According to the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation ¹996 as of April 8, 2010 the Project of establishment of the tourism cluster in the North Caucasian Federal District, Krasnodar territory and the Republic of Adygea is now in process. According to the relevant Government decisions six special economic zones for tourist-recreational purposes were established in the Karachay-Cherkessia Republic (Zelenchukskiy district), Krasnodar territory (Apsheronskiy district), the Republic of Adygea (Maykopsky district), the Kabardino-Balkar Republic (Chereksky, Chegemsky and Elbrussky districts), the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (Alagirsky and Irafsky districts), the Republic of Dagestan (Hunzahsky district).

The open joint stock company (OJSC) “Special Economic Zones”, state corporation “Vnesheconombank” and OJSC “Sberbank” founded and registered OJSC “North Caucasian Resorts”, which is the head company of the Project on December 2, 2010. Akhmed Bilalov was appointed as the chief executive officer of the company.

The Project is implemented on the basis of private-state partnership and oversees construction of five ski resorts with modern transport, engineering and social infrastructure in the Russian Northern Caucasus, including creation of about 160 thousand jobs by 2020 (according to the prior expert assessment this number might increase up to 320,000 under complete fulfillment of the potential). The total area of the resorts is 4000 hectares and the cost of the Project is estimated at 451 billion rubles. Of which 272 billion rubles are set to be raised from institutional investors and 119 billion rubles are to be drawn from private investors. Government investments will amount about 60 billion rubles.

By 2020 local resorts are expected to be able to receive by 10 million tourists annually with mountain infrastructure to serve 150.000 skiers per day and hotels capacity to accommodate as many as 90.000 guests, implying variety of choices and preferences with prices for one night stay starting from 50 USD and daily ski-pass services around 20-30 USD.

Implementation of the mountain and recreation cluster project provides for attraction of investments for reconstruction, renovation, and construction of utility and infrastructure facilities in the areas adjacent to the resort territories, which include:

- power supply (electric power substations, power transmission lines);

- water supply and sewerage;

- gas supply (gas distribution stations, internal systems);

- backbone fiber optic links;

- schools, hospitals, kindergartens and other social facilities.

It is planned that some facilities within the framework of the project will be constructed using government financing, including the budgets of such federal target programmes as The South of Russia (2008–2012) and Development of the Transport System of Russia (2010–2015).

It is also supposed to attract resources of the Investment Fund of the Russian Federation and the funds which have become available in the course of adjustment of some investment programmes. Special attention will be paid to the creation of favorable investment conditions for private investors through credit support of state banks, customs and tax privilege policy, granting a status of a special economic zone to the territories according to Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 116-FZ On Special Economic Zones in the Russian Federation dd. July 22, 2005.

The first presentation of the Project took place in June 2010 at the International Economic Forum in St.-Petersburg. Within the framework of the Forum cooperation arrangements were reached with the Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group. The Project was also presented at the International Investment Forum in Sochi, the World exhibition “EXPO-2010” in Shanghai, the Russian-Asian Investment Forum in Hong Kong, the Euro Finance Week in Frankfurt-on-Main, the Bahraini Economic Forum, the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Currently negotiations on conditions of cooperation with potential investors from Austria, Italy, China, South Korea and United Arab Emirates are in progress.