45 Years after First Opening, the Jama Hotel Shines Completely Renovated

The number of visitors to Postojna Cave rose last year to 986,000, an increase of over 8 per cent on the year before. This year they expect the number to come close to a million. 65 per cent of these visitors came from European and 35 per cent from non-European countries. The most numerous are still Italians and South Koreans. The company has recorded an increase in visitors from France and the USA, Israel and Taiwan.

The Jama Hotel was opened in Postojna in 1971, when the highway was built. In 2008, it generated 35,000 overnight stays, but it was closed in the autumn of the following year. Marjan Batagelj took over the company in July 2010 and after almost seven years the renovated Jama Hotel today welcomes its first guests.

80 rooms, 180 beds, 40 employees

This four star hotel can accommodate 180 guests at a time, and is energy-efficient and technologically advanced. It includes conference halls which will be able to receive 500 participants, and thus the company is also entering the congress tourism market. »We aim to achieve 35,000 overnight stays per year, which would be a significantly better occupancy rate than other Slovenian hotels have,« said the chairman of the board of Postojnska jama, Marjan Batagelj, who believes that the entire region will benefit from this since the opening of the Jama Hotel should contribute to the length of stay of guests coming to this region.

Major Investments in the Cave

July 13 and 14, 2016, are dates that will stay written in the history books of the cave and its olms. On those days the last two larvae hatched, thus ending the hatching of olms for now. From a total of 64 laid eggs, there are now 22 young larvae. They all live in their cave laboratory, which at first functioned as an improvised monitored environment for the eggs. Slowly a real laboratory has been created which is adapted to the needs of the larvae and biologists. In it the biologists not only observe the larvae, but learn from them too.

On Friday, the oldest and largest larvae were offered their first feast and the researchers received a pleasant surprise on Saturday morning when the larvae displayed their first attempt at feeding. The chairman of the board of Postojnska jama Marjan Batagelj constantly emphasises that »the cave knows«. It knows when and what it needs, what it can take and what it dislikes. Therefore it is all the more interesting that the first »cave feast« took place on 16th July 2016, on the day Batagelj celebrated the 6th anniversary of purchasing Postojnska jama and taking over the management of the largest Slovenian tourist cave, which at the peak of this season again recorded an amazing number of visitors. While the visitors filled the cave, little dragons obviously also ate in honour of the Jama Hotel which 45 years ago opened its doors for the first time on 16th July 1971.

Marjan Batagelj

Photos: Iztok Medja for Postojna Cave