We were recently interviewed by professional trade publication SAM magazine. Below is a brief except from this month’s issue.
After the International Olympic Committee selected Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Games, some observers panned the choice for a lack of snow. We asked our friend in Beijing, Canadian Justin Downes of Axis Leisure Management, if this was such a bad choice.
Relax, he told us: “It’s true that the annual snowfall in Beijing and Zhangjiakou cannot compare to many other international ski destinations, but the technical and climatic conditions for snowmaking are absolutely ideal.” The region where the Games will be held, Zhangjiakou (Chongli County) and Yanqing County, receives about 80 inches of snow a year. But the temperatures are consistently cold, and there’s plenty of water available for snowmaking.
That will be a positive change from recent Games, Downes reminded us. “Vancouver/Whistler and Sochi both delivered very successful Winter Olympic Games, but both venues were also dependent on snowmaking, both were transporting snow to their venues, and both had notable temperature issues that caused big problems and costs to the event organizers. Beijing will face no such worries.”
The longer-term benefits of the Games for the Chinese and global winter sports markets could be enormous. “The Chinese ski market is still in its infancy,” Downes says, ”but as the market matures and the ability improves, they will naturally seek offshore experiences. The Japanese resorts already saw a 35 percent growth in Chinese visitors in 2014-15 and it is expected to increase in the coming years.” We now have seven years to speculate on how this story will end.
Check out the rest of the magazine here: http://www.saminfo.com/magazine/september-2015