Kaskasu ski resort near Shymkent to be completed in 201902 july 2014, 16:49
Construction of the Kaskasu mountain skiing resort will be completed in 2019, Tengrinews reports citing Oirat Mamirov, Director of the firm organizing the construction.
The Kaskasu Mountain Resort will be located in Tian Shan mountains in Kaskasu creek of South Kazakhstan Oblast, a mere 50 km away from Shymkent, a large city in southern Kazakhstan.
Construction of the ski resort in the area was planned back in the 1980s. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the project was suspended.
Several year's ago, after sucessfully hosting the 2011 Asian Winter Games, Kazakhstan Government decided to resume the project and invited Akmoinak LLP, a Kazakh contractor and developer, to lead the project.
Canadian Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners made an initial terrain assessment to develop a concept for the ski resort project. Then British Fourth Street was hired to review the proposals, assess the market opportunity and provide specific recommendations on the development strategy, real estate mix, market positioning and phasing strategy.
Arab businessmen were invited to invest into the project. The negotiations have reached the final stage already.
In 2012 the cost of the total cost of the project was estimated at 142 million dollars. But according to the updated estimates, 67 million dollars is required for the first phase and 163 million dollars for the second phase, which brings the project's total to 230 million dollars.
The construction will commence in 2015. “The construction will take only four years. However, we plan to breakdown it into two stages. We will first open a couple of cableways and a hotel and then continue on with the construction,” Mamirov said.
The pistes of Kaskasu will be at 1900-3200 meters above the sea level. There will be a total of 34 km of skiing runs. This is almost 3 times more than at the Shymbulak skiing resort near Almaty that has only 12 km of pistes. Slopes at Kaskasu resort will range from 18% to 38%, but since there are slopes as steep as 60% in the area the angle at some of the pistes may be even more daring. There is going to be 8 cableways of different types.
It is expected that over 5 thousand people a day will be visiting the resort. The organizers plan to have tourists from neighboring Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China flock to the resort along with Kazakhstanis.
“Southern Kazakhstan is not only about steppes and deserts. There is snow in Karaksu creek 6 months a year. Hence, the winter season in Kaskasu is one month longer than at Shymbulak,” Mamirov said.
Reporting by Vladimir Prokopenko,writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina