Last week, FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis and Freestyle Skiing Coordinator Joseph Fitzgerald were in Georgia to discuss the development of ski and snowboard activities in the country.
Besides meeting with the Georgian Ski Federation and the Mountain Resorts Development Company, the FIS representatives met with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, along with the Finance and Sports Ministers who informed about the key steps taken by the Government to develop skiing and snowboarding in the country. This includes the implemented and ongoing large-scale infrastructure projects of the highland resorts. Three of them – Goderdzi, Tetnuldi and Kokhta-Mitarbi have already started operating while development plans of other four – Bakuriani, Tusheti, Mestia and Bakhmaro are being drafted.
Sarah Lewis commented: “The Georgian Government’s commitment to the development of winter sports with the work of its Mountain Resorts Development Company, improving the access roads and stimulating investment in new hotels, alongside opening mountain academies in four of the resorts, as well as changing the school winter holidays to enable ski trips for youngsters, are highly significant measures for the future of snow sports in Georgia.”
Alongside Sarah Lewis, FIS Freestyle Skiing Coordinator Joseph Fitzgerald was on site to perform a technical evaluation of the infrastructure necessary for holding world class events in Gudauri and Bakuriani, including a potential candidacy for the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in 2023.
He commented: “There are some major developments and plans underway for the development of many of the ski areas. Gudauri (2150m- 3007m) just some 120 km from to the capital city Tbilisi will be a world-class ski area in several years. Bakuriani (1850m), is being redeveloped into a four season resort. Once development plans are fully realised, considerable infrastructure will be in place for the growth of skiing and snowboarding in Georgia.”