Winter sports businesses boom in Chinese cities

This Chinese ski simulator is riding

a popularity surge in winter sports

LOCATION: Shanghai, China

Public interest in China

began growing

when Beijing won its bid

to host the Winter Olympics

Businesses like Snow51

sprung up to cash in on that

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) SIX-YEAR-OLD LI WENXUAN, SAYING:

"I love skiing. I come to ski six times a week. Skiing here makes me feel the same as skiing on real snow."

REPORTER ASKING: "Do you want to be an athlete when you grow up?"

"I want to be an Olympic champion."

Snow51 has slope simulators

in high-end malls across many cities

They target city-dwellers with

no time to travel to the mountains

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) FOUNDER OF SNOW51, YE KAI, SAYING:

In the next five years, we plan to expand in China's top 30 cities. In the next five years, we could have more than 300 outlets and 1,000 ski machines.

Prices can be pretty steep

An annual pass costs almost $5,000

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