Kein Flash! | Home | 2012-04-02

China’s ski resorts enjoy a boom

Skiing is gaining importance in China. In 2011, Doppelmayr handed over lifts in Changbaishan International Ski Center and Genting Resort Secret Garden. Both resorts are currently being set up and expanded as ski areas.

The Changbai mountain range on the border with North Korea is largely protected as a nature reserve. There are two ski resorts, the smaller and older of the two (two trails with a total length of 3 km, one surface lift) lies directly on the North Korean border with the extinct volcano Baitou (2,750 m) which Koreans regard as a sacred mountain.

Foreign investors

Six investors headed by the Wanda Group provided the funding for the Changbaishan International Ski Center. It ranges in altitude from 1,000 m to 1,200 m, covers an area of almost 19 km2 and has 40 ski trails totaling 40 km in length. Access is provided amongst others by three detachable 6-seater chairlifts from Doppelmayr. Doppelmayr delivered the installations on a turnkey basis. The lifts have a combined capacity of 8,000 skiers an hour. There are six hotels and apartment blocks offering 3,000 rooms of all categories. The ski region is scheduled to open for the 2012/13 season. The Genting Resort Secret Garden, 250 kilometers northwest of Beijing, is being built by the Malaysian Genting Investment Group. The initial construction phase includes 13 ski runs with three lifts, a 6/8-passenger combined lift plus two detachable quad chairlifts with bubbles and heated seats. Doppelmayr was the supplier chosen for all of these systems. The two 4-CLDs were completed on schedule for the opening of the ski resort in December 2011; the combined lift is due for completion in July 2012. The internationally reputable China Daily newspaper reported that, the entire resort (which is also to include golf and theme parks) will offer 2,500 hotel beds. A 350-bed hotel as well as various restaurants and bars are currently under construction.

Public transport connections are to be expanded

At the moment, Secret Garden can only be conveniently reached via the highway. But that is set to change in 2012 when the high-speed rail line from Beijing to Ürümqi opens. Its first station will be Zhangjiakou, just 20 minutes from the resort by shuttle bus. This will then mean that the trip from Beijing will only take just over an hour (rather than the current three hours by car). In addition, a military airfield in the vicinity is to be opened up to civil aircraft. The resort operators expect this option to encourage large numbers of foreign tourists.


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Genting Resort Secret Garden

The number of skiers in China is estimated at between 1 and 5 million, with a strong upward trend. The country has roughly a dozen ski resorts, most of them in the northeast.

Chairman and CEO of the Genting Investment and Management Group, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, took part in the opening celebrations at Genting Resort Secret Garden. The Genting Group posted revenues of USD 31 billion in 2011. Secret Garden is the group’s first ski resort and others are to follow.