Plot­ting a course for greater num­bers on the slopes

Ski op­er­a­tors up­grade fa­cil­i­ties as they en­tice more vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of snow

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS BUSINESS - By JING SHUIYU jing­shuiyu@chi­

Ski re­sort op­er­a­tors are plot­ting their course, just like those­who­take to the slopes, to im­prove ser­vice and fa­cil­i­ties, as they seek greater mar­ket share in a grow­ing in­dus­try.

Moun­tain China Re­sort, also known as Yab­uli, is no ex­cep­tion. It has se­tupa snow­board­ing park, a con­veyor belt, and ren­o­vated a high­speed ca­ble car this year.

CEO Han Gang said: “We are con­sid­er­ing set­tin­gup­new trails, when we ob­tain per­mis­sion, to meet grow­ing de­mand. ”

Han said vis­i­tor num­bers are pro­jected to ex­ceed 144,000 in the 2016 winter sea­son, up 20 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year.

The re­sort, lo­cated in Harbin, Heilongjiang prov­ince, opened on Nov 3.

Also gain­ing mo­men­tum is Gent­ing Re­sort Se­cret Gar­den, a ski cen­ter in Zhangji­akou, He­bei prov­ince. The cen­ter has in­stalled a new chairlift and opened this year.

It added sev­eral au­to­matic snow­mak­ers and groom­ing ma­chines to im­prove snow qual­ity, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Gent­ing Re­sort, se­lected as venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics for freestyle ski­ing and snow­board­ing events, has also been work­ing on projects for pro­fes­sional use.

“Equip­ment and fa­cil­i­ties in Chi­nese ski cen­ters are be­ing up­graded,” said keen snow­board­ing fan Liu Xihe, a PhD can­di­date at Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity. “Prices, how­ever, are rel­a­tively higher com­pared to over­seas.”

He started snow­board­ing four years ago, and won medals at sport events in Bei­jing.

“What mat­ters in the ski­ing ex­pe­ri­ence most is the crowd. If the ski ar­eas are crowded by be­gin­ners, it is not an ideal place for well-trained skiers.” Liu said.

Liu’s hope is very likely to be ful­filled in the next fewyears.

China’s ski in­dus­try is set to a train­ing park

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