The key competitive edge of Karviná is its landscape which can be the base for the region´s recreational development. Gently rolling hills, proximity of the Beskydy mountains, numerous lakes and reservoirs, as well as the character of the historical town of Karviná, all together form a context capable (particularly if supported by efficient planning and refined marketing) of attracting a wide range of interest groups, e.g. skiers, golfers, cyclists, in‐line skaters, horse riding or windsurfing fans, swimmers, fishermen, tourists, hunters and camping enthusiasts.
Network connecting the Karviná landmarks
Most, if not all, these activities are already performed in the micro-region. However, what´s missing in this offer is a network or some kind of chain, which would visibly and conceptually interconnect these activities and based upon which the new image of Karviná can be built. It is necessary to create a series of well-defined locations or “events” along this chain, where certain specific (but not necessarily all) recreational activities can be performed. Activities focusing on children should not be missing from any recreational destination – activities for all age groups for that matter.
Places for creating such activities along the mentioned chain can be found quite easily in the Karviná landscape. If we travel from west to east we can mention, for example, DinoPark, fields and pastures of game-preserve Jindřiška, OKD golf course, Olše river in places where it is used as an entry point to the city centre of Karviná, Fryštát park, Karviná Main Square, Darkov Spa, Karviná Sea, Louky nad Olší, Stonava stream connecting Stonava and Albrechtice, Těrlicko Dam and Jaškovská Tavern, Havířov main street and Žermanice Dam.
Immersed in golf
The development of three golf courses can be envisaged quite realistically for the Karviná region. The expansion of the current OKD golf course from 9 to 18 holes is a simple conceptual step. Building a new 18 hole course in the 150 hectare Jindřiška game preserve near the Moravian-Silesian Industrial Zone is the logical second stage. After the recultivation of the 100 hectares of land, the Louky nad Olší can follow as the third stage. These three golf courses shall serve not only the recreational needs of the companies entering the industrial zones, but will no doubt attract weekend golfers from other locations in Central and Eastern Europe.
Future paradise for cyclists
A network of cycling routes and inline skating paths, connecting the banks of the river Olše with the Stonava stream, and Těrlicka and Žermanice dams, would surely be attractive. Cyclists could start from the Karviná Square, continue all the way to the main street in Havířov and stop at various village pubs along the way. The overall experience can be similar to that currently offered by the Třeboň region in South Bohemia.
In the centre of this chain of recreational activities lies the Karviná Sea, which is sufficiently large to provide pleasant recreation and rest for swimmers, yachting and windsurfing enthusiasts and fishermen. Its promising future can significantly contribute to the transformation of the Karviná region from an industrial mining agglomeration to a pulsating recreational destination.
Catalyst of development of recreational activities
The creation of a network interconnecting the described recreational opportunities into one marketing concept should start by founding an association of all the involved parties which would be able to implement changes in each respective place and which are prepared to work on the economic rejuvenation of the micro-region as a whole. This association would be responsible for finding concord between various planning concepts and should implement coordinated marketing programs for each event along the chain. The micro-region´s new character can organically grow from this base. However, it is necessary to have a visible catalyst which would launch this growth. It is this Karviná Sea that could become the catalyst of recreation development in the Karviná region.