State-of-the-art climbing centre opens in Prevalje
A climbing centre providing both indoor and outdoor facilities has been inaugurated in Prevalje, a town in north Slovenia, a €5 million investment that also boasts an astronomical observatory on the roof.
The centre, which provides climbers with 2,200 m2 of indoor and outdoor climbing surfaces and even an outdoor ferrata, is one of the biggest investments ever in Prevalje.
The municipality is located in the Koroška region, an area heavily hit by the August floods, and the climbing centre is considered a harbinger of good things to come since it will promote sport and help boost tourism.
Prevalje Mayor Matic Tasič said that the centre featured unique equipment and was one of the most attractive in the world.
Koroška is known as a sports-crazy region and the world's best sports climber, Janja Garnbret, is from nearby Slovenj Gradec.
Garnbret, a 24-year-old Olympic champion, said that the centre was built "with heart and soul" and expressed satisfaction that sports climbing is developing well.
She intends to train and prepare for the next Olympic Games there, and is hopeful that another world champion or Olympic champion will hone their skills there.
Garnbret was an "extremely strong impetus and motive" for the investment, Tasič said, but the main reason to build the centre was the fact that children's and young people's fitness levels are lagging far behind their parents' performance at their age.
The bouldering facility at the new climbing centre in Prevalje. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
The project's construction took a year and a half. Andrej Gradišnik, a mountaineer and director of the Vertis group, whose Koroška-based company Vertikala-X built the centre, described the project as a unique challenge.
"In terms of what it offers, this is one of the best climbing centres and one of the best buildings," he said.
The centre was co-funded by the ministry responsible for sport and the Eco Fund, a state-owned facility which finances green projects, but the biggest single source of financing was an anonymous €2 million donation.
Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han believes the centre will attract not only sports enthusiasts but also tourists from around the world, creating added value for tourism.