Kazakhstan is a large landlocked country equivalent in size to Western Europe but with a population of only 17 million. With such a small and dispersed population and limited inbound tourism, any proposals for new or unusual leisure concepts need to be carefully considered and tactically developed through a phased approach that allows for market growth over time.
Encouraged by a successful Asian Winter Games hosted in Astana and Almaty in 2011, the Government has acknowledged the opportunity afforded by the spectacular Tian Shan mountain range on southern edge of Kazakhstan. The Government invited Akmoinak TDC LLP – an established Kazakh contractor and developer –to lead on the delivery of a new mountain resort in Kaskasu.
After an initial terrain assessment by Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners, Fourth Street was commissioned to review the proposals, assess the market opportunity and provide specific recommendations on the development strategy, real estate mix, market positioning and phasing strategy.
With little existing demand for skiing product in Kazakhstan (most of it centred around Almaty), the project team lighted on a phased strategy with a diversified mix to meet the leisure needs of a fast emerging middle class in Shymkent, in aid of a longer term strategy to grow the resort over time and in pace with increased demand for mountainside product and property.
Fourth Street was recently re-commissioned to help advance the project, notably by advising on business models, delivery and operational structures, and the overall financial plan. Having made material advances on finance and investment, the project was publicly announced on July 2, 2014.