Eternal Star to unveil new mega indoor ski project in Chengdu
COLDSKY.CN – Southwest China’s Dujiangyan City, located in a subtropical humid monsoon climate zone and widely known for its ancient irrigation system, will soon be home to one of the world’s largest indoor ski facilities when Chengdu Sunac Snow World opens by the end of May.
It marks a milestone in the business of Eternal Star Ice & Snow (铭星冰雪), the company also behind the world’s largest indoor ski facility in Harbin City in Heilongjiang Province. The Beijing-based company is a Certified High and New Technology Enterprise (HNTE), which means it can benefit from a corporate income tax rate of 15% compared to the standard 25%. It is the only HNTE in China’s ice and snow recreation industry.
The colossal park made of concrete columns and huge trusses spans an area of 80,800 sqm in Dujiangyan,where temperatures range from 28℃ in summer to 2℃ in winter, according to weather.com.cn. The builder, China Construction First Group Corporation, plans to vie for a gold medal for steel structures in China with the project, which needed 27,000 tons of steel, half the amount used at the Birds Nest, the National Stadium built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
It is a centrepiece of the massive Chengdu Sunac Cultural Tourism City project, which also includes a water world, resort hotels and other properties. According to the Chengdu Development and Reform Commission, the project by Tianjin-based, Hong Kong-listed property developer Sunac involves a total investment of 15 billion yuan and covers an area of 1,600 mu (107 hectares). It aims to become a world-class cultural and tourism destination capable of handling 30 million visitors a year.
The soon-to-open park is now at the stage of making artificial snow with 88 evaporative coolers and 25 machines. When it opens, some 20 snow sprayers will further fill the park with floating snowflakes to create a more authentic atmosphere. The ski resort has six slopes, one snowboarding area, and a vertical drop of 60 meters.
Eternal Star said it’s the first Chinese company integrating R&D, snow and ice theme park design and services, and equipment manufacturing, sales and service. In the course of 15 years, it has built more than 40 outdoor and 50 indoor ski facilities, including the three biggest in the world. The company said it also provides high-end lab instruments and technical services for state-level projects including the J-20 fighter aircraft and bullet train research.
Another project by Eternal Star, Beishan Mountain Ski Resort in Northeast China’s Jilin Province, is the first cross-country ski resort in Asia that can be used in all four seasons. It is used as the training site for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics national team.
Eternal Star was also behind Sunac’s Snow World in Guangzhou, the largest indoor ski resort in South China. The 75,000 sqm park is part of Sunac Resort, which includes an indoor water park, an amusement park, a shopping mall and hotels.
Following the acquisition of the cultural and tourism assets of Wanda Group, Sunac had 10 cultural and tourism cities, four resorts, and 26 cultural and tourism towns by the end of 2019. Together they house 41 theme parks, 46 commercial developments and nearly 100 high-end hotels, according to the company’s website. The developer’s cultural and tourism arm operates with a slogan – integrated service provider for Chinese family happiness.
As I look into the flourishing ice and snow sports projects, it’s a pity that I have not found any information about the environmental impact, such as the use of power and electricity. China’s ski industry is reaching new heights ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics. As Xinhua reported, citing a guideline of the State Council, Beijing will spearhead a plan to create 300 million Chinese “winter sports enthusiasts” . China also plans to have more than 2,000 schools featuring winter sports by the year 2020, and over 5,000 by the year 2025.
Areas in northern China have some resource advantages to develop ice and snow programs as a new way to attract tourists. But I personally feel unconvinced by the necessity to bolster winter sports just because of the Olympics. How sustainable?
As reported by the Telegraph newspaper, the Warren Smith Ski Academy became the first British ski school to open in China last winter following increased interest in its courses from Chinese skiers and snowboarders. “It’s almost as if winning the 2022 Winter Olympics bid has put skiers in China into panic mode – they really want to get better at skiing, and fast,” said Warren.
I doubt if people can live in panic mode for a long time.
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