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R400m upgrade for Tiffindell

31 Aug 2007
The R400m upgrade planned for SA's only ski resort includes the erection of a fractional ownership hotel.

Tiffindell Ski Resort, South Africa's only ski resort, is about to get a further boost with a R400-million development by its new owner, which will enhance the existing winter facilities and offer an entirely new spectrum of summer activities.

The development will make Tiffindell the ultimate "all-season" resort, catering for both the winter and summer visitor. The 25,000m2 development will include several new runs, a new four-seater chair lift, and the construction of a Fractional Hotel, which will include amenities such as restaurants and cafés, a conference centre, gym and Spa and Wellness Centre.

In addition, the public has been given an opportunity to invest in this premier five-star lifestyle, with fractional options starting at R340,000 for a two-bedroom unit, and up to R590,000 for a four-bedroom unit. This fractional ownership offering amounts to one week in winter and two in summer and opens up this exciting opportunity for many potential buyers – many of whom are already on a waiting list.

"Buyers will be able to obtain mortgage finance on the fractional units, which have been approved by all the major banks," says David Taylor, CEO of Tiffski, the new owners of Tiffindell.

The development of multiple runs, as well as a new ice rink, will enhance winter activities. Access to the runs will be much easier thanks to the new chair lift.

A range of summer recreational activities will also be introduced, such as fly-fishing, horseback riding, BMX and Quad Bike riding, mountain biking, camping, mountain climbing and hiking. Those seeking an adrenalin rush will enjoy the skateboard park, the grass skiing and the flow rider, where visitors can learn how to surf.

Construction is due to begin in January 2008, with expected completion of phases 1 & 2 in winter 2009. A new runway that will accommodate weekly flights will be completed in time for the 2008 snow season. Discussions are underway with local airlines to offer extra flights. The roads between Barkly East, Rhodes and the resort are also being upgraded, so access to the resort will be improved.

The development will give a much needed boost to employment in the Eastern Cape with 1,500 jobs being created during construction and a further 1,500 sustainable jobs thereafter. The upgrade has been given a big thumbs up by the Eastern Cape government as well as tourism. Speaking at the launch held at Montecasino in Gauteng, in a specially created environment of artificial snow, ski slopes, an ice bar and husky dogs, Pam Yako, Director-General of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, said that tourism had been identified as a key sector in achieving a 6% growth in the economy. The Tiffindell project could be a contributing factor to the growth in the number of tourists visiting South Africa, which stood at 8.3 million last year. The resort was part of the vision of creating a world class destination that would stimulate the economy, with sustainable growth in the GDP.

"Additionally, the new positioning of the resort will attract many more KZN and Cape visitors," says Taylor. Almost 60% of Tiffindell's visitors have originally come from Gauteng but latest stats show an increase in the number of Cape Town tourists, with this figure set to increase.

Approximately 80,000 to 100,000 South Africans travel overseas for snow skiing every year, and the new Tiffindell development is set to capture a larger share of this market particularly as travelling to America and Europe is becoming more costly, and obtaining visas is becoming more difficult. "By developing a first class resort with a variety of leisure activities, we are offering these travellers a similar experience right on our doorstep. We are expecting our figures to increase by 30% next year, especially with the improved skiing, more snowmaking and better ski lifts on offer," concludes Taylor.

Snow activities this weekend at Montecasino
Tiffindell Ski Resort brings to Joburg the Slope Style and Big Air snowboarding competitions at the Tiffindell Extreme Snow Extravaganza at Montecasino. With R25,000 in prizes up for grabs, R15,000 to the winner, this urban snowboarding event sees the largest purse in South African snowboarding ever.

The Slope Style snowboarding competition takes place on Thursday, 29 August at 18h00 and the Big Air competition on Friday, 30 August and Saturday, 02 September. The Big Air qualifying session takes place at 16h00 on Friday, the finals at 20h00 on Saturday. Entry per competitor per competition is R50 and registration takes place at the venue on Thursday at 15h00 for Slope Style and on Friday at 15h00 for the Big Air. Participants are required to bring their own equipment for these competitions.

FRIDAY, 31 AUGUST:
11h00: Slopes open to the public (bumboarding, snow fighting, intermittent huskies)
12h00-15h00: Ski demos (5 minutes every hour)
20h00: Snow burning
16h00-22h00: Big Air qualifier
22h00: Fireworks

SATURDAY, 01 SEPTEMBER:
11h00: Slopes open to the public (bumboarding, snow fighting, intermittent huskies)
16h00-20h00: Big Air practice
20h00: Snow burning
20h00-22h00: Big Air competition
22h00-22h30: Prize giving
22h30: Fireworks

SUNDAY, 02 SEPTEMBER:
11h00: Slopes open to the public (bumboarding, snow fighting, intermittent huskies)

For more information contact 082 376 4926 or 084 220 8508, or send an email.

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