. All parts of independent Azerbaijan must develop.

Thanks to the opening of this skiing resort, thousands of vacancies will be opened here, people will be provided with jobs and receive good salaries. This resort is hugely important for the development of the northern zone. People living in Gusar, Guba and adjacent districts will be provided with jobs, the highest level of services will be organized here. Modern hotels and entertainment centers are under construction. These lifts are already beginning to operate. In other words, I am sure that residents of our country and visitors will have the best conditions here.

In establishing this tourist center we aimed to ensure that the infrastructure to be built and commissioned here meets the highest standards. The world’s best practices and downhill skiing opportunities of the most developed countries were studied. The most advanced technologies and practices are being introduced here too. I do hope that all the work that is part of the first stage will be completed in the near future so that this wonderful resort could open its doors to people, to the residents of Azerbaijan before the end of this year. This is a major historic event. A downhill skiing resort is being established in Azerbaijan for the first time.

I also hope that additional investment will be made here in the coming years. At the first stage, all investment is made by the state. Roads, electricity, gas and water lines are being laid by the state. The entire infrastructure, the first hotel is being built by the state. I do hope that the private sector, investors and local businessmen will invest in this wonderful region. A modern and large tourist center will be established here.

This year has been declared the Year of Tourism in Azerbaijan. Several modern hotels will be opened in Baku and other cities and districts of the country this year. One of them will be opened here, in Gusar District, at the Shahdag Winter-Summer Tourism Complex. The investment to be made here in the coming years will turn these places into international tourist center number one. We have made this possible.

When I first came here, there was nothing on this territory. There were only mountains and snow. In fact, there are no residential settlements in the vicinity. By selecting this place and engaging foreign specialists, we have turned this myth into a reality. In addition to the development of tourism, the establishment of this resort is important because it demonstrates that independent Azerbaijan can do great things. We set a task and fulfill it with the highest quality and at the best possible level.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on this great event. I want to thank all the companies working at this wonderful center, Azerbaijani specialists and construction workers for doing the work at a high level. I want to express hope again that the citizens of Azerbaijan can begin using these wonderful opportunities before the end of this year. Congratulations again!

The head of state and his wife tried the first commissioned cable way.

Then President Ilham Aliyev held a meeting with managers of local and foreign companies implementing construction operations. Construction workers informed the head of state of the work being done and planned.

Indicating that the opening of cable way and skiing slope No 2 of the Shahdag Winter-Summer Tourism Complex was an important event, President Ilham Aliyev described the construction of Azerbaijan’s first downhill skiing complex as a great success.

The head of state added that work had already been started on developing this region and turning it into a tourist center of international level. President Aliyev stressed the importance of creating the necessary social infrastructure and experimental bases on the premises, including the expansion of roads.

The Azerbaijani President issued relevant instructions pertaining to the second phase of the project.

In conclusion, the head of state and his wife were familiarized with models of structures to be established at subsequent stages of the project.