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28 June 2010, 17:29. Elbrus, all programs »

 Climb Mount Elbrus with us, the best way to visit North Caucasus….

 Yet another construction site has emerged in Russia, this time in the North Caucasus. A 5,000 square kilometre area is due to turn into a world-class ski tourist centre. Some private investors are prepared to invest money in the ambitious project, and the Russian Government has also pledged support. The “North Caucasus Resorts” project, presented at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, has won the support of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. 

 The concept to develop tourism in the North Caucasus has been encoded “Height 5,642”, which is the height of Elbrus Mount, - the highest peak of Russia and Europe. This is one of the more impressive places the world over, where anyone enjoys staying during any season of the year. But so far tourists could basically enjoy the mountain from afar, since it is only the southern hillside that boasts minimal infrastructure that Alpine skiers and mountain climbers could use to practice their sports.         

 There’ve been numerous attempts to turn Elbrus into a tourist paradise, but the cost of the project has invariably proved an insurmountable barrier. But now that the Russian Government has decided to invest in the project, albeit partially, the situation has changed for the better. A decision has been made to develop infrastructure both on Mount Elbrus and in the adjacent area, which boasts an overwhelming plant life. As a result the new project comprised several resorts in six republics, namely Dagestan, North Ossetia, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Adygea and Kabardino-Balkaria, and the Krasnodar Region.

 This will help minimize the expenditure and bring the regions closer to each other, Dmitry Medvedev said, and elaborated.

 Each of these republics, Dmitry Medvedev says, has its own industry, agriculture, its own problems, but none has had the idea that would bring them together in terms of business. I am certain that if the project is carefully thought out, everything will work out nicely, and nothing can possibly prevent us from carrying it out, including security problems. I hope we will still meet at one of these resorts, Dmitry Medvedev said in conclusion.         

 Under the project the tourist infrastructure of the North Caucasus will be built from scratch. To make the construction site attractive to investors, each resort will get the status of a special economic area, with preferential tax treatment, loans and other preferences. The project is due to be carried out in 20 years; the original investment will make up some 40 billion roubles; which is slightly more what the Sochi-2014 Olympics project needed for implementation.         

 Huge funds to be invested are certainly a drawback, but the project also boasts unquestionable advantages, including the creation of new jobs. It is no secret that the mentality of the North Caucasus residents has little to do with an effective development of an industrial complex, but the service sector, restaurants and hotels, are precisely the place where local residents will be happy to work in