The ski resorts Stara Planina, Tornik and Kopaonik were modernized one after the other with innovative products from Axess. After the kick-off for the first of the three projects in summer 2018, the last ski resort is now another satisfied customer of Axess AG with autumn 2020. With the finalization of this major project, the ski resorts are prepared for the big rush of domestic winter sports enthusiasts and tourists.
The three ski resorts are managed jointly by a government company. Skijalista Srbije (Ski Resorts of Serbia) has set itself the task of modernizing the (ski) infrastructure of Serbia's ski resorts to be more accessible and attractive to tourists on the European and international market. The modernization of Stara Planina began in 2018, followed by Tornik in 2019, and now the final part of the large-scale project has been completed.
In 2018, the Serbian prestige project began with the renewal of the old access systems of Stara Planina. The ski resort takes its name from Stara Planina, the largest mountain and the natural border with Bulgaria in eastern Serbia. The resort is located near the town of Knjazevac and is a rather small area for locals and few tourists. However, due to its untouched nature and breathtaking beauty, Stara Planina is very popular among guests.
Tornik was equipped in 2019 with ticketing and access systems, such as the Axess SMART PRINTER 600 or the AX500 Smart Gates NG Flap. The ski resort is among one of the tourist centers of Serbia and offers guests, in addition to skiing, the possibility of tubing, a sport that can be performed both in summer and winter. The ski resort is located 9 km from the tourist town of Zlatibor. The total capacity of the ski resort is about 5,400 skiers per hour.
The largest of the three ski resorts, Kopaonik, was now completed at the end of 2020. The ski resort is popular with locals and tourists alike and is especially known for its big opening party at the beginning of the winter season. Every year, various stars from the Balkan region perform here, ensuring a special start to the skiing fun. Here, most of the access systems, as well as solutions in the field of software and hardware, were used. Among others, the Axess PICK UP BOX 600 as well as the Axess DATACENTER, which is also called the heart of all systems, since all hardware and software are connected online to the highly available and secure DATACENTER.
In total, 106 AX500 Smart Gates NG Flap were installed in the ski resorts of Skijalista Srbije during the long-term project. Axess gates are characterized by an individually adjustable closing mechanism that still works smoothly even after millions of opening and closing operations. Besides, the gates can be individually adjusted to the wishes of a customer, offering the possibility to perfectly adapt the type of installation, antenna and reader to the conditions of the ski resort. But contactless access, an important factor in the age of Corona, also convinces both operators and guests of a resort. At the entrance to the ski lift, an antenna at the gate detects the valid RFID ticket and triggers the opening of the barrier, allowing people to pass through without touching the turnstile. A sensor detects that a person is approaching and opens the gate. Another sensor detects when a person has passed through and closes the gate again.
14 Axess PICK UP BOXes 600 provide customers with tickets previously purchased online. They can be placed anywhere in and outside the ski resorts and offer guests the opportunity to print out a previously purchased daily or weekly tickets in a matter of seconds. The process is completely contactless: simply hold the code up to the scanner and you have the ticket in your hands. During the pre-sale for the 2020/21 season, some of the PICK UP BOXes 600 were installed in various winter sports stores in Belgrade and other major cities to allow customers to pick up their season tickets in advance.
In addition, 32 Axess SMART PRINTER 600 and 5 Axess SMART PADs 600 were installed. The SMART PRINTER 600 impresses not only with its speed but also with its slim design and wide range of functions. This is because the system prints, erases, encodes and reads tickets in ISO15693 and ISO 14443 formats in just one step. The SMART PAD 600 is used to read and write data such as RFID chip cards and transponders. An integrated controller makes card verification easy, both online and in stand-alone operation.
Many ski resorts in Serbia still work with very old systems in some cases, which is why the installation of the new access systems from Axess is a particularly important step in the direction of modernizing Serbia's ski resorts. An important part of these projects was the cooperation with the local partner, the company Estuar d.o.o. A partner since 2018, Saša Drašković (CEO) and his team have done a brilliant job planing and succesfully implementing even complex and big projects like the Skijališta Srbije.