Queenstown-based Skyline Enterprises plans to open a $13 million luge track in South Korea.
The tourism firm signed a land lease agreement today (Wednesday) for 16 hectares in Tongyeong City, on the country’s south coast.
It represents the fourth overseas luge development by the firm and the second in Asia.
Skyline operates luges in Queenstown, Rotorua, Singapore and Canada, with another to come in Calgary, Canada, next year.
Skyline chairman Ken Matthews says the firm also has five other sites around the world under active consideration.
And he confirmed Skyline hopes to build on the success of Queenstown’s gondola-accessed mountain bike runs at the South Korea site.
Matthews says: “It is part of the agreement that we have an option to do that.
“We don’t know how receptive the market will be to that sort of thing, but it’s better to have it in rather than trying to whack it in later.”
Tongyeong, on the southern tip of Goseong peninsula, attracts about 6.5m visitors a year and a gondola next to the luge site about 1.3m. Skyline Queenstown, which covers four hectares, currently attracts about 550,000 visitors a year.
Skyline will build three tracks over time, a quad-lift, terminals, a ticket office and facilities.
Matthews says: “It has a lot of potential and it is a good site.
“We’re putting in one track to start but then assuming we get a reasonable amount of growth we’ll be putting in more tracks.”
A Korean delegation, including the town’s mayor, visited Singapore, Queenstown and Rotorua this week.
Tongyeong tourism director Park Taedo says: “The luge project has drawn lots of attention and interest from Tongyeong citizens.
“Let me close by wishing again for a successful implementation of the luging product.”