The Lake Baikal region wants to turn itself into the Alps of Central Asia with a billion dollar project to create a ski resort.
Private equity fund EurAsia Capital Partners of Hong Kong is joining forces with Russia’s Rusresorts to develop ski slopes along Bychya Mountain.
“We have agreed that Eurasia Capital will purchase 35% in our project in Baikal for a price of $100 million,” Rusresorts,” Director General Petr Shura says.
Shura says the total cost of the year-round resort will be $1 billion where “the stock investments will make $220 $250 million and the remaining financing will come from borrowed money or from sale of real estate at the resort itself.”
Petr Shura from Rusresorts believes partnership with Asian investors will “help to establish effective relations with Asian contractors, tourism operators and will assist with attraction of financing,” adding that for design and development of Baikal resort “the leading international companies have been invited.”
Shura believes the Baikal resort will attract Asian tourists. “The annual tourist flow may make 400-500 thousand guests, and we expect that 90% of them will come from Asia,” he added.
Sergei Man, Managing Partner at Eurasia Capital Partners, agrees the tourist footfall will grow “as over several past years land prices around Baikal grew by several times, and demand for ecology tourism is growing worldwide,” which is, according to his words, “could make 20-22% of annual yields from investments,”
The Baikal resort will be built in Buryatia in the territory of a special economic zone called Baikal Harbor.
Construction on the 2,300 hectare site begins in May next year with an official opening planned for 2020. There will be around 3,500 hotel rooms as well as 2,500 homes constructed as part of the project.