The target area of the SURE project in Gheorgheni encompasses the town centre and the Red Lake holiday resort. While the development of economic, physical and social interventions will be focused on the town centre, these will be strategically linked to current or potential tourist activities in the Red Lake holiday resort and other leisure services in the surrounding areas. Most of the central area of Gheorgheni consists of buildings that have significant historical and architectural value. These buildings are primarily in private ownership, have a poor appearance and are in need of substantial repair. In addition, individual retailers promote their businesses in ways which are unsympathetic to the historical features of the buildings they occupy.
Despite its advantageous location, little co-ordinated effort has been made to create a coherent offer for tourists passing through Gheorgheni on the way to the Red Lake resort. Local customs, foods or crafts not marketed and services for visitors are poor. Due to its limited facilities and opportunities there is a continuous outward migration of young people, many of whom obtained degrees in the town’s university. Those who are left behind are contributing to a growing number of young unemployed people.