The first measures of the master plan completed in 2011 gave an enormous boost to the Romanian ski resort of Poiana Braşov. For this reason, the second stage of the upgrade project has been finalized in the form of the 2019 Master Plan. It includes new trails as well as a direct link between the Rişnov catchment and the Poiana Braşov Ski Area.
Photo: Klenkhart
Planning

KLENKHART & PARTNER

Masterplan 2019 for ski area in the Carpathians

In 2007 the Alpine engineering company from Absam, Tyrol, drew up the first master plan for an upgrade of the Romanian winter resort of Poiana Braşov. This first stage of expansion was completed in 2011, and the second stage is now taking on concrete shape with the 2019 master plan.

Poiana Braşov is one of the most famous winter sports resorts in Romania. It is located about 180 km north of Bucharest and is due to be served by a motorway in the near future. Braşov Airport is also scheduled to open within the next few years. This will enlarge the catchment for Braşov and the area around Dracula Castle to include the capital Bucharest. Poiana Braşov, which lies at the foot of the Postăvarul mountain on the border between the Southern and Eastern Carpathians, now has several hotels with a current capacity of 4,000 beds. However, the ski resort created in the 1950s was showing its years, and a new concept was urgently needed to further develop the area to a modern standard.

The first stage of the upgrade was completed at the end of 2011, almost exactly in accordance with the master plan. The project included two chairlifts from the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, significantly more width for the ski trails and about 25 hectares of completely new slopes, a snowmaking system covering most of the trails and a reservoir with a capacity of around 120,000 m³. The plans for the new trails, trail modifications and snowmaking installations were supplied by Ingenieurbüro Klenkhart & Partner, while the work on the mountain was handled by a general contractor from Braşov, and the snowmaking system was supplied by Technoalpin. Together with the two new chairlifts, the result is a greatly enhanced ski area with a modern standard of winter sports amenities. With the help of the perfect results achieved with the snowmaking system, the ski area attracted more than 5,000 visitors in the 2012 Christmas season already, and the ski resort was also ideally equipped to host the 2013 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Since then, Poiana Braşov has seen an enormous increase in visitor totals, which made it time to think about the second stage of the upgrade project.

 

Clearly formulated goals for the second stage of the upgrade

For novice to intermediate skiers in particular, the pisted area needs to be enlarged in order to guarantee a relaxed family skiing experience. The ski area extensions to the west, which were already considered in the first master plan, are now to be implemented. Around Rişnov there is a large catchment area, which justifies a direct link to the Poiana Braşov Ski Area. With the new trails, the lower, flatter part of the existing area will also be better utilized. After completion of the relevant studies and extensive site inspections, an ideal location was found for the bottom station and new attractive piste configurations for the link to the west. The line of the new ropeway installation has been chosen for optimum protection from the wind, and a more wind-resistant cabin design has also been proposed. In general, the highest standards of safety have been applied in all respects. In addition, a new ropeway proposed for the upper area of the Postăvarul will make it possible to open the season earlier in autumn and continue well into the spring.

Improvements to the infrastructure

The project also includes improvements to the infrastructure, for example with regard to the water supply for the snowmaking system. The springs and intakes currently used do not deliver the required volume of water, so that additional water has to be taken from Poiana Braşov’s drinking water supply network, which greatly increases the costs. Plans have therefore been drawn up for a second reservoir with a capacity of about 100,000 m³, which is to be landscaped in order to create a summer attraction. Improvements must also be made to the existing 2.5 km long access road, which is partly a dirt track running through a gorge, so as to provide a modern standard of access to the new section of the ski area. Car parks are also needed for future visitors, and that includes the relevant water supply and wastewater disposal networks. The planned bottom station is convenient for motorists arriving from Braşov and Rişnov, and there are no major gradients on the road to the car parks, which means that they can be reached easily in winter even after a snowfall or in icy conditions. Day visitors from Bucharest will thus benefit from shorter travel times to this entry point to the Poiana Braşov Ski Area.

As the area is very popular with groups and ski clubs, there are also plans for a number of training and racing trails.


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