Thursday, 25 April 2019

A Tale of Concessions and Politics - Dubrovnik's Cable Car Closes

If there's one thing Dubrovnik is good at, other than walls, history, and all the rest of it, it's getting in arguments with itself.

The city that needs tourists but often doesn't really treat them how they should be treated, the city that wants cruise ship money but must also cap vessel numbers, the city full of residents who can barely breathe for being squeezed out of their homes during the summer months but with a local government unit who claims to want to tailor the city to their needs.

The Pearl of the Adriatic is a strange place and paradoxical in many ways and in a multitude of ways, its sheer beauty is only skin deep. 

The cable car, one of Dubrovnik's best attractions which rakes in eye-watering amounts of money per year, transporting hoards of view-hungry tourists up and down the majestic Srđ mountainside to the very top of the rugged mountain which towers over the city, after making them wait in the boiling hot sunshine in a long queue without any shade first, of course, has ceased its functions after much back and forth between the city and the company it belongs to.

As the stunning City of Dubrovnik appears on more and more humiliating ''avoid during summer'' lists published by major travel portals, it seems that its case of victimhood to its own popularity is becoming the least of its problems.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of April, 2019, the decision to ban the carriage of passengers by cable car up to the top of Srđ was issued in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Concessions.

Inspectors from the Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia issued a decision today on the ban on carrying out the activity of transporting passengers from Dubrovnik to Srđ by cable car, which is owned by the Excelsa Nektetnine (Real Estate) company, which belongs to the well known Lukšić family.

The decision to ban the carriage of passengers by cable car has been issued in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Concessions, and is based on the fact that the company doesn't have a concluded concession contract. The company claims that the City of Dubrovnik never delivered such a contract after that law was passed.

Otherwise, the aforementioned company claims to have been seeking a concession from the City of Dubrovnik since as far back as 2015.

"We're extremely disappointed that the Customs Administration closed the cable car on Srđ today, after nine years waiting for a concession from the Republic of Croatia and the City of Dubrovnik. This decision will jeopardise a significant number of jobs at Excelsa Nekretnine and its 343 business partners, of which 130 are from Dubrovnik. More than 1400 Excelsa Nekretnine shareholders will suffer, including more than 300 from Dubrovnik.

Damage will also be felt by the state, and by the city and its citizens. The state budget will remain without tax revenues, the City of Dubrovnik will not realise any revenue from the concession, and the citizens who use the cable car at preferential prices, as well as tourists, will remain without the use of the simplest access to Srđ. The Museum of Homeland War on Srđ, owned by the City of Dubrovnik, is expecting to see a decrease in the number of visitors it gets, and guests of the city will remain without the ability enjoy one of Dubrovnik's biggest attractions,'' said Anto Rusković, the director of Excelsa Nekretnine.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle, business and politics pages for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow. Heading to Dubrovnik and need a quick but comprehensive overview? Check out Dubrovnik in a Page.

 

Click here for the original article by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 18 March 2019

Could Dubrovnik's Beloved Srđ Cable Car Face Closure?

The Pearl of the Adriatic is known for its wealth of natural beauty in addition to its rich list of historical and cultural attractions. Dubrovnik is visited by millions from around the world year on year, and in addition to its magnificent walls, which are among the most impressive Medieval structures which are still standing today in Europe, its cable car which attracts seemingly endless queues during the summer months is unarguably among its top tourist attractions.

While the typical ''fights'' about Dubrovnik's cable car are almost identical to those frequently had over the old city walls - the price, there appears to be much more going on under the surface when it comes to perhaps the most expensive three minute ride you'll ever take.

For a single adult, a mere three minute cable car ride from just above the Old City of Dubrovnik to the top of mount Srđ and back comes with a price tag of 150 kuna. Dubrovnik's locals get it cheaper, however many avoid the cable car entirely, opting instead to hike or drive up the rugged 412 metre mountain which towers over the city.

