Polona Virnik Karničar

Polona was born in 1976 and grew up on Šenk's farm. All the time she was firmly committed to diversify the farm into tourism and continue the path, which had already been outlined on the adjacent, Štular's farm, by her great-grandfather, Josip Virnik, a landowner whose plans were brutally interrupted by the post-war nationalization of agricultural land. The pension, restaurant, shop, three sawmills and timber shop suddenly became a historical fact and grandfather's immense desire was to reclaim once again the unfairly taken land. In an effort to save Šenk's homestead from nationalization, he gave it to his son Ludvik, Polona's grandfather. The farm has retained most of the characteristic buildings. The 500-year-old Šenk's house has stood the test of time and is, since 1949, protected as a cultural monument.

Growing up on Šenk's farm was strongly associated with hard work, sacrifices and strict supervision from grandmother Mimi. Living in a 500-year-old house was anything but easy and Polona developed her work habits early. With honors she completed primary school and with similar grades also finished high school in Kranj. She continued to study at the Faculty of Economics in the field of tourism. After the birth of the third child, daughter Maša, she completed her studies in 2004 with the thesis: Business Plan for the tourist farm, Šenk's homestead.

After the wedding, on May 3rd 1997, Polona and her husband Drejc stepped on a joint business and tourism path in the popular mountain lodge, Češka hut in Zgornje Ravne. They took care of the hut for 5 years, until Drejc became a professor of physical education at a primary school in Preddvor. In 2005 Polona got a job in Kranj, in a subsidiary of a Swedish multinational that offers lock solutions. Five years of working in the field of marketing, sales and logistics was very important for the continuation of her own business path.

In 1994, as an 18-year-old, she climbed, together with Drejc, the highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc. In 1996 she took part in the Jezersko expedition to South America, where she reached her height record of 5200 m. In 2007 she skied from the shoulder of Mont Blanc, 4500 m high, and in 2008 also from the top of the 4105 m high peak Dom de Neige in the Ecrins massif. Many times she also participated in the ski touring competition in the Slovenian Cup.

After the onset of the global crisis that has hit the economy, Polona, in the autumn of 2009, decided it was time for an independent path. She decided to study at the Biotechnical Centre Naklo, took over the management of the farm and started diversifying it into tourism. In four years she and her husband Drejc restored most of the buildings on the farm, started heating the entire estate with wood chips, set up a place for guests in the camp, organized sleeping in the hay barn, built a new house Preužitkarica and prepared plans for the reconstruction of the main Šenk's house. They filled the stables with a flock of sheep, three riding horses, numerous chickens and made a place for a guard dog named Arči in the yard.

In November 2013, Polona completed her studies at BC Naklo with another thesis, and, in addition to the work on the family farm, she runned Tourism Association Jezersko till 2019, which aims to develop tourism in Jezersko. In the last years the wider field of tourism in Jezersko began moving in a positive direction, as did the following of the ancestors who before World War II began connecting and networking in order to achieve better tourism development.

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