Friday, September 03, 2004

Berdansk is a resort city on the shore of the Azov Sea in Southwest Ukraine. I spent two weeks there this past summer and found some interesting things. The resort attracts Ukrainians from the eastern part of the country and many Russians. From Soviet times the city has inherited many sanatoriums and small resorts, known as “bases”. The regions beaches are long, narrow and clean. It was a fun, very quiet two weeks that our family really enjoyed. The city of Berdansk has focused its redevelopment activity into it central core, a string of plazas that run four city blocks to the sea. While most of the city lacks most signs of progress, the city center is extremely up to date and active. It features many cafes and restaurants that were very crowded. The walk-ways and parks were packed with tourists having a great time. Off to the side was an active amusement park and there was a live concert going on in the evening. The changes from Soviet times in this central core most have been great. The changes made in the outlying town are much more limited. Berdansk best chance for economic success is to build its tourist economy. It has made a very successful start it its central area. It needs to extend the development into the hotels and resorts that extend out from it. It also needs clean up it streets, in many areas it was very dirty and full of trash. The central impression I had was that the city was well on its way to growing a very nice resort industry but that it will take more time to develop its full potential.

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