The giant Sunac Snow Park in Guangzhou, the capital city of south China’s Guangdong Province, has reported “nearly two million visitors” in the seven months since it opened in June 2020, despite the pandemic, according to its management.
Interviewed by China Global Television Network (CGTN) one snowboarder said he had quite his job and moved home to be closer to the new facility, saying that having lied in the warm south of the country, “snow is an extraordinary thing for us.”
Anyone living in Guangdong who wanted to try skiing or even see snow normally had to fly several hours north prior to the opening of the new indoor snow centre, which is the world’s second biggest by slope area with 56,000 square metres of indoor snow space.
It also featured the world’s first indoor gondola at an indoor snow centre when it opened, although it is understood this was quickly replaced with a chairlift which proved more efficient to cope with the high visitor numbers.
Most of the two million were, unsurprisingly, newcomers to snow sports, with CGTN speculating they were partly inspired by the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics now just a year away.
China now has more than 30 indoor snow centres, more than a quarter of the world’s total, with many built in the past five years. According to the World Indoor Snow Centre Guide they include the world’s current three largest, all run by the Sunac Group and all opened in the past four years.