Bulgarian state railways BDZ to sell 11 recreation facilities for 15M BGN25.08.2011

Bulgarian state-run railway operator BDZ intends to sell 11 of its 16 recreation facilities in the country hoping to generate bottom sales proceeds of between 10 million and 15 million leva, Dnevnik learned on August 24.
The company will retain five recreation facilities and modernise them to lure tourists outside the railway sector.
The facilities were built in mountain and coastal resorts when the railways company had a workforce of 60 000. However, BDZ does not need so many beds after its significant staff downsizing, said Velik Zanchev, head of finance and administration division. The bases are primarily used by BDZ staff.
Some of the recreation facilities that are slated for sale are idle, others operate at low capacity. For instance, the Rodina base in the Vitosha mountain near Sofia has an annual occupancy rate of three per cent.
The sale of the facilities will help BDZ narrow its loss, which stood at 800 000 leva in the first six months of the year.
In fact, only the base in the Black Sea resort of Primorsko, which has about 200 beds, is making a profit. The buildings are in dire need of repairs and can hardly attract tourists, given the intense competition in the travel industry.
The recreation bases will be sold via close-bidding tenders "to avoid corruption practices". The company will open the sale procedures after clearance from the Cabinet. The Government has already vetted the sale of the idle base in Pliachkovtsi in the Balkan Mountain, including 11 000 sq m of land, 18 bungalows, which need repair, and a building of 360 sq m.
BDZ will lease the facilities under long-term contracts if no buyers turn up.

Source: The Sofia Echo

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