Tatras construction proceeds at breakneck pace

The Slovak government has undertaken a reconstruction project in Poprad and the High Tatras that will cost the taxpayer 344 million Sk ($9.66 million) by the time it is completed in January 1999. The renovations to winter stadiums, ski hills and ramps aim to provide first class sporting facilities to competitors at the 1999 World University Winter Games, which is scheduled to be held in northern Slovakia early next year.
The main investor behind the project is the Slovak Association of Physical Culture (SZTK), which obtained funds from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance. Štefan Lackovič, the executive secretary of SZTK, said that the 1999 Universiad is being viewed as a trial run for a possible Winter Olympics. Slovakia, or rather Poprad-Tatry, is one of the candidates for the 2006 Winter Games.


Final reconstruction works on the 90 metre ski ramp at Štrbské Pleso resort are being carried out by contractor Liptostav for the 1999 World University Winter Games.
Mikuláš Argalács

The Slovak government has undertaken a reconstruction project in Poprad and the High Tatras that will cost the taxpayer 344 million Sk ($9.66 million) by the time it is completed in January 1999. The renovations to winter stadiums, ski hills and ramps aim to provide first class sporting facilities to competitors at the 1999 World University Winter Games, which is scheduled to be held in northern Slovakia early next year.

The main investor behind the project is the Slovak Association of Physical Culture (SZTK), which obtained funds from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance. Štefan Lackovič, the executive secretary of SZTK, said that the 1999 Universiad is being viewed as a trial run for a possible Winter Olympics. Slovakia, or rather Poprad-Tatry, is one of the candidates for the 2006 Winter Games.

"If the University Games are successful, and if we win the bid for the 2006 Winter Games, we will construct many more stadia and facilities," Lackovič said. "But everything, again, will depend on financing, which at the moment is very problematic."

The new construction projects, which were started only at the beginning of 1998, are being carried out by Slovak contractors such as Stavoindustria Jasna, Stavebná Spoločnost Tatry, Liptostav and many smaller local companies.

The biggest renovations being carried out are to the 90 metre ski ramp in the mountain resort centre of Štrbské Pleso (see picture, this page) and to the hockey arenas in five regional towns which will host figure skating, hockey and speed skating events.

Asked why the construction had been started so late, Lackovič explained that "there was no money before now," and said that the Finance Ministry had recently earned enough funds from lotteries and casino-type games to be able to cover the entire 344 million Sk reconstruction bill.

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