Palandöken a rival of renowned ski centers
ERZURUM - Anatolia News Agency
This year’s ski season has recently opened in Palandöken, which is a very popular place in winter sports afficionades.The eastern province of Erzurum’s famous ski resort, Palandöken has recently opened for the new ski season. Erzurum Governor Sebahattin Öztürk said they were competing against renowned ski centers all across the world. “It is a hard competition, but we will win it finally,” he said.
One big difference at the ski center this season is that it is now managed by the Youth Services and Sports Provincial Directorate rather than the ski federation, the governor said. The facilities will be managed under the coordination of the governor’s office, he said.
“The Youth Services and Sports Provincial Directorate will manage Palandöken, Konaklı and Kandilli high boards for the first time this year. These facilities opened last year and were managed by another federation. This year they were given to us, namely the directorate. There was only Palandöken before the construction of these facilities and it was not like a facility. We could not open the season in October but we will close the gap,” Öztürk said.
The ski resort was recently opened for the ski season in Palandöken and the center’s artificial snow system has been put into effect especially in Konaklı. Öztürk said that a tour operator would come from Austria in January. “We have a lot to do for the promotion of Palandöken. I can never say that we are sufficient. We need opportunities and time. But people are aware of Erzurum,” he said.
According to Öztürk, Erzurum does not have anything more important than tourism. “Maybe we can have one or two more universities or health centers. We have a medical faculty and a regional hospital.
Now we are establishing a city hospital. The most important thing that we will focus on is the winter tourism. We are working to bring more foreign tourists to the city. We have a limited population that has interest in winter sports. This is why we need neighboring countries but they have economic problems,” he said.
Rivals of Palandöken are located in multiple countries around the world. “We rank 18th among the world’s most important 46 ski centers. This increases us our visibility, but our rivals are big world countries, including France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. We are determined to win this competition because Erzurum is the only place in Turkey with many facilities and complexes. Some of them are only in Erzurum such as high board and biathlon. For example a Russian tourist thinks to go to Turkey or Austria. If we have advantageous prices, they will choose us,” he said.