Yeti Park Siberia

yetiDestinations always need a hook, or theme, with which to promote themselves. The aim of the hook is to show off their point of difference with other similar places.

New Zealand uses the fact that they make films about Hobbits to promote themselves as `Middle Earth’.

Finding a hook can be difficult for places which seemingly don’t have a lot to offer. Take Siberia, for instance. It has a reputation for being bone chillingly cold and bleak; for being a place of punishment. The one thing that Siberia is famous for is its gulags, those miserable prisons where dissidents were sent during the Soviet era.

Now, one town in Siberia has finally hit upon its hook, and it’s not dissimilar to the New Zealand Hobbit experience. The small town of Sheregesh has hit upon the idea of attracting visitors who wish to go and search for yetis.

Sheregesh already has a good reputation as a wonderful place for snowboarders and skiers to indulge in their favourite pastimes. Due to a quirk in its climate, Sheregesh is said to have the best snow in Russia. It is powdery rather than icy and the slopes in the nearby mountains are ideal for both snowboarding and skiing, plus it gets the earliest decent snow in all of Russia. Plus, its dry climate also gives participants more time for their sport.

Being a great ski destination is not enough as now they wish to build a Yeti Park in order to draw non-skiers to the region.

Igor Idimeshev deputy head of Sheregesh’s local council in Siberia, and the man behind the new park said: ‘We are building the Yeti Park now, and of course there will be a chance for people who come here to see creature. I’ve seen this creature several times. And when I saw the yeti’s eyes my only thought was that they are not from Earth – they are clearly of an extraterrestrial nature.”

The planned Yeti Park will include a hotel and a museum, and is intended to attract those keen to be the first to prove the existence of the yeti. So confident, or perhaps otherwise, are they that a yeti will be found has prompted the region’s governor Aman Tuleyev to offer one million roubles to anyone who can catch a yeti and prove its existence.

Last year Russian academic Professor Valentin Sapunov claimed a population of 200 yeti exist in the Kemerovo, Khakassia and Altai regions of Siberia.

Sheregesh is a remote miners’ settlement in Siberia near the town of Novokuznetsk in Western Siberia and not all that easy to reach.

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