The ice and snow economy is booming in Lin'an district, Hangzhou with the opening of the Daming Mountain Ski Resort in recent years, local media outlets reported.
Opening on Jan 18, 2011, the ski resort has over the past decade seen its number of visitors rise from 20,000 to over 150,000 during the snow season from January to March, realizing 50 million yuan ($7.9 million) in total revenue.
Xu Xin, chairman of Daming Mountain Tourism Co, said Daming Mountain's high altitude, low temperatures in winter, and proximity to Daming Lake has given it the proper conditions to become a ski resort.
Though more expensive than other sports at 150 yuan and 220 yuan per hour on workdays and weekends, respectively, the resort has seen its number of visitors surge every year, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people prefer trips to neighboring cities, and the opening of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
The high number of visitors has also invigorated Lin'an's supporting service industries, including accommodation, shipping, leisure and entertainment, and transportation. Statistics show that the turnover of these services reached 50 million yuan last year.
Local residents who used to make a living by planting hickory nuts and mining have now made a fortune by running snow-themed beds and breakfasts.
For example, the homestay run by Xiao Ming, which has 20 guestrooms and charges nearly 1,000 yuan per night, is always in short supply and can make some 1 million yuan in the snow season.
The Lin'an government has also been encouraging local residents to integrate winter sports with more creative supporting services, such as bathing in hot springs and engaging in folk customs.
"The Daming Moutain Ski Resort and the diversified supporting services complement each other, helping the region achieve sustainable development," said an official from the Lin'an district culture and tourism bureau.