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Igor Bystrov: We Waste Half of Our Sea Resources 
                 Why we do not use our rich resources? Why our marketplaces are so poor and the prices for sea products are so high? The main reason must be the poor governing of the fishing branch.

Jnr 24
Gorny Vozdukh: How Much Is a Ticket? 
                 A lot of words have been said about Gorny Vozdukh base new born. But then Rosneft refused to finance the project and the region authorities came down to the business.


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January 24, 2007

Gorny Vozdukh: How Much Is a Ticket?

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Remind the state of things: the Sakhalin Region Administration has 95.92% of the Gorny Vozdukh OJSC shares; the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Mayor’s Administration obtains the remaining part. Andrey Ageyenko was appointed to the post of the OJSC General Director. After the Minister of Economic Development German Gref’s visit, it was decided to spend 122 million rubles for the Gorny Vozdukh reconstruction. 150 million more have “come” from Gref. In 2006 the Region Budget has spent 165 million rubles for the same goal.

The Sakhalin Region Administration Capital Construction Department held a tender and found a contractor for a funicular construction from the Spartak Stadium to the Bolshevik Mountain top. SKADO Company (Samara) has won the tender and is already using the provided money. Another skiing rout has been opened on Bolshevik slope. The main rout was illuminated and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk citizens and guest now can admire it every evening. Everything seemed perfect.

Then a scandal broke out however. The Federal Antimonopoly Service Sakhalin Region Department began the inspection of the company finances. The Region Duma delegates will apply for the Regional Prosecutor’s Office. Skiers and snowboarders held a protest action and demonstratively refused to use the bar lift on Bolshevik.

Pay Money and Mind Stones!

A common Sakhalin family: Victor and Lyubov, their sons Zhenya and Semen. All except 2-year old Semen like skiing. They used to ski every weekend on the Bolshevik Mountain. The family and their friends helped to mount the bar lift on the mountain southern slope, just on bare enthusiasm.

This year the season began on January 2 due to lack of snow. Only the old rout was used and skiers and snowboarders were constantly asked to mind stones. Many people have broken their expensive skies and boards.

But the protest action was caused not only by the bad rout condition.

“Coming on Gorny Vozdukh we were shocked. Price for one lift is 80 rubles instead of 60. There are no family or children discounts. So the cost of one lift for me, my wife and Zhenya is 240 rubles. Nobody explains the reason of the price rising. The service is not good however. There is not a paid car parking or a cafe;. I do not think we will go to Gorny Vozdukh with my family this winter again,” Victor told.

By the way, in all Russian skiing resorts the price for a lift is 20-40 rubles. So, Sakhalin prices are the highest. In the beginning the project was described as social, which main aim was Sakhalin citizens’ health.

All We Need Is Snow. And Money!

Dispute with the General Director Andrey Ageyenko took a lot of time. He claimed that Gorny Vozdukh OJSC did not get money from the regional budget in 2006.

“One million was given by Sakhalin-XXI Century Fund to reconstruct the judge pavilion. Money earned in last season ended in July. At the same time we have 30 specialists in the staff, pay rent and taxes.

The decision to increase prices in holidays and weekends was not an easy one. Some sportsmen however ski in business day which is not so expensive.

In working mornings the lift is free of charge for 30 minutes. The pricing policy let to avoid jams on the rout and car parking. Maximum time of waiting for a lift is not more than 12 minutes. It is not very much, is it?

As for the children’s tickets, there is problem in our control system. It is rather old and we can not check whether a child or an adult uses the ticket. But the lift for preschool children is free”.

Mr. Ageyenko explained that Russian ski resorts having prices of 20-40 rubles are property of sport schools or sanatoriums. In our case, a single rout earns money for the whole base keeping.

Bad condition of the rout is explained with small amount of snow. The big number of stones is also caused by lack of snow. Gorny Vozdukh specialists take them away in bags. Moreover, the funicular is being constructed at the moment and the road to its bases crosses the skiing rout twice.

It is difficult to organize bus rides to the base, as the road to it is not included even into 4th category allowing passengers carrying. The negotiations with traffic police however are held.

“Everything is not so bad. Another rout on the Southern slope will be opened as soon as snow falls. A kindergarten will be opened by March. Parents will be able to leave children there and go skiing or snowboarding.

The issue will be finally solved after the funicular coming into operation. It will happen by the next winter season beginning. One more thing: there is no Gorny Vozdukh sports and tourist complex yet. It is being in construction stage. That is why we cannot provide all the services immediately”.

34 million rubles will be spent for Gorny Vozdukh development in 2007 from the regional budget.

It is Late to “Cross Ski”

Let’s wait for the results of Gorny Vozdukh finance activity inspection by Antimonopoly Department and the Prosecutor’s Office. We shall hope that the “Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk carte-de-visite”, as Gorny Vozdukh was called once, will become a beautiful and modern winter resort. And that A. Ageyenko will understand that it is necessary to respect clients. Was it difficult to talk to the sportsmen and amateurs before the season beginning and to explain everything? Nevertheless, he had to cross swords… or ski, but in more tense conditions.

The story must be a good lesson for Gorny Vozdukh authorities and shareholders.

P.S.

On Saturday, January 20, no one of Gorny Vozdukh stockholders came on the meeting with protest action members. They however like to speak about the Sakhalin resort new born and to call it “regional national project”. The initiative group of winter sport amateurs will send an application to the Sakhalin Region Administration, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Administration, and City Council and to the Regional Committee for Physical Culture and Sport Head Andrey Litvin. Text of the application has been worked out on another meeting with Anrey Ageyenko on January 23.

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Fbr 14
"One-Handed Bandits" Tightly Pressed 
                 In three years there will not be any casinos in cities: they will move to special gambling areas. Gambling machines will disappear as well. But what about the current situation?

Fbr 6
Who Gains? 
                 How will the trade reforms influence Sakhalin citizens used to buy things on Chinese marketplaces?

Jnr 30
Igor Bystrov: We Waste Half of Our Sea Resources 
                 Why we do not use our rich resources? Why our marketplaces are so poor and the prices for sea products are so high? The main reason must be the poor governing of the fishing branch.

Jnr 24
Gorny Vozdukh: How Much Is a Ticket? 
                 A lot of words have been said about Gorny Vozdukh base new born. But then Rosneft refused to finance the project and the region authorities came down to the business.

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Fbr 14 "One-Handed Bandits" Tightly Pressed
In three years there will not be any casinos in cities: they will move to special gambling areas. Gambling machines will disappear as well. But what about the current situation?
Fbr 6 Who Gains?
How will the trade reforms influence Sakhalin citizens used to buy things on Chinese marketplaces?
Jnr 30 Igor Bystrov: We Waste Half of Our Sea Resources
Why we do not use our rich resources? Why our marketplaces are so poor and the prices for sea products are so high? The main reason must be the poor governing of the fishing branch.
Jnr 24 Gorny Vozdukh: How Much Is a Ticket?
A lot of words have been said about Gorny Vozdukh base new born. But then Rosneft refused to finance the project and the region authorities came down to the business.
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