The "naked Castle" in Mount Mogan [Photo/thehour.cn]
After 11 years of development, Naked Group has firmly established itself as a big player in the resort tourism industry in East China.
In 2007, a South African businessman Grant Horsfield found the treasure trove of lucid waters, lush mountains and fresh air in Mount Mogan of Deqing county, Huzhou, Zhejiang province and started his resort business by leasing tumbledown buildings to convert them into guesthouses. This was the beginning of a huge success story.
After some initial promising business results, Horsfield decided to increase his investment in Mogan. Four years later, the group's best-known resort "naked Stables" opened to the public. It is the first project in China to be awarded the LEED platinum certification and it has helped to propel Naked Group to enjoy wide popularity as a well-established international resort brand.
The company seized the opportunity to strike the iron while it is still hot. In 2017, the "naked Castle", with an investment of over 300 million yuan ($43.55 million), opened for business.
Marco Militzer, area general manager of Naked Group, is responsible for the operations of "naked Stables" and "naked Castle", two resorts in Mogan. He said the rapid development of China's economy gives a boost to the growth of the hotel industry. Having been working in China for 10 years, Militzer said he's witnessed a lot of changes happening in the country, not only in Mount Mogan.
The manager revealed that in the following three to five years, Naked Group will have another four resorts in China, including a project in Zhejiang's Shaoxing city.
The company's success in Mount Mogan is not by accident. With the support from government departments, there has been an influx of foreign investment into the mountainous area in recent years, with dozens of resorts and homestays having sprung up.
At the same time, rural tourism in Mogan and Deqing county as a whole has seen steady growth. During this year's National Day holiday, Mogan received about 156,500 tourists in total which brought in a considerable amount of tourism income. In 2017, tourism revenue in Deqing reached 21.58 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 21.2 percent.
Marco Militzer, area general manager of Naked Group, is responsible for the operations of "naked Stables" and "naked Castle", two resorts in Mogan. [Photo/thehour.cn]