Here’s the story:
Ukrainian ski resort to undergo 500 mln Euro investment
A Carpathian resort town is due to undergo extensive investment and development to turn it into a major all year round destination.
The investment will be provided by Vitaly Antonov, owner of Galnaftogaz and the OKKO gas station network.
The town in question is Slavsk, located just over an hour away from Lviv city and easily accessible from its airport. Over 500 million Euros is due to be spent on Slavske and the surrounding resort villages to provide a modern rival to Bukovel.
Antonov has moved his business interests to the Skole District (the municipality in which Slavsk is located) and in an official announcement at the end of October, Skole District Council Leader Mikhail Luchinets stated that “ Since 1st January OKKO Group has registered in Slavske and are now taxpayers in the region contributing 3.2 million Dolalrs monthly. The plans laid out by OKKO include the construction of a summer-winter resort”.
According to Luchinets, OKKO’s corporation tax payments will go towards improvement of local infrastructure to help cope with the expansion of Slavsk and the surrounding villages.
Apparently there was a battle of corruption that demonstrates the realities of Ukraine’s corruption – but also lack of sophistication. I think corruption in the US is there too, but it’s more sophisticated and hidden.
Right now, there is only one big, modern ski resort in Ukraine – Bukovel – owned by the super-corrupt, and super-powerful Igor Kolomoiski. His people attempted to bribe both individual property owners, and local officials to prevent the construction of this new resort. Vitali Antonov’s people had a system of counter bribes — to both local property owners and local officials, and in the end they triumphed. I heard a rumor once that Vitali himself had made exasperated comments about the amount of time he spent in restaurants and saunas with local officials before they would finally trust him.