Mount Erciyes to rival world-famous Alps
KAYSERI - Anatolia News Agency
With the project, Kayseri’s Mount Erciyes will become a ski center with one of the world’s longest runs. The project, with a total cost of 275 million euros, aims to contribute to both winter and summer tourism in the province.Mount Erciyes is looking to become the Alps' biggest rival for the title of best regional ski destination as renovation work done under the Erciyes Winter Tourism Center Master Plan Project wraps up.
Half of the project has been finished and the entire plan is scheduled to be completed in 2015 with a total cost of 275 million Euros, according to Erciyes A.Ş Executive Chairman Murat Cahid Cıngı
The Erciyes Winter Tourism Center Master Plan Project was initiated in 2005 by the Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality.
Mount Erciyes, which has an altitude of 3,916 meters, has served as a ski center since 1930s and the seven-kilometer skiing track had been extended to 50 kilometers, Cıngı said.
The project aims to contribution to both Kayseri’s winter and summer tourism. “Since 2005, many levels of the project have been completed. The project has been carried out by a company that realized big projects in the Austrian Alps. We opened the first level of the facilities last season. Six mechanical facilities and new tracks were also opened. We are now building five more mechanical facilities. Three of them will be put into service this year. Thanks to these mechanical facilities, we will have world-renown tracks and ski lovers will enjoy skiing from 300 meters above. When the project is done, the total length of the track will reach 200 kilometers in Erciyes. In this way, Mount Erciyes will be a ski center with the world’s one of the longest tracks,” Cıngı said.
Currently there are five hotels on Mount Erciyes. “The bed capacity of these hotels is nearly 700 people. Within the scope of the Erciyes Master Plan, 21 mountain hotels will also be built. Then the bed capacity of Erciyes hotels will reach 5,000. Before the project, Erciyes used to serve the people of Kayseri only. With the project, it will host ski lovers from Turkey and the world.”
He also said that an artificial snow system would be put into services on the mountain. “The system is included in the second stage of the project. The system will serve on an area of 2-million-square-meter track,” he said.
Facilities for football teams
According to Cıngı, new facilities will also be constructed for football teams to make camps. “Twenty-one hotels that will be built within the scope of the project will open in one to two years. There will also be nine football fields meeting UEFA standards for summer camps of professional football teams. Also, a congress center for 3,000 people will be built.”
A lift that was opened to service last year on the mountain and received great interest from locals as it was free to ride for a year, Cıngı said. “It revived social life in the city,” he said. “One million people used the lift. Locals of the city bring their guests to the lift to see the magnificent view of the city.
Beginning from Oct. 1, the lift required a fee of 3 Turkish Liras and 1 lira for students. This price is compared to some 45 to 50 euros for a day in Europe. It will be 10 Euros here. Erciyes will be one of the cheapest ski centers in the world.” The new season in Erciyes will open in the beginning of December, Cıngı said.