Friday, September 12, 2008

China will host the 2009 Universiade

After Beijing Olympic Games, China will host one more major international sport event. The 24th 2009 World University Games, also known as the "Universiade" will be held in the country’s skiing capital city Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, 800 kilometres north of Beijing and a former host of the Asian Winter Games. The Universiade, a combination of the words University and Olympiad, is an International multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The 24th Winter Universiade was attributed to Harbin, at the FISU Executive Committee Meeting in Innsbruck, Austria, on January 10th, 2005.
The ski events will be held at Sun Mountain Yabuli, China’s premier and most well known destination ski resort. The resort is now operated by Melco China Resorts Ltd (MCR) listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Toronto, Canada in May 2008. Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Ltd. is the founding strategic partner and investor of MCR. It has become China’s largest ski resort developer and operator with five premier resort properties: Sky Mountain Beidahu, Adventure Mountain Changchun, Star Mountain Beijing, The Lotus Mountain Club and Sun Mountain Yabuli. The company initial focus is the rapid transformation of five existing ski areas in northern China into unique, year-round, world-class resorts offering the very best in snow sports throughout the winter. MCR offers a range of accommodations, including five-star full-service hotels, condominium-hotels and luxury resort homes. The Sun Mountain Lodge, currently being constructed at the Yabuli Resort has been accepted as part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World Group (SLH) brand. Recently ranked the "top overall luxury hotel brand for 2007" and the brand that offers the "Best Customer Experience", by the New York-based Luxury Institute, the SLH portfolio comprises over 450 luxury hotels in more than 70 countries.
At Yabuli a $25m investment has been made in the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment which adheres to international safety standards and introduces services and amenities that have never been seen before in China, including sophisticated snowmaking and grooming technology which will guarantee snow throughout the winter season, eight-passenger heated gondolas imported from Europe, and six-passenger high-speed chair lifts.
According to the China Ski Association, the total number of ski visits in China increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 109% to over 4 million during the period 1999 and 2004 and is the fastest growing ski market in the world. The number is expected to increase to 10 million by 2010.