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I've bought flight tickets to a ski vacation in Bansko, Bulgaria. Only later I've found out that on the same week the European biathlon championship will take place in exactly the same resort.

Will this affect my snowboarding in any way? How can I know if slopes will be closed, or if the place will be overcrowded? Do these events attract a large audience? Should I switch to another resort, say Borovets?

Biathlon event page at the IBU

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Bansko is a popular destination in the winter even without a big event such as a European championship. Other resorts (Borovets, Pamporovo) might be a better match for you, and will probably be cheaper as well. – mindcorrosive Jan 16 '13 at 13:34
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The European Biathlon Championships can draw sizeable crowds: In 2004 in Belarus, they attracted some 80,000 visitors, and given that the World Championship in Germany in February 2012 attracted more than 200'000 visitors over 6 days, you can expect that the Bansko region's ~100,000 beds will be rather well occupied.

The competitors in the Biathlon event will be blocking the cross-country tracks, but the visitors may be competing for space with you on the slopes.

I don't doubt that a place the size of Bansko will be able to handle the visitors. However, if you don't like big crowds, you may want to look for alternatives.

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Thanks @Jonas . I guess I'll start looking for hotels in Borovets. – jarondl Dec 22 '12 at 8:58

Biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and shooting. As such it doesn't take place on downhill/snowboard slopes. While it is probably worth checking with the resort, I doubt any downhill slopes will be closed. Of course it may mean that the place is much more crowded.

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