By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
July 31 - Pyeongchang's multi-billion dollar Alpensia Resort Complex, a key part of the city's bid to host the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics, is now fully open, organisers in South Korea have revealed.
The Ocean 700, the resort’s water park, has commenced operations, the final piece of the $1.4 billion (£892 million) jigsaw of the 4.9 kilometre2 tourist and recreation complex that visitors can enjoy during all seasons of the year.
The resort includes hotels, private residential property, winter sports venues, a golf club, a water park, and convention and concert centers.
The Alpensia Resort would be the location of the Olympic Village and several competition venues if Pyeongchang beats rivals Annecy and Munich to be awarded the Games.
The Alpensia Resort ski jumping stadium would also be used as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Resort is already benefitting from increased international exposure due to the Olympic bid, the third time Pyeongchang have campaigned to host the Games, having narrowly lost out to Vancouver for 2010 and Sochi for 2014.
Cha Sang-gu, the president of Alpensia Corporation, said: "Thanks to Pyeongchang, we have been well advertised in and out of Korea and it will get even better if the city bags the Games."
Gangwondo Development Corporation (GDC), the parent company of the Alpensia Corporation, began constructing the resort independently in June 2004 with its sights set on contributing to the economy of Gangwon Province and establishing it as a hub for Korean tourism.
Cha said: "Although Alpensia and Pyeongchang are in the same boat because several Olympic events will be held here, the resort was not built exclusively for the Winter Olympics."
Currently, sites for ski jumping, cross country and biathlon have been constructed there, and bobsleigh and skeleton runs are scheduled to be built if Pyeongchang hosts the Games.
Pyeongchang 2018 chairman and chief executive Yang-Ho Cho said: "We are delighted that the Alpensia Resort is now fully open so that people from Korea, Asia and around the world can enjoy these world class sporting, recreational and cultural facilities.
"The investment we have made to build this resort shows Pyeongchang’s commitment to staging the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018, and that we are delivering on our promises to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the Olympic Family.”
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
July 2010: South Korea to invest in new training centre at Pyeongchang
July 2010: Pyeongchang 2018 launch new logo to mark year to go
June 2010: Korean Government pass new act to back Pyeongchang Olympic bid
June 2010: Annecy, Munich and Pyeongchang all in race for 2018 Olympics
June 2010: All 2018 Olympic bidders set for next stage