Alpensia Resort set for takeoff
By Lee Hyo-sik
Alpensia Resort, located in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, is poised to become the new winter sports Mecca in Asia, following Korea’s winning the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 games will be held at a stadium built inside the resort, while a wide range of sports events, including the ski jump and biathlon, will take place throughout its facilities.
Alpensia Resort, built on nearly 4.9 million square meters of land, opened its doors in July 2009 in preparation for Korea’s bidding to host a Winter Olympics.
In 2018, it is expected to host the biathlon, ski jump and cross country at venues that have already been built. Additionally, the competition sites for bobsleigh, luge, skeleton and freestyle skiing and snowboard events will be newly constructed.
``It takes less than two hours to get to Alpensia Resort from Seoul. They can also reach the East Sea within 30 minutes from the resort and visit a number of tourist attractions nearby. On top of this, our state-of-the-art accommodation and leisure facilities offer everything vacationers need,’’ an Alpensia Resort spokeswoman said.
She said the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang will provide a much-needed boost to the resort.
``We will make every effort to successfully host the winter games and turn Alpensia into a new hub for winter sports afterwards, attracting tens of thousands of tourists, not only from within the country, but also from overseas,’’ she said.
The spokeswoman said a high-speed train will be built by 2017 to link Incheon International Airport and PyeongChang, adding the train station will be near the resort.
``Also, the second Yongdong Expressway linking Seoul and cities in Gangwon Province will be constructed, which will significantly improve access to Alpensia from all over the country. These improved transport infrastructures will help us draw more visitors,’’ she said.
Winter sports facilities at Alpensia
Alpensia Resort currently operates several world-class sports facilities for biathlon, cross-country skiing and ski jumps, which all meet international standards and are sophisticated enough to host the Olympics.
Its biathlon stadium hosted the biathlon world cup in 2008 and the biathlon world championship in 2009.
The ski jumping tower, recognized as one of the most superior facilities in the world, was the site for the ski jump continental cup in 2009. The tower is also a perfect observatory offering visitors a breathtaking view of Alpensia and the nearby mountain areas.
The Alpensia Stadium sits at the centre of the resort, which is capable of accommodating nearly 16,000 people.
Aside from professional sports facilities, the resort also offers a range of fun facilities for vacationers. Alpensia features wide and gentle ski slopes for amateur skiing and snowboard.
It also runs a ski academy and ski school targeting children. Its snow sledding ground has become a main attraction as the whole family can experience the thrill of going down the snow-covered slopes.
There are three high-end, luxury lodging facilities in Alpensia Resort, offering vacationers everything they need to relax and be pampered with.
InterContinental Alpensia PyeongChang Resort is the country’s first five-star hotel constructed inside a ski resort. With an accommodation capacity of 238 rooms, the hotel spa and other customer-oriented service facilities provides guests with true comfort.
Holiday Inn Resort Alpensai PyeongChang is another five-star hotel in the resort. The hotel offering 214 rooms is interconnected with Alpensai Convention Center and a spa facility. Lastly, Holiday Inn & Suites Alpensia PyeongChang Condominium is a complex of condominiums located at the center of Alpensia. The complex has 419 rooms on the third to seventh floor with luxurious retail shops on the first floor.
In celebration of PyeongChang’s winning the bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2018, the two Holiday Inn-affiliated lodging facilities currently markets an Olympic Package, which offers a 50 percent discount for lodging, breakfast and admission to the water park Ocean 700. The package is available between July 17 and 21 as well as from Aug. 15 to 30
There is also the convention center that can accommodate up to 2,500 people, the largest ever built in domestic resorts.
Alpensia Concert Hall provides vacationers with a variety of musical performances and events, while those who want to do a little shopping can check out the Retail Street at the center of the resort.
Alpensia is also a great summer vacation destination place for the family.
Its Water Park Ocean 700, with one basement floor and three floors above ground, is the largest water sports complex, featuring a wave pool, kid’s pool and bathing pool all indoors and the camel back slide, tornado, and body slide outdoors. It also has a flowing pool and baths both indoors and outdoors in the spa village
Alpensia Estate, a stay-style golf course home built on 1.9 square kilometers of land has 268 units and a 27-hole course, called Alpensia Troon Country Club.
There is another 18-hole public golf course, Alpensia 700 Golf Club, which was built on the concept obtained from prestigious greens around the world.