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Almaty’s executive committee set aside the realization of the project "Kok-Zhailau"
08 april 2019

An extended meeting of the Public Council was held in Almaty, during which the city governor, Bauyrzhan Baybek, proposed to postpone the implementation of the Kok-Zhailau resort.

The governor of Almaty noted that the issue of developing mountain locations and tourism in general is very important for employment, economic growth and increasing export earnings, given the rapid development of e-commerce and the reduction of trade. Today, the city carries out systematic work for the development of this area, including improving the architectural appearance, objects of attraction are being created, and Almaty is being promoted internationally.

“Mountains are our main competitive advantage and we should use it. According to the estimates of Austrian experts, having invested 1.5 billion dollars in its implementation over 7-10 years, the return to the economy will be 2 billion dollars annually. It is very important - more than 20 thousand jobs will be created. At the same time, we must keep the balance of the economy, society and ecology, that is, create modern resorts with minimal impact on the environment. I think we should not hurry. It is necessary to consider all the expert opinions and prospects of new locations. Therefore, I propose to finalize the draft and postpone for the time being. Moreover, the development of existing resorts, according to experts, will take at least 3-5 years. During this time we will gather the necessary experience, prepare personnel, study the opinion of residents and guests of the resorts. And only after that we will be able to start building the Kok-Zhailau ski resort, ”said Bauyrzhan Baybek.

It should be noted that within the framework of the new concept, the optimization of the cost part was carried out, the environmental impact was significantly reduced - the area of the planned development was reduced 14 times, trees were demolished 26 times. 100 hectares of land will be returned to the National Park. The new concept of the Kok-Zhaylau project completely eliminates the design of private cottages.

In November, public hearings were held on the preliminary assessment of the environmental impact of the project. This is the second largest public participation by the citizens after the “Almaty 2020” program. All requirements of the Aarhus Convention were met.

According to the results of public hearings, a protocol of 293 pages was compiled, which is publicly available. In the past 5 months, it was analyzed. Since the ski base of CSKA will be transferred to the communal property from the balance of the Ministry of Defense, consultants from Master Concept suggested connecting Kok Zhailau resort to CSKA, which will lead to a change in the base station location. In general, within the Master Plan, growth prospects for Tau Park resorts and Butakovsky Gorge are defined. New locations along with Kok-Zhaylau need to be linked into a single cluster. Considering that citizens will account for 70% of resort visitors, a hotel on the territory of the plateau will also not be built.

“According to the experience of countries with developed ski industry, the principle of financing resorts is as follows: the road and engineering infrastructure is built entirely at the expense of the state, the commercial - at the expense of private investors, and the ski - partly subsidized by the state. Currently, the possibility of such a subsidy mechanism is being discussed with the Government. In this regard, the resort "Kok-Zhaylau", like other mountain resorts, should be funded on the same principle, and not only at the expense of the state budget. That is, the lion's share of the project can be realized through private investment while minimizing costs from the budget. The funds that were planned to be invested to the project should be allocated to other priority city programs, ”said Bauyrzhan Baybek.

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