Plotting a course for greater numbers on the slopes
Ski operators upgrade facilities as they entice more visitors to experience the thrill of snow
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