Winter skiing season are getting scarcer year by year. Foto: Miro Štebe
Winter skiing season are getting scarcer year by year. Foto: Miro Štebe
In the meantime the Velika planina company is trying to offer to guest at least a taste of winter pleasures. Foto: Miro Štebe
At the cable car lower station renovation of the restaurant has already begun. When finished, it should be worthy of its name. Foto: Miro Štebe
The idyllic landscape is waiting for a new shipment of snow. Foto: Miro Štebe

Due to increasing number of green winters, worn out cableway devices, poor management in the past, and uncoordinated wishes, plans, and expectations of those who have a say in this matter, the winter ski seasons at Planina are getting worse year by year. At first they had to renounce to the popular ski track in Tiha dolina, and now the chairlift had to be stopped because of wear and tear. The first idea was to replace it with a used one, bought from another mountain lift operator, but following the sleet which last year affected also Velika planina, no money was left for such plans. They were without electricity for quite some time, and the loss kept growing.

The new leadership of the Velika planina company is trying to save what can be saved. They are suggesting a comprehensive renovation of the chairlift, as that would be cheaper than a purchase of a new one, or even another used one. The final decision will be made soon by the Kamnik municipal council, and by optimistic predictions the renovation could be completed before the beginning of the summer season at Planina. In the meantime the Velika planina company is doing its best to offer at least some of winter pleasures. They bought a new ski lift for children and named it Kekec, and they intend to create a winter sports park for the youngest, with the possibility for sledging, and perhaps even a bobsleigh track. For the adults night hikes with torches will be organized, renting of snowshoes, and guided tours on snowshoes, along with traditional guided winter trips etc.

At the lower cable car station a restaurant is being renovated, which will hopefully make it worthy of its name. The acting manager of the Velika planina company Leon Keder says that the lower cable car station has become a kind identity card of Velika planina. A tidy restaurant where guests would be able to wait for the cable car, or rest and have a drink or a snack after their hike on the mountain, would improve their impressions of the beauty, and the possibilities the mountain and the Kamniška Bistrica valley offer. They intend to offer to guests food of good quality, and yet at affordable prices.

However, the plans for renovation of the restaurant are already raising doubts: "Do we really need another restaurant at Bistrica – we already have five!" People also wonder what would that mean for the other caterers in the valley, as they already find it difficult to attract a large enough number of visitors.

The owner of the well known restaurant Pri planinskem orlu (At the Mountain Eagle) at the outskirts of Kamniška Bistric Janez Uršič claims they are not afraid of competition; actually they welcome it, but that it would be easier to renovate such a restaurant with municipal funds than by a private person who would have to carefully consider every euro. At the Tourist Association of Kamniška Bistrica they have their doubts as well, as they lack information. "Let's be surprised," says the president of the Tourist Association of the Kamniška Bistrica local community Maja Žagar.

It is also positive that, at the initiative of the manager of the Domžale mountain hut at Mala planina, the representatives of the caterers at Planina have come to an agreement. They intend to present to the municipality their collective ideas on the future of the tourist offer in their region. Perhaps the situation will improve at Planina, in spite of the difficult times, as until now one of the biggest obstacles was the discord between caterers, owners of holiday cottages, grazing communities, and the responsible persons from the Velika planina company.

Miro Štebe, translated by G. K.