This is the world renown Huang Shan scenic site at Anhui Province. Mr Shi had initially planned to go on a trip to Huang Shan, but realised that the entrance fee was a big rip off. The main entrance fee is only 150 yuan but there are 4 cable car routes and each one costs from 65 to 8o yuan. That’s when Mr Shi decided to abandon his Huang Shan tour to check out this luxurious development project at the foot of Huang Shan to find out how the rich people in China splurge.
Surprise, surprise, unoccupied buildings and 烂尾楼. Interestingly, this is a prime location with beautiful scenery and easy access to Huang Shan. It’s probably a tea plantation before it was acquired for this VIP development that targets both local and foreign buyers.
Mr Shi found the environment very pleasant but joked that after coming to Huang Shan, he didn’t get to see Huang Shan but a huge chunk of abandoned construction. He came across what seemed like a resort in the making but progress was stalled for some unknown reason. The temporary workers’ quarters have not been removed.
Built at a cost of 80 million yuan, 黄山国际汉语交流中心 is a trade and education hub where Chinese language, culture and products are introduced to an international audience. It is both a training and educational centre that helps the rest of the world understand China.
Chinese media report dated 20 July 2012 (my translation): Hong Kong 天香控股集团 Tianxiang Holding Group and US Vantage Management Group Greater China Headquarters-Weilun Lexington Hotel Management Company held a signing ceremony and press conference on the 黄山国际汉语交流中心 “Huangshan International Chinese Exchange Centre” joint venture at 黄山天香山庄 Huangshan Tianxiang Villa.
Mr Li Jinghong, President of Hong Kong Tianxiang Holding Group, Huang Yongmei, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Michael H Wetzlar, CEO of the Greater China Region of US Vantage Management Group, and Mr. Pan Xudan, Chief Operating Officer, signed a MOU.
District Committee Standing Committee and Deputy District Mayor Zhu Min, District Committee Propaganda Department Executive Deputy Director Ling Fusheng, Town Party Committee Secretary Wang Junhua, Mayor Chen Chunwei, and relevant persons in charge of the District Investment Promotion Bureau, District Tourism Committee, Town Tourism Branch and Shancha Village attended the event.
This conference witnessed the first time an international hotel management brand entered Tangkou Town, Huangshan District.
“Huangshan International Chinese Exchange Centre” is located in Shancha Village, Tangkou Town, South Gate of Huangshan Mountain. It is among the top ten cultural industry boutique construction project in Huangshan City and a key cultural industry project in Huangshan District, covering an area of 60 acres and has a total construction area of 30,000 square meters. The total investment is 120 million yuan.
The Huangshan International Chinese Exchange Centre is a cultural/industrial project that closely integrates “scientific learning methods” as its main function together with Huangshan tourism and environmental preservation.
Currently, the basic framework of the main project has been completed and the preparatory work of the internal and external walls and decoration are scheduled for 2013. This JV between Hong Kong Tianxiang Holding Group and American Vantage Management Group takes advantage of Vantage’s strong market share in the North American market to promote the international Chinese language exchange centre to internationalisation.
Upon completion, the hotel department of the International Chinese Language Exchange Centre is authorised to use the prestigious Lexington Plaza brand name under Vantage. This is expected to be a highlight of Huangshan’s tourism industry.
It is understood that Vantage Hotel Group (VHG), founded in 1996, ranked 8th in the world in the hotel industry in 2008. From 2003 to 2007, it was rated as the fastest-growing hotel chain company by the American Hotel Association for five consecutive years, maintaining a high contract rate of 98%.
In 2006, Vantage was rated as one of the world’s 500 fastest-growing non-listed companies. At present, Willen Lexington Hotel Management Company in Greater China has 4 high-end Lexington hotels, namely: Zhuhai Zhongbang Lexington Plaza Hotel, Shenyang Huafutiandi Lexington Hotel, Wuhan Biyoutel Xingdun Hotel, a super luxury hotel in Ningbo Lexington Plaza.
It’s 2021 now and the grand project is now in ruins.
The development is still found on Baidu and Google. Well, my personal experience with Baidu is that it simply can’t catch up with the rapid changes going on in China. Even Google has not removed the location from its maps. One moment, something is touted as a monumental success, the next moment, it’s a monumental failure.