Mixed Reports on The Plans Of The Operator of the World’s Largest Indoor Snow Centres
The Sunac group, which runs at least six indoor snow centres in China, including the world’s three largest by snow area, was a major presence at this year’s at The World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo staged in early autumn.
The Sunac Culture & Tourism Group exhibited its ability to manage the whole chain of the snow industry and the advantages in indoor snow centres to reach the public .
“Sunac’s mission and determination is to promote the development of China’s ice and snow industry through professional product services and large-scale layout,” an exhibition statement explained.
Sunac is a relatively new player on the world indoor snow scene, taking over the world’s largest indoor snow centre in Harbin in July 2017 just a week after it opened. It was one of 13 tourism projects bought for a total of US$6.6 billion and previously built and operated by another Chinese multi-billion dollar group, Dalian Wanda. Several subsequent indoor snow centres begun under Dalian Wanda have now been completed by Sunac and the company has announced more to be built that weren’t Dailan Wanda initiated.
But recent (apparently unsubstantiated) reports have indicated Sunac may be looking to move back out of the ice and snow business. Finance publisher Bloomberg said “people familiar with the matter” believed Sunac might be looking to sell off its snow centres in 2022, presumably some time after the Beijing Olympics.
“Sunac’s snow business has largely driven the growth of the group’s culture and tourism segment, which also includes malls, water sports venues and some high-end hotels. The unit reported a 166% jump in revenue in the first half of 2021 from a year earlier to about 2.61 billion yuan ($404 million),” Bloomberg reported.