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Chinese multi-billionaire opens vast indoor ski resort in northern China's 'City of Ice'

china opens world s largest indoor ski resort

This summer the northern Chinese city of Harbin saw the opening of what is being hailed the largest indoor ski area in the world.

Covering some 80,000 square metres, the Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort has six runs catering for all abilities, with two black runs, a blue run, a snow play area featuring a snow castle, and two 40m long beginner pistes - all of which are served by indoor chairlifts and magic carpet uplifts.

The main blue run alone is 500m long and 60m wide, making it the fourth longest indoor piste in the world.

The city of Harbin already has a reputation for winter attractions with its world-famous annual International Ice and Snow Festival - helped not least by its northerly location near the Russian border where frozen winters can last up to six months.

Costing upwards of £4.6bn and four years to build, the indoor ski resort also houses an outdoor theme park, ice hockey rink, theatre venues, a shopping centre, cinema complex, and hotels, creating tens of thousands of new jobs.

The man behind this incredible new venue is China's tycoon Wang Jianlin, who is the founder of the Dalian Wanda Group and according to Forbes is estimated to be worth in excess of £23.5 billion.

Northeastern China is already the location for more traditional 'open air' resorts but the nearest, Yabuli, is about three hours' drive away.

Capable of hosting up to 3,000 skiers and snowboarders at a time, it is hoped that the venue will welcome in excess of 400,000 by the start of 2018 - a figure which is sure to rise as China's burgeoning middle classes get ski-savvy ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

An all-day, unlimited use day ski pass costs about £56.