The FINANCIAL -- With USD 10 million of investment in just the initial stage of the project, Georgia will soon have its first 4 season resort. The complex, with more than 600 apartments and completely new infrastructure, will be ready to host its first guests by the end of 2017.
The unique resort will be financed by the Georgian Reconstruction and Development Company (GRDC). Georgian businessman Mamuka Khazaradze, the founder of GRDC and TBC Group, is behind the idea of the project. The project has been cited as one of the best examples of cooperation between the Government and private sector.
“This project by company ‘New Mitarbi’ is unique due to both its scale and term. It involves the construction of a 4 season resort in Bakuriani, in the surrounding Kokhta and Mitarbi area,” Zura Charbadze, CEO of New Mitarbi, told The FINANCIAL.
“The first thing the company did was to invite a French group of architects (who have already executed huge projects in the Alps in France, as well as in different world-renowned resorts) to plan the development. The general plan for development was created by Georgian and foreign architects, including the road, parking places, as many recreation zones as possible and other elements of the resort’s infrastructure,” said Charbadze.
Charbadze highlighted the effectiveness of the cooperation between the Government and private sector.
“The Government, especially the Mountain Resorts Development Company, is in the process of building new ski lines, roads and the required infrastructure. The new ski lift of Kokhta was unveiled in December, 2015. The new direction in Mitarbi is being built now. The Government took on the responsibility to finalize the roads and other infrastructure leading to the apartments and hotel by the end of 2017,” mentioned Charbadze.
Q. Why was the Kokhta and Mitarbi territory chosen for the development of the project?
A. Choosing this territory was due to the outstanding nature and landscape of Kokhta and Mitarbi. “Kokhta-Mitarbi” is a place which has unique forests, landscape and unexhausted natural resources. Bakuriani has been the central skiing resort in Georgia since the beginning of the previous century.
We can proudly announce that Bakuriani will be reborn with new infrastructure, hotels, rope-ways and ski or bike lanes. We have the quite legitimate ambition that “Kokhta-Mitarbi” will become one of the best quality 4 season resorts not only in Georgia, but on the international level.
Q. What is the correlation between the infrastructural and recreational zones?
A. Most of the space will be taken up by recreation and green zones, according to our development plan, only a small part of the territory will be used for building apartments and for the hotel complex itself.
Q. What will the number of apartments be, and what part will remain within the company’s property?
A. More than 600 apartments in addition to the hotel complex will be built near the new “Kokhta-Gora” rope-line station, in the first stage of the project. The project is in absolute harmony with the local landscape; it is being planned and developed with a low level of construction. Special infrastructure will be introduced so that within the hotel complex plan, cafés, restaurants and facilities for entertainment will be built.
Q. Are the sizes and prices of apartments already known? What is the target segment of the project?
A. Spaces vary in the range of from 33 to 100 square meters. Additionally, the architectural plan provides the opportunity for transforming some of the apartments into bigger spaces with extra bedrooms. As for the target segment, our project is oriented at family vacation-loving Georgians, young couples, professionals from different fields, as well as successful people with a stable income.
Q. Are environmental topics included in your priorities and how will the interests of the project and environment coincide?
A. We can definitely say that the environment is one of the main priorities of our company. Introducing a plan of regulations for development serves as encouragement for creating a concept, based on keeping and protecting the local nature; which will create resort development standards. Our strategy is to keep the already-existing trees and plants and at the same time plant new trees, of which we already have successful experience.
Q. What stage of implementation is the project now at; what amount of investments have already been made; and what is the total quantity of investment planned?
A. The first apartment blocks and hotel are being built now. The first guests of “Kokhta-Mitarbi” will be hosted in 2017. 10 million will be invested in just the first stage of the project.
Q. What are the expectations of the benefits for local citizens? How many people will be employed within the project?
A. It is pleasing that Bakuriani will have a resort and complex of international standards, which will increase the touristic potential of the country as well as increase economic activities in the region. It is absolutely clear that a project of this size will create long term and guaranteed job opportunities. Demand for local employees already exists, which will increase dynamically and make a good fundament for the prosperity of locals.
Q. How do you see the sustainability of the project, taking into consideration its seasonal prevalence?
A. Kokhta and Mitarbi have unique natural resources, rare climate conditions and an inconceivably interesting natural landscape. Until now it was mostly considered a winter resort, but it actually has the potential to become a 4 season resort. All the seasons are interesting, for instance, in spring it is a period of pine-blossom healing, while autumn is outstanding due to its colours. The resort should not only host tourists, but increase the number of international competitions and sports activities in winter, using opportunities provided by the amazing location of Kokhta and Mitarbi. The new infrastructure, roads, hotels and related services are a guarantee for creating and popularizing the new resort, so construction should continue in order for tourists to get enjoyment out of all the seasons.