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Thread: Snowdomes offer Indoor Skiing, Snowboarding Year Round

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    Administrator JTBear's Avatar
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    Snowdomes offer Indoor Skiing, Snowboarding Year Round

    Snowdomes offer Indoor Skiing, Snowboarding Year Round

    <a href=\'http://skiing.about.com/od/skiingsnowdomes/\' target=\'_blank\'>http://skiing.about.com/od/skiingsnowdomes/</a>


    May 29 2003

    Operating Snowdomes and Indoor Ski Slopes Being Planned

    In the dog days of summer, it might seem odd to think about skiing indoors to many of us. Actually, it\'s an odd concept altogether, except in regions of the world where the natural terrain and weather patterns are not condusive to skiing and snowboarding. So the idea of snowdomes became an appealing alternative to waiting for the next winter vacation.

    The newest generation of snowdomes are billing themselves as family-fun oriented indoor theme parks, complete with shopping, restaurants, entertainment and other recreational activities. Though the word "snow dome" makes you immediately think of a large bubble structure, the world\'s indoor ski slopes have innovative designs in varying shapes and sizes.

    The concept of an indoor skiing area was first introduced in 1987 in Adelaide, Australia, where Mt.

    Thebarton was added to an indoor skating center. Today, with a snow slope that is 400ft (120m) long and 40ft (19m) wide, it is considered one of the smaller indoor ski slopes.

    Currently there are about thirty snowdomes in operation around the world, with dozens more in the planning or construction phases. Europe is home to most of the operating indoor ski slopes, and several areas in Asia are planning snowdomes to replace the now defunct "Ssaws" center in Japan, previously was the world\'s largest indoor ski slope. Because the $400 million dollar snowdome never became profitable after 9 years of operation, it had to close its doors to indoor skiing and snowboarding. The high pricetags of the snowdomes being planned now or already under construction carry the same risk.

    Admittedly, the cool temperatures inside a snowdome seem fairly inviting instead of a day of 95% humidity in mid-summer. Snowdomes operate their indoor ski slopes at temperatures between -5 and 4 degrees Celsius, or 23 to 39 degrees Farenheit.


    Snow Domes Planned in the US

    While the United States has been behind the curve in building indoor skiing facilities, several proposals have gained approval and now it\'s just a question of when and where the first snow dome ski slope or indoor halfpipe will open in the US. Since the $130 million dollar "Gotcha Glacier" indoor park in Anaheim, California was nixed, it appears that the Las Vegas SnowLab should be the first indoor skiing and snowboarding facility to open, scheduled for late 2003. The SnowLab should be among the largest facilities in the world, with over 200,000 sq. ft. of snow cover. The indoor ski slope will be 1,100 feet long, including a regulation SuperPipe, SlopeStyle course and learning slope.

    Most recently, plans for a large entertainment and shopping complex in Buffalo, New York included plans for indoor skiing and a snowboarding halfpipe. But the developers\' proposal to renovate the old Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey into a snow dome for year round skiing and snowboarding seems to be on track, since the Mills Corporation just opened the Madrid Xanadu, Europe\'s largest snowdome in Spain.


    Operating Snow Domes around the World

    Europe certainly is leading the way in terms of having the most operating indoor ski slopes, though most of the snowdomes are smaller than the Madrid Xanadu, several larger facilities are in the works throughout Europe.

    Among the most popular is the UK\'s Tamworth indoor ski dome, recently renovated and upgraded with new activities including snowtubing and snowmobiling. Also in England is the Xscape snow dome in Milton Keynes, where shopping and other fun activities are available.


    Germany\'s AlpinCenter is planning to expand to be Europe\'s longest slope at 608 meters, while Allrounder Winter World is Germany\'s first indoor ski and snowboard center and also hosts the tallest indoor rockclimbing wall in Europe. SnowWorld Landgraaf in the Netherlands is one of the world\'s premier snow dome facilities, with a 520 meter long slope. A complete list of currently operating indoor skiing and snowboarding snowdomes around the world is here.

    More Snow Domes under construction

    News of snowdomes in the planning stages are frequently announced, and as evident with the Gotcha Glacier, melt away easily as funding and permit approvals fall through. In addition to our own summary here, theBoarder compiles all the latest news and facts about Snowdomes in the making.

    Auckland, New Zealand - Snowplanet is billed as the \'sister\' snowdome to Tamworth





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    Re: Snowdomes offer Indoor Skiing, Snowboarding Year Round

    Originally posted by JTBear
    ...Since the $130 million dollar \"Gotcha Glacier\" indoor park in Anaheim, California was nixed, it appears that the Las Vegas SnowLab should be the first indoor skiing and snowboarding facility to open, scheduled for late 2003.

    Most recently, plans for a large entertainment and shopping complex in Buffalo, New York
    From www.dailycamera.com - Clark: Indoor skiing: An oxymoron?
    September 19, 2003

    "...The Las Vegas SnowLab was planned to open late this year with more than 200,000 square feet of snow cover, a 1,100-foot-long slope and a regulation SuperPipe. But it hasn't broken ground and is behind schedule, said Shane Ammeran of the Clark County, Nev., planning department.

    "They said they had significant design and funding issues that prevented them from getting going the first year," he said, and developer Snow Creation International received an extension to start building by next May.

    The developers could not be reached the phone number that county officials have on record is not in service and the project's initial marketing company didn't know its status. "

    It seems that it's hard to get funding to build these things. I wonder if developers are looking in all the right places. Wouldn't it make more sense to build a snowdome in Atlanta or Charlotte, where there is a large population that is near skiing, but has to drive a long way and experience a relatively short season? I would think the hills NW of Atlanta would enable an indoor ski area to be built at a reasonable cost with ready access to a major metropolitan center.

    And to quote Ms. Clark once more: a skier posted this comment in July about popular Tamworth Snowdome to a Web site dedicated to indoor skiing in the United Kingdom: "Tamworth is our only hope of sanity through the summer months."

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    Administrator JTBear's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob. I stumbled across these articles and was amazed and amused......... :? :roll:

    Indoor skiing? I guess indoor golf is next?


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    Excellent. I can't wait to chill out on the slopes during 90 degree weather... 8)

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