Highland Resort Destination
The Highland Resort Destination is recreational area in northeastern Pravnicka. It is comprised of a number of unique underground and surface recreational areas, including watersport, art, history, and family entertainment. Over the last decade, visitors from across Aurora sought its enjoyable and extremely profitable attractions in increasing numbers and diversity.
Since the outbreak of the Etrurian Flu, patronage of the Highland Resort Destination fell precipitously from Spring 2121 to near zero by end of Summer of that year.
Caves in the Highland area have been in existence since before recorded history. Early Pravnick peoples were believed to have used the caves for shelter. Thus, the original caves were both enlarged and decorated with drawings and other early methods of communication. The cave network was further expanded when the Iron Age began, but the richest veins were deeper than the original caves reached. Historians believe the lack of accessible ore and the rise of towns led the aboriginal people to move out of the caves.
With the dawn of the industrial age, iron took on new significance. Prospectors returned to the Highland area to seek new sources of the ore. Starting from the abandoned caves, new mines soon struck huge ore deposits. Then the area was inundated by thousands of claims during the Iron Rush of 2001. During most of the 21st century, the Highland region was home to profitable iron ore mines. A shrewd businessman, Dimitar Zoran, began buying up the individual mines until his company, Highland Ores Ltd, owned them all.
Eventually, the more lucrative iron ore veins were exhausted. The mines were driven deeper, requiring pumps to keep them dry. After the mid-2060s, it became more costly to extract the ore than it's commercial value, but the Zoran family kept this fact secret. In fact, the Zorans supported the Communalist Revolution of 2064 in exchange for a deal that gave them a 99 year deed to the Highland mines. After the Communalists came to power, they realized Highland Ores was losing money and the company was disbanded in 2066.
With the mines closed down, the pumps were turned off and various tunnels below the water table began to fill with water. Young Filip Zoran and his friends began playing in the abandoned mines. The water slides and underground pools became very popular activities among the youth of the area.
While attending University of Gizi, Filip was approached by the Dean of Anthropology for access to the Highland's caves. Accompanying a group of graduate research assistants on one such visit, Filip realized how the fun of his youth could be combined with more serious concerns. The young entrepreneur began refining his concept. He founded the Highland Resort Destination in 2107, the day after the university conferred its degree on him.
In its heyday, the Highland included a variety of recreational opportunities as well as study, business retreat, and wedding and other social activities. Although Filip oversees most of the operations, Petar Zoran, his father, is influential in the business as well since he holds the deed, and thus the authority for activities on the property.
Impact of the Etrurian Flu
From 2107, the Highland Resort Destination saw increased patronage and revenues, until Spring 2121. In April of that year, the Etrurian Flu struck Pravnicka, with the Highland Zone clearly the point of entry. Increasing national travel restrictions across Aurora caused travel to the Highlands began to drop off precipitously.
In August 2121, Pravnick officials closed off the Highland Zone until further notice. As a result, the region is the most economically disadvantaged in Pravnicka. The Pravnick government was at a loss in addressing the economic situation overall and, in particular, the Highland Region. Essentially, the region had fallen to zero revenues. As a result, unemployment climbed to exceptionally high rates, approaching 67% or higher.
While Aurora has seen a decline in Etrurian flu cases, the Highland Resort Destination has not yet seen any increase in demand for recreational activities.