The resort also boasts modern snowmaking machines ensuring that conditions stay excellent. Snowboarders enjoy the Rotata half-pipe with a vertical drop of 1,050ft (320m), suitable for advanced riders at its upper end and beginners at the lower end. A burst in popularity as a winter sports wonderland in recent years has meant a boom in the retail industry in pretty Borovets town. The busy shopping street in front of the Rila hotel is a beehive of open-fronted small shops, with a colourful market atmosphere, selling all sorts of goods from ski gear and souvenirs to cigarettes and cheap CDs. Most visitors find prices here much lower than elsewhere in Europe.
The number of taverns, eat-in pub, take away joints and outdoor restaurants is growing in Borovets every season. The choice has become very eclectic, from Kentucky Fried Chicken and pizza to Chinese. Establishments like 'The Hungry Horse' cater deliciously for British tastes. Other recommendations are Mamacita's on the main shopping street where the steaks are legendary, and White Magic, opposite the Samokov Hotel, with good food and a great atmosphere. Visitors should not forget to indulge in some of the Bulgarian fine wines along with their dinner. Eating out in Borovets is also very good value. Every night is party time in Borovets, which has a reputation for being one of the 'hotspots' for nightlife on the European ski circuit. The fun is fuelled by the fact that drinks are cheap, there are long happy hours and sometimes drinks are even offered for free. All the bars, clubs and discos serve the well-known international brands as well as local beers like Astika, Zagorka and Kamenitza. Beware the national drink, Rakia: it is rather strong! Recommended party palaces are Club Slide in the Hotel Mura, the renowned Buzz Bar, favoured by Brits, and the Black Tiger karaoke bar. Off the ski slopes Borovets has all the usual amenities of a winter resort, and many hotels offering indoor swimming pools, saunas and gyms. Visitors can also take excursions to nearby resorts or places of interest, like the Rila Monastery. Ice-skating and skidoos are also an option for chilly fun in the sun.