Resort expands casino and will support also MICE industry thanks to 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
A view of High1 Resort, Korea’s only casino and resort allowed for both domestic and
foreign customers and tries to turn itself into a family resort. (Photo:Kangwon Land)
President Choi Hung-jib of Kangwon Land celebrates two years since the Standing Director
Recommendation Committee of Kangwon Land picked him as the next president of the entertainment and gambling resort among the four candidates to fill the vacant position on July 12. Choi promised the committee a second resurgence of the resort as he took control of the only casino and leisure resort open to all in Korea, including domestic customers.
Choi declared the ’Vision 2020 With Hope and Challenge’ when he took over Kangwon Land as the CEO in 2011 which included the four major strategies designed to bring along the nearby regions in Gangwon Province to grow together with Kangwon Land economically.
CEO Choi Hung-jib of Kangwon Land.
The four major strategies include making Kangwon Land and High 1 Resort, a top resort and casino complex in Asia with visitors totaling 10 million by 2020 with the help of the 2018 Winter Olympics to take place in nearby Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province and many international visitors would stay at Kangwon Land hotels and condos showing off the luxurious facilities at the resort winning a great publicity around the world.
The strategies also include securing self-sustaining power for the resort, grow together with the region its in and others nearby, tighten internal management, and expand its social responsibility. Securing self-sustaining capacity means to build a growth for its growth with other areas nearby whose economies are depressed due to the closures of many coal mines in the areas. Choi also wants to tighten the management of the resort to prevent wastes of resources and get along well together with the labor union and also expand its social services to contribute to the creation of a joint survival community with poor regions surrounding the resort.
A medical clinic at Kangwon Land providing free medical services to the residents in nearby towns.
Under the direction of CEO Choi, Kangwon Land has been at work to turn its cooperative firms to social business firms, which is in line with the government policy to spur the operations of SMEs for their growth as part of the government plan to create more jobs. Kangwon Land from the time of its initial operation, made sure that its vendors are based in the local areas with the policies and systems for dealing with them.
The first objective is turning them into socially responsible firms and the evaluation system for their products and services. Under the policies, the leaders of labor unions are entitled to participate in key management decisions to secure transparency in management of the firms. The practice allows to use around the two thirds of those firms incomes to be provided to the union’s welfare programs and social causes.
On the wall of his office at the resort in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, is a large frame of his pledge to bring the second resurgence of the resort during his term of office through such efforts as “providing an emotionally moving experience to customers,” “pepping up the local economy,” and “giving hope to the staff of the resort.” The president has always believed that a company grows when its workers have hopes.
Since 2011, the resort has been included in the Dow-Jones Sustainable Management Index. The resort’s 2012 sales amounted to 1.296 trillion won with a net profit of 306.2 billion won.
The resort’s Q1 operating profit came to 34.6 percent of sales revenue, top among the listed companies on the Korea Exchange.
A class for playing golf with professional golfers as tutors held at High1 Resort.
Choi said that around 65 percent of the 4,800 employees of the resort are from areas where many mines have been closed in Gangwon Province.
Up until last year, the resort gave away a total of 2.5 trillion won to local administrations to channel funds into the economically desolated regions, including 915.2 billion won to develop the economies of the areas in which mines have closed; 202 billion won in the form of local taxes; money for the purchase of local farm produce; and 126.7 billion won to help set up businesses.
Kangwon Land is also considering a project to build a tourism belt in southern Gangwon Province to help make the region self sustainable economically, as well as the Yongwol theme park; the Samchok High 1 Switchback Resort; the Jeongson Coal Mine Culture Tourism Village; and Taebaek E-City are some of the contents of the project. The resort plans to pour 500 billion won for its planned projects in those regions in a spirit of mutual survival in line with the initial idea for the its establishment in 1998 to help the depressed regions where coal mines were closed to recover their economic health by creating jobs in the regions and the resort is ready to go further by making them self-sustainable economically.
A view of golf course at High1 Resort from the sky.
The resort plans to set up its wholly-owned subsidiaries to take overall charge of those regional projects
Improving the environment around the casino is also included in the management’s plan to please the resort’s customers. The first stage of the project was already completed, which was to expand the operational areas of the resort by 86 percent. The resort has taken action to improve the atmosphere of the game rooms and has introduced rules to help the customers control their spending by restricting the number of game tables or machines they can play and the amount of money they can spend at the casino in order to create and maintain a healthy casino culture.
The treatment of gambling addiction and prevention is part of the corporation’s social responsibility, Choi believes. Many customers at the casino are those who also often visit the horseracing tracks, play sports toto and other betting type games, which is why some of them get medical consultations at the addiction control center at the resort run by eight expert consultants whose jobs are to prevent gambling addiction and provide treatment if needed.
A view of ski slopes at High 1 Ski Resort.
Kangwon Land is about to become a resort and casino for all families to come and have fun, leaving behind its past as a small casino. The resort already has a golf course, a ski slope, and a condo hotel and will add a water park in the second half of this year.
The resort is expected to greatly benefit from the 2018 Winter Olympics as it is located in the background of the sites for the international sports event. The resort projects the number of visitors would reach 10 million by 2020.