North Korea Builds Posh Ski Resort

Opening Thursday in poverty-stricken nation

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North Korea is spending millions of dollars building a luxury ski resort that will open in the impoverished nation on Thursday.

The lavish slopes will cater to 5,500 skiers in North Korea, the Associated Press reports, who make up just 0.02 percent of the poverty-stricken populace of 24 million people.

The Masik Pass ski resort took 10 months to build.

[AP]

5 comments
leon1376
leon1376

The DPRK is building Masik Pass to attract tourism, which is mainly Chinese at this point. Chinese people love to ski and they don't have nearly enough slopes in the north. Masik Pass will pump millions into the DPRK economy. You also have to consider all the little businesses that will spring up around the resort. If you look at Google maps, Masik is maybe 15 miles east of Wonsan, which is over on the east coast. There's the Wonsan Airport with a runway plenty long enough to handle commercial aircraft. It's only a 45-minute flight from Dalian and maybe two hours from Beijing. Of course there will be Koreans there as well. There are a lot of Rolex-wearing Koreans in Pyongyang with serious coin to throw around. They're having trouble keeping the upscale shops stocked with luxury goods. 

Kenny2121
Kenny2121

Ah, now eventually you plan to have snow in your ski resort right? Hello? He...hello... Yes? 

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

@leon1376 You really think anyone with money is going to travel to that anthill?  I've seen bigger slopes in North Carolina.  My guess is the patrons will be high-level party officials.

leon1376
leon1376

I meant to say Masik is approximately 15 miles "west" of Wonsan. Otherwise it would be a water skiing resort. 

leon1376
leon1376

@bryanfred1 @leon1376 You're assumptions are incorrect. Marshal Kim Jong Un has been banging the drum for tourism and foreign investment for more than a year. The Yuan; the Euro; and in many places, the US Dollar, are readily accepted in the DPRK. As for the DPRK elites. most of them go to Switzerland if they want to ski. It's true. There's a huge DPRK community in Switzerland and they go back and forth on a regular basis. Masik is not going to be just for the elites any more than any sports venue in the DPRK is restricted to elites. For one thing, they'll be training skiers to compete in international competition. If you can strap on a pair of skies, you can try out at Masik. Besides, I have no doubt every soldier has been given a lifetime pass to come there and ski. They earned it with their sweat and blood. If they thought for one moment they were killing themselves for a few thousand Pyongyang fat cats, there would be a revolution tomorrow. The military has an extraordinary amount of power. They aren't mobilizing shock battalions and working around the clock in all sorts of weather so party big-shots can come up there and schtup their mistresses. That's definitely a non-starter. Regarding the size of the ski runs, the DPRK is mostly mountains, especially in the east. They're not particularly high, but a lot of them are straight down. And they get millions of tons of high-quality snow powder. Masik Pass is only the first of many.