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World Indoor Snow News
View all 339 headlines for World Indoor Snow News.
Information on the 12 year old mega-mall in New Jersey, USA that has cost, according to some reports, towards $3 billion, but is yet to open, is surprisingly hard to find.
However, the latest updates to the complex’s website, reveal that the indoor snow centre which was completed in 2008, as part of the complex which was once called Xanadu Meadowlands, then Meadowlands Xanadu and now American Dream Meadowlands has now trademarked a name - Big Snow America.
The centre is being marketed as, “The first indoor ski and snowboard park in the Western Hemisphere,” which remains true in terms of its construction date, but the opening last autumn of Snowland in Brazil means it is not the first to open in the Americas.
The 12 storey high Big Snow America has an 180,000 square foot slope area and is 800 feet (240m) long, placing it around 20th biggest in the world.
The most recent reports (last year) indicated the facility might open late this year or in the first half of 2015 but around a dozen proposed opening dates have been missed and the centre is now on its third owners.
Skidôme Rucphen in The Netherlands has announced plans to increase the length of its main slope (160m) by 100-150 metres within the next two years.
Rucphen, which has four slopes, is one of two indoor snow centres owned by Nicky Broos, the other at Terneuzen has two runs, the longest 220 metres in length. It was skiing the extra 70m or so of the Tereneuzen slope that convinced Broos he needs to extend Rucphen,
"When I ski in Terneuzen , I experience the feeling of winter,” he said, “The wind rushes past my ears and there’s a feeling of climax when you slide down the slope. When I had to admit that I prefer to ski in Terneuzen than Rucphen myself, I knew something had to be done."
"I am the pioneer in this field , I am the trendsetter, and when I myself must admit that the place where it all began , where my roots are , is not up to my own expectations .... that really hurts," added Broos.
A market study confirmed Broos’ own opinion, "They all say the same thing: Broos, it's not your business, not the atmosphere , not the amenities. It lies purely in the lack of metres. Only the truly experienced skiers get bored here too quickly, and that is the group who visit throughout the year who we have to thank for our existence."
Broos said he was surprised when the leading Dutch indoor snow centre operator Snow World announced it plans to take over a third centre SnowPlanet, strengthening its position as market leader.
"I have no problem with it," emphasized Broos . "In fact, when Snow World in went to the markets in 2013 I was one of the first to congratulate them. It may sound strange, but I felt myself a moment of pride for how far the sector has come and for my part in that.”
A new plan for the first indoor snow centre in Poland has been announced.
So far there are limited details but the businessman Slawomir Rusinek is reported to wish to build the centre near the town of Wadowice, which was the birthplace of Pope John Paul II, himself a keen skier, in Poland’s Little Beskid Mountains (Beskid Maly).
The facility proposed by Rusinek's company would have similarities to the region’s nearest operational complex, the Snow Arena in Lithuania, in that it would feature a year round indoor slope with winter skiing outdoors too. Initial reports indicate the Polish facility would have more traditional outdoor terrain than the Lithuanian centre.
The company that operates the largest indoor snow slope in the world (by area), SnowWorld Landgraaf in the Netherlands, and which also operate another Dutch indoor snow centre has recently announced plans to build more indoor snow centres in Barcelona and Paris, has now announced it intended to takeover SnowPlanet near Amsterdam, providing the company with a third location in the Netherlands.
“I am extremely happy with this takeover, because SnowWorld Amsterdam is a wonderful addition to our product and strategy. We are planning to create the same Austrian atmosphere which we already have in our domes in Zoetermeer and Landgraaf and expect to create a lot of synergy,” said SnowWorld CEO Koos Hendriks.
The Netherlands has more indoor snow centres than any other country in the world, with seven, and the 550m long slope at SnowWorld Landgraaf, complete with indoor six-seater chairlift and four star hotel on site, is around three times longer than the biggest British slope.
Bahrain’s Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi has told the Gulf Daily News that a long planned development of the Muharraq Grand Garden is to begin imminently.
The $53m (US) theme park that covers nearly 94 hectares is scheduled to include Bahrain's first indoor snow slope, along with an Olympic scale ice rink.
The project was due to have got underway in 2011 but local media reported the final go ahead was confirmed last autumn when two key investors signed an Agreement to progress the project.
The site for the development will also incorporate a three storey shopping mall, restaurants, convention centre, mosque, old people’s home and business centre and is located close to Bahrain International Airport.
Along with the snow slope and ice rink additional leisure attractions will include an indoor sports arena, fitness club and gym, outdoor sports grounds, an aquatic museum and a go karting track.
The project is due to be completed in mid-2016.
Snow World Barcelona will take a big step forward in 2014 thanks to the commissioning of architects based in Spain to work on the design details of the project as it moves forward.
Snow World has run the successful indoor ski slopes of Landgraaf and Zoetermeer in The Netherlands for many years and the plans to expand were first announced several years ago and continue to make progress.
The plan for SnowWorld Barcelona includes a 300 metre ski slope, a nursery slope and a large fun park. Two ice-skating rinks are also planned. The complex will also include a variety of restaurants, meeting rooms, a fitness and wellness centre and a specialised winter sports shop. In addition, there will also be a hotel with 200 rooms.
"We are working diligently on our growth plans," said Koos Hendriks , CEO of Snow World.
"After years of searching we found in Barcelona a suitable location for the proposed indoor ski slope and now have Spanish architects under contract which will support the development of Snow World Barcelona."
The first draft of the new indoor ski slope was already completed , the architects will now work on the project in more detail so that the building permit can be obtained during 2014.
In an interview with George Kostas, the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAF), he has said the company plans to build more ‘Ski Dubais’ around the idle East as part of an estimated $5bn (US) expansion plan over the next five years.
MAF is already building ‘Ski Egypt,’ as part of the Mall of Egypt in Cairo, which is due to open in 2016 – 11 years after Ski Dubai opened.
“We’re looking where else we can take it,” Mr Kostas told Arabian Business at a MAF rebranding launch, a key part of which is that the company has introduced a single ‘M’ logo for its corporate identity and, they say, a mark of quality.
“I think it would work wonderfully in Saudi Arabia. We’re looking for our first site and once we’ve got it, I’m sure, hopefully we’ll be able to open a Ski Dubai facility there as well.”
“Can it apply to Saudi Arabia? Can it apply to Oman? Can it apply to Bahrain?”
MAF’s $10bn assets currently include City Centre Malls, VOX Cinemas, Carrefour, Magic Planet, Najm Credit Cards, Ski Dubai and Mall of the Emirates and serves 250 million visitors each year.
The city council of Zoetermeer in the Netherlands has approved the plans of Snow World for an extension of their third ski slope by 100m.
The current third –slope at the Dutch indoor snow centre will be extended by 100 metres to a total 300 metres.
The newly extended slope will also feature a viewing platform at the top which can be accessed from the slope and also with separate access for non-slope users, which will provide views across the region.
"We are delighted that we can now apply for the permit,” said Koos Hendriks (CEO of Snow World), “We have spent a lot of time and energy on this process and if all goes well we will open in September 2015 "
The planned investment in the extension of the third slope fits the growth plans of Snow World which also include the construction and operation of new sites in Barcelona and Paris.
On 12th December Snow World also obtained listing on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam which provides SnowWorld with access to capital markets and offers investors the opportunity to profit from investing in the company’s expansion.
Singapore based developers KOP properