Thursday, March 09, 2006

So wonderful to read something really positive about Ukraine - a New York Times story that has nothing to do with the elections, about an ambitious ski resort project in the beautiful Ukrainian Carpathians:

With master plans from Canada, high-speed lifts from Austria and $125 million in start-up capital, Mr. Dobrovolsky's Bukovel resort is the most significant investment in the region.

No great claim for this distant land of weathered wood houses and horse-drawn carriages in this Ivano-Frankovsk oblast, or administrative region. But if investment plans for the next few years are met, Bukovel will be one of the largest ski resorts in the world, with more guest accommodations than megaresorts like Whistler, in British Columbia, or even Vail.

Plans call for a total of $1 billion to be invested by 2010, when the resort will have 26 lifts and 75 miles of trails, said Mr. Dobrovolsky, now 31. The airport in nearby Ivano-Frankovsk is slated for expansion to handle international visitors.

And the very end of the piece is very moving, too:

Mr. Bidniy and Mr. Mudraninets know that a vibrant ski industry is just one step in the right direction for a poor country.

"If I had a lot of money, I'd rebuild the Uzhhorod orchestra," Mr. Mudraninets said. "It's the sign of a good city. Good roads and a good symphony orchestra. When we have those things, you know Ukraine will have arrived."

God bless them.

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