The idea of tourist resorts in the mountain Stara planina Mountain date from the 1980s. In 1990 a Public Utility Company was created to facilitate the project. In 1997, the mountain Stara planina was constituted as a Nature park. In 2002, the Serbian government proclaimed the project of tourist resorts one of the 50 most important development projects, and started the construction of ski tracks and lifts at the locality Babin zub in 2006, without planning documents.
In September 2007 the Serbian Government brought a decree on establishing the program for development mountain tourism in Stara Planina (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 85/2007 ) and in such way violated six laws and regulations of the Republic of Serbia and various international conventions signed by Serbia. In response to the project, in the same year, more than 50 NGOs from Serbia and Montenegro fighting for conservation and sustainable development formed the Association for the Preservation and Sustainable Development of Stara Planina. The Association's main arguments against the project was the fact that Stara Planina, with less than 2000m of altitude, does not have enough snow to support winter tourism, while production of artificial snow would lead to a further exploitation of scarce water resources, and raise costs of the project making it economically unsustainable. Besides water depletion, the project would cause deforestation, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss. The Association organized activities such as public debates, a web page with chronological information on the case, petitions, media campaigns, press conferences, scientific camps and expeditions, and law-suits to stop the construction of the ski resort. The Association called on the Constitutional Court to assess the legality of the Regulation on the Implementation Program of mountain tourism in Stara Planina. They also sent letters to Boris Tadic, back than president of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica- prime minister, Bozidar Delic- deputy prime minister and the minister of environmental protection Sasa Dragin, requesting compliance with the law and the stopping of further work on deforestation and ski lift construction at the locality Babin zub until approval of a new spatial plan and environmental impacts assessment study. President Boris Tadic found himself incompetent to respond to the Association's letter. Later on the association organized a meeting with the newly elected minister of environmental protection Oliver Dulic.
The case got attention in the European Commission as its representatives contacted the Association looking for information on the ski center in Stara Planina. The public company "Srbijašume", in charge of protection areas in Serbian, and among others of Stara Planina, also opposed the construction of the ski resort, commenting on the detrimental effect on the forest of ammonia used in artificial snow production. Even though officially in charge of Stara Planina, "Srbijašume" expressed the inability to protect the mountain on its own without the support from the federal level.
In 2008, the project included construction of access roads, water supply system and wastewater treatment plant, electric supply network expansion, as well as rerouting the water of Toplodolska River into accumulation "Zavoj”. The citizens of Temska village near Pirot opposed the rerouting of the river claiming it would leave them without water, while the minister of environment Dragin promised that he personally would not allow it.
In the same year, Lidija Amidžić, the director of the Institute of Nature Conservation of Serbia, which openly protested against the ski resort constructions, was replaced. The Law of Nature Protection (Sl. Glasnik RS. Br 88/2010) and Protection Zones Law was modified to allow building in the second and third zones of the protected area.
In 2011, the Building Inspection authority Nis ordered a demolition of the already constructed hotel and its supporting facilities. The state has responded by changing The Law on Planning and Construction (Official Gazette. Nr. 31/2012) to enable legalizing the state-financed buildings even if constructed in the protected areas illegally. In 2012, the building inspection issued another decision to remove the gondolas and cable cars that were built without required documentation. However, none of the built touristic infrastructure was removed from Stara Planina and it was put into operation. In 2013, the project was once again acknowledged as of great national interest and it has been fully developed.