The world famous Medeo skating rink is a landmark of the southern capital Almaty. The Medeo is the highest mountain sports complex in the world. This fairytale palace blends into the panorama of the gorge at an altitude of 1961 metres above sea level. The mild climate of the gorge, the optimal sunshine, the low air pressure, the absence of wind and the clear mountain water from which the ice on the skating rink is made, ensured excellent quality and created perfect conditions for high sporting achievements. More than 120 world records have been set here.
In recent years, the functions of the ice rink have expanded considerably. Football, volleyball, basketball and short track speed skating tournaments and competitions are held here. Swimmers, track and field athletes, wrestlers and boxers hold their training camps at the Medeo sports complex. Next to the ice stadium there is a swimming pool, restaurants and cafés.
When people talk about Kazakhstan, they have several images in their heads, including the high-altitude Medeo skating rink in Almaty. And this is no coincidence, because the skating rink is world-famous.
Many citizens of Almaty and guests of the city associate the Medeo skating rink only with the winter season: you come, skate and that’s it. However, we would like our famous Medeo skating rink to hospitably open its doors to Almaty residents and guests all year round. The winter season is dedicated to mass skating and sports competitions, while the summer season is used for sports, entertainment and recreation – “Medeo Amusement Park”.
In recent years, the ice stadium has not been as popular during the summer season, as only unofficial roller and skating parks operate here. This year we are offering a full summer season. Now the skating rink has all the infrastructure for holidaymakers – children and adults to play sports, games or just relax in the fresh mountain air.
The area of the ice rink is 10,500 square metres. We have complete sports equipment for holding bendy and speed skating competitions in winter, as well as a sufficient number of skates for public skating.
For the summer season, we have divided the entire playground into several thematic areas.
First and foremost, a hockey box will be installed to enclose the roller park for the children. In addition, the basketball, volleyball and indoor football courts will be provided with suitable surfaces.
Another area will be a table tennis court. We will also set up tables for those who want to play checkers and chess. There will be a modern playground for children. A skate park with the necessary slides, ramps and obstacles will be set up separately. And guests will be able to skate around these areas on the large stadium bypass. We have not only taken care of the sports facilities themselves, but also all the necessary equipment.
Guests of the complex who have spent their energy on sports activities will have no problems with their recreation. There is a café in the ice rink. A grill restaurant Trader Vic’s is located under the entrance ramp and the national restaurant in Yurts Kazakh Auyl spreads above the sports complex. Alcoholic beverages, however, are not only prohibited on the premises of the complex, but it is also strictly forbidden to bring them. The same applies to smoking.
Medeo used to attract tourists from all over the Soviet Union. Their goal was to hike on mountain trails all the way to Tuyuksu, Kimasar, etc. We want to revive this direction. Nowadays people are literally trapped in the city and need to communicate with nature. Our guests can hike up to Medeu, stay overnight in a hotel belonging to the complex and then go into the mountains in a group led by a teacher. We plan both radial routes, i.e. designed for one day, and longer hikes – from 3 to 10 days, with tents and other equipment. Now the questions of creating the appropriate infrastructure and material base are being worked out, and also the routes, overnight accommodation, questions of tourist safety, food and other vital moments are being thought over, and we hope to realise this programme as early as next spring.
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel complex has been completely renovated for the Asian Games. And although our hotel is located away from the city centre, many guests prefer to stay with us, as in previous years. We don’t have an official “star rating” yet, but the level of service is fully in line with three stars. The more than 90 1-, 2- and 3-bed rooms are equipped with private bath and shower, TV, telephone and hairdryer. Among other things, we have the obvious advantages that city hotels lack: fresh air, mountains, the possibility of relaxing walks. The hotel also has two saunas and a billiards club.
The medical centre is also active and offers rehabilitation services such as massages, hydro-massage and therapeutic equipment for physical training, as well as a fitness room and a physiotherapy room with state-of-the-art equipment. Reception is provided by experienced doctors of various specialities. A conference room for 60 people with complete multimedia equipment is available for organising various seminars and conferences. In other words, Medeo today offers not only good recreation and health promotion, but also efficient use of its facilities for various events. The construction of a large indoor swimming pool is planned for the near future.
It should be noted that the prices for accommodation and other related services are quite democratic.
As always, Medeo is open to all visitors for various events, concerts, festivals and discos.
Finally, I would like to emphasise that the Almaty city administration is currently paying a lot of attention to the development of sports infrastructure and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Mini football pitches are now being built in the city, and there are small skating rinks in winter. “Medeo will not be left behind in shaping a healthy and sporty nation either. The doors of the ice complex are always open for children. Currently, we are organising various activities, setting minimum prices for school children and inviting children from orphanages and boarding schools to join us for free. Welcome to our famous, revitalised Medeo Sports Complex.