Resort "Gudauri” is one of the most valuable places in Georgian tourist industry. Mountain-skiing resort is situated in 120 km from Tbilisi, on the height of 2000 above sea level. Here the best conditions are created for professionals and amateurs of skiing. Season continues from December until middle of April, and sometimes snow cover is so big that you can ski even in May.
Today, three ropeways of the company "Doppelmayr” work (three and four-seater). First ropeway (the lower station) is located on the height – 1990m; the third – 3006m. The total length of skiing lines constitutes 19km, and they are constantly treated by special cars. The longest line in Gudauri is 5 km. Many free rides make Gudauri the best place for skiing.
The fact that Gudauri develops quite quickly and Georgian mountain-skiing tourist industry represents nowadays a visiting card is due to the initiative people. Gudauri was recognized as a significant mountain-skiing resort already in the period of Soviet Union and it, together with Bakuriani attracted many people from both neighboring and distant countries.
In 80ies, Bakuriani was considered the main resort. In those days, the priority was not given to the construction of mountain-skiing resorts, though several men managed to see the potential and did everything to assist its development.
In 1979, a group of architects was organized in the Institute of Projecting that had to make a project for the development of Bakuriani. The group consisted of Vakhtang Mikeladze, Levan Lordkipanidze, Kosta Kavtaraia, Merab Andronikashvili. They had to study and plan only Bakuriani, but on their initiative, the group studied the most part of the whole Caucasioni in Georgia, to find out what places would be perspective for the creation of mountain-skiing resorts.
In 1980, to conduct appropriate expertise, two Italian specialists were invited: Hugo Iling and Giuseppe Kanestrini.
Expertise was organized in the following resorts – Bakuriani, Tsikhisjvari and others. It took them 2-3 weeks and at the end, they went to Gudauri, where it was rainy and foggy. The conclusion, received from Italy was very interesting: Gudauri had the highest indices to be turned into mountain-skiing resort. Gudauri has great possibilities to construct ski-lines as the snow cover on the average is more than 1,5 meters. There are many reserves around Gudauri to create new lines for skiing. Communicational developed system is already constructed; moreover, gas pipes and lines of electricity are passing through Gudauri. Accordingly, it will be much cheaper to create here a wonderful resort. For that time, the children’s school of mountain skiing had already been established and young people together with their parents actively visited Gudauri. Soliko Khabeishvili, secretary of Communist Party at that time had greatly assisted to the process of Gudauri development and building.
In 1985, the contract was signed with Austrian side to build a hotel in Gudauri (nowadays known as hotel "Gudauri” (Marco Polo)) and four ropeways.
Gudauri is now a significant mountain-skiing resort and many interesting championships in skiing were conducted there: 3 contests of International Ski Federation and 2 championships of Russia.
Today "Heli-Ski” is a very popular sport. People go by helicopters to the peak of the mountain and begin their way down along unknown roads. Only Canada and Georgia posses the unique conditions for this kind of sport.
Nowadays, Gudauri infrastructure is actively developing as a mountain skiing resort; many hotels of mini motels type have been built here that are able to accommodate 10-60 people.
Building of private apartments of high level is currently taken place. Besides everything this, still much is left to do, but the potential of this resort is quite big.
The most pleasant fact is that this year Gudauri arises much more interest than last year. According to the hotel owners, many tourists will arrive to Gudauri this year.