Srđ is, despite the apparently eternally increasing cost of the use of the cable car, a unique must-see location when in Dubrovnik. The mountain provides stunning views over the extreme south of Dalmatia, the sparkling Adriatic sea and the Elaphite islands (Lopud, Koločep (Kalamota) and Šipan), and when turning around, a view over the mountainous and somewhat baron interior of neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, the border of which is extremely close to Dubrovnik (Ivanica).

In addition, a restaurant and the Homeland War Museum sits at the top of Srđ, housed in an unassuming Napoleonic building known as Fort Imperijal. The museum should be visited by all those wanting to learn more and pay their respects to the sacrifice made by Dubrovnik's brave defenders during the Yugoslav and Serbo-Montenegrin attacks on the UNESCO protected city in the not so distant past.

Alright, now we're done talking about Srđ as a destination, let's get to the point. 150 kuna per ride or not, it seems that one of Dubrovnik's top attractions, the cable car, could be threatened with closure, according to a report from RTL vijesti (news).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of March, 2019, according to Dubrovnik's mayor Mato Franković, DORH (State Attorney's Office of the Republic of Croatia) has given the somewhat ''famous'' Lukšić family company until the first April to pay huge compensation to the City of Dubrovnik and to the state, and to sign a concession agreement. Otherwise, the iconic cable car will be suspended.

A 150 kuna price tag for a three minute ride up a mountain is a bit steep (no pun intended, well, maybe a bit), and as prices for some of Dubrovnik's main attractions continue to rise, many tourists are beginning to become disillusioned with the Pearl of the Adriatic's offer. "For 150 kuna, I think the ride is too short, but the view is fantastic," said Indian tourists Karthi and Sushma.

It is precisely that beautiful view that makes the cable car as popular of an attraction as it is, and there is always row after row of tourists standing along the poorly laid out street with no shade (which also acts as a bus stop for regular city buses and for the airport shuttle) regardless of the ticket price.

The cable car's turnover stands at about 60 million kuna per year, Excelsa real estate accounts for about 65 percent of the net profit, while the City of Dubrovnik has apparently never even received even one kuna in revenue from the cable car. Could all that be about to change in a matter of mere days? Apparently so.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and news pages for more. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Učka Cable Car to Be Longest in Europe?

In the presence of the County Prefect Zlatko Komadina, the headquarters of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County hosted the signing ceremony for a contract for the drafting of the project for the construction of Učka cable car, reports Lokalni.hr on February 14, 2019.

The contract was signed by the CEO of the Učka Cable Car company Milorad Stanić, and CEO of the Dalekovod-Projekt company Davor Đurđević. Representatives of Opatija and Lovran also attended the ceremony.

“The time has come to sign this contract, which will create the preconditions for applying with the project for EU funds. I hope that the ministries will change the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme application so that that cable car projects could be submitted, which is currently not the case. What I want to say is that every dream and every idea can be realised if we have persistent people. The county has always welcomed and supported all projects that present our cultural and natural heritage,” said Komadina. “The Učka cable car is something that fits perfectly with our ideas, both in the tourist aspect and the environmental protection aspect.”

Stanić stressed the importance of the contract for the project implementation. “I am pleased that we have prepared this contract and signed it with Dalekovod – an experienced company that has fulfilled all of our requirements for this major project, especially since the project itself is technically very demanding.”

According to the planned technical characteristics and with the length of almost 4,700 metres, the Učka cable car would be the longest in Europe counting from the starting point to the final station, without any intermediate stations, with an exceptionally large distance between the first and the second pillar of up to 1.5 km, which is an extremely demanding feature.

“The 1500 metre distance will actually be a three-minute flight of future users at the height of over 100 metres, which will surely create a new tourist product and experience, which will further enable the rebranding of the whole Kvarner destination. We are confident that the cable car could become for the entire Primorje-Gorski Kotar County what is now Postojna for Slovenia or the Krka waterfalls for Šibenik-Knin County,” said Stanić.

The total value of the planning phase of the project is 2.5 million kuna. The deadline for the drafting of the plan and obtaining the building permit is 150 days, which means that the construction could be ready to be launched as early as this summer.

The Učka Cable Car company has 268 stakeholders, including two counties (Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria), nine local self-government units (towns of Opatija, Rijeka, Kastav, Krk and municipalities of Lovran, Matulji, Mošćenička Draga, Omišalj and Kršan), as well as 36 business entities, tourist agencies and hotels, and 220 individuals, mostly people from the Kvarner region who support the project.

Translated from Lokalni.hr.

More news about Primorje-Gorski Kotar County can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Milan Bandić Opens Works on Sljeme Cable Car, Explains Huge Expense

After years of back and forth (literally) on Sljeme's cable car, Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić has ceremonially opened the works on the up and coming cable car, he also explained why Zagreb's brand new attraction is going to cost more than the one in the Alps.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of January, 2019, the ever enigmatic Milan Bandić symbolically started the works on the construction of the Sljeme cable car by using a dredge and laying a stone foundation.

The Sljeme cable car saga has been ongoing for some considerable time now, with a few little scandals under its belt for good measure, and now that works have finally actually begun, the contracted time for the eventual realisation of this large city project currently stands at fifteen months.

True to character, Milan Bandić was witty and always the spectacle yesterday, especially when responding to the question put forward by SDP's Mateja Mišić, who asked him where he intended to get the cash for the lift from if he hadn't put it in the plan for this year's budget, according to a report from Večernji list.

In 2019, Mišić recalled, the initially planned amount for Zagreb's cable car was once a certain amount, while the projection for 2020 is different.

''The money will be secured in the rebalances,'' concluded Bandić, who decided to justify matters and state that the up and coming Zagreb cable car will be more expensive than that which leads to Matterhorn.

Our cable car, as Milan Bandić said, is a kilometre longer, and therefore, unlike the one in the Alps that costs fourteen million euros, this one here costs fifteen million.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything you need to know by following our dedicated lifestyle page. If it's just the Croatian capital city you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Company to Build Zagreb's Sljeme Cable Car Chosen

Zagreb's Sljeme mountain is a popular destination for many from the city when needing to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life down below in the Croatian capital. 

From skiing in the winter to hiking, biking and various other attractions that Sljeme offers its many visitors, one thing has been missing for a long time, and that is a cable car. Zagreb looks truly incredible from Sljeme, and a cable car would bring in excellent revenue for the capital as tourists begin to discover Croatia away from the coast more and more.

Talk of a cable car for Sljeme has been going on for quite some time now, and while it seemed at one point as if a concrete decision would never be arrived to and that the cable car story would just be another one of those things people discuss but which never actually comes to fruition, the company who will construct it has now finally been chosen.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 31st of December, 2018, the Sljeme cable car will come with a price tag of an enormous 299,790,853.96 kuna, which is the VAT-free cost.

The company chosen to go forth and construct the cable care is GIP Pionir, which removed Sljeme's former, old cable car years ago.

At the tender which was organised by the City of Zagreb, this company received an impressive 100 out of 100 points and was naturally deemed the most favourable offer to build what is likely to be one of Zagreb's top attractions when finished, according to a report from N1.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just the Croatian capital you're interested in keeping up to date with, make sure to follow Total Zagreb for everything you need to know about what's going on in Zagreb.

Friday, 9 February 2018

100 Year Old Idea to Become Reality? Učka Cable Car Would Connect Sea and Mountains

The beginning of the Učka 360-degree project is the construction of a cable car.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Franković Requests Inspection of ''Illegal'' Cable Car Operation, Notifies DORH

Dubrovnik's Mayor has issued Excelsa Nekretnine with a firm ultimatum.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Old Cableway Vs. New Cableway

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Cheaper Cable Car Tickets for Dubrovnik Residents

Cable car prices for residents of Dubrovnik are set to fall.

Page 1 of 2

Search