Guizhou's snow is a reason to visit
Drought-prone Guizhou province, known for its cutting karst formations, doesn't naturally sire snowy slopes for skiing.
It's dry. Its peaks tend to be sheer.
You'd fall off, rather than glide down, most inclines.
Yet the Yushe Snow Resort, or the Yushe National Forest Park, in Liupanshui city has created a winter wonderland where there was none.
The resort has purchased 60 snow machines to transform a swathe of a national forest park into a place to go to enjoy snow in Guizhou.
The mountains, which average around 2,250 meters, seldom experience snowfall but are coated with freezing rain in winter.
This, in every sense, put a chill on tourism during the season.
It was a great disparity throughout the year for a place that's hailed as a summer hot spot.
"Few travelers visit the conventional sites in winter," the resort's manger Gao Song says.
"So, we developed new opportunities."
It has hosted such competitions and events as the 2017 Summer International Marathon and World Snow Day.
The Yushe Snow Resort, also known as the Yushe National Forest Park in Guizhou's Liupanshui city, has transformed the summer hot spot into a winter wonderland. [Photo provided to China Daily]
The resort receives 20,000 visitors daily on average during the winter season, Gao says.
Yushe invested 200 million yuan ($31.8 million) to expand its snowfields from 500 to 100,000 square meters in the past few years.
It offers ski ranges of various difficulty levels and snowmobiling.
"It's wonderful to ski here, even though the snow isn't deep enough," says veteran skier Luo Yongming, who was visiting from Chongqing.
"The scenery is stunning." Nearly a third of visitors come from outside the province.
Yushe received 180,000 winter tourists in 2016 and 2017, compared with 65,000 in 2015. It generated 30 million yuan in the 2015-16 period.
Liupanshui received 300 million visits that generated 20 billion yuan in 2017. That's more than a 60 percent increase in revenue and a nearly 58 percent increase in visits year-on-year.
Tourism has assisted poverty alleviation.
Relocated villager Nie Sanwen works as a driver of the tourism electric cart. The 46-year-old earns 4,000 yuan a month. And his family has moved into a new modern apartment provided by the government.
"I'm happy," he says.
"I'm fairly well off."
Snow may be a new ingredient that extends the allure of Guizhou's tourism charm year-round.
Chen Zhuo contributed to the story.