The plan for the unique Tokaj (northern Hungary) project has been known for years, but the war intervened. Now the government has given the green light to proceed: a 2,300-meter-long cable car could be built and the Kopasz Hill (Bald Hill) TV tower could be renewed, reports Világgazdaság.
A government decision on measures to develop the TV tower and cable car in Tokaj was published in the Hungarian Gazette on Monday evening. In it, the government declared its intention to
agree to the preparation and implementation of the Kopasz Hill TV Tower and the closed-cabin cable car projects.
The planning of these projects has already begun by the Tokaj Wine Region Development Non-profit Ltd. The cabinet also decided that the Ministry of Construction and Transport will be responsible for the preparation and implementation of the project from September 1, 2023. In this context, the Minister of Regional Development, Tibor Navracsics, has been tasked to work with the Minister of Construction and Transport, János Lázár, to ensure that the necessary agreements and procedures for the handover are in place. There is not much time left for this, as the deadline is August 31.
The Kopasz Hill is part of the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region. The name of the mountain dates back to the time of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin, when the mountain was still bald. The highest point of the mountain range is the Nagy-Milic (896 m), which rises on the Hungarian-Slovak border. Photo via Facebook/Sándor Ibolya Dulinné
The idea for the project is an old one: it is part of the Tokaj-Zemplén Development Program adopted by the government in 2020. In fact, in early 2022, the Tokaj Wine Region Development Non-Profit Ltd. even launched a public tender for the construction of a unique closed-cabin, four-season cable car, with a length of 2,300 meters. The departure point will be at the Festival Canyon (Tokaji Fesztiválkatlan, open-air concert venue and theater) and the arrival point at the Kopasz Hill TV Tower. This is in need of renovation, as the tower, built in the 1960s, is a very popular place for hikers, even though it was closed down and cannot be visited.
The building would be given a new function, with exhibition space, service units, and a 50-meter-high panoramic lift.
In addition, the starting point of the cable car would be modernized with a 600 m2 multi-story building.
FactThe main objective of the Tokaj-Zemplén Development Program adopted by the government is to increase the tourist attractiveness of the region. The measures will ensure sustainable development in the long term, increase the region’s population retention capacity, stop and reverse emigration, and offer better conditions for the local population. For the period 2020-2024, a budget of HUF 149 billion (EUR 385 million) is available for infrastructure, tourism services, and municipal-level improvements. A key element of the concept is the development of the transport network in order to provide fast and quality accessibility to the region.
The first phase of the TV tower was scheduled to start in 2022, according to entrepreneur György Wáberer’s Facebook post. However, the war intervened and construction was slowed down. It is known that the design contract for the elevator was awarded to Hadas Építész Mérnöki és Művészeti Kft. for a net amount of HUF 48.5 million (EUR 124,905), and the contract was signed in March 2022. The exact cost of the construction can be determined on the basis of the construction plans. In any case, last spring,
it was estimated that the cost of the construction of the cable car would be around HUF 2.5-3 billion (EUR 6.4 million-7.7 million).
However, this estimate was based on prices at the time, and since then both the construction industry and the market for building materials have obviously shot up, not to mention labor costs and general inflation.
Via Világgazdaság, Featured image via Facebook/Wáberer György