The Korea Forest Service recently made a request to the Gangwon Provincial Government that the Jeongseon Alpine Center, which was built for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic alpine events, be restored back to its original condition.
Before the Games, a deal was struck between the Korea Forest Service and the Gangwon Provincial Government which stated that Gangwon Provincial was allowed to use the land, which the Korea Forest Service owns, from May 2014 until December 31, 2018.
The development deal between the Korea Forest Service and Gangwon Provincial was made under the condition that the environment would be restored back to its original and natural state after the Games concluded. The deal also stated that Gangwon Provincial was required to submit a restoration plan for Mount Gariwang by January 31, 2019.
The Jeongseon Alpine Center, located on South Korea's Mount Gariwang, cost $200 million to construct. Over 58,000 trees were removed and many locals in the small village of Sukam at the base of the venue were also displaced.
According to the Korea Times, "the government has been criticized for constructing ski slopes on the mountain, destroying the 500-year-old mountain forest." However, some residents of the area are arguing to keep the alpine center—including gondolas, chairlifts, and roads—in hopes of attracting tourists back to the area.
The Korea Times estimates that it will cost around $71 million to restore the mountain to its natural state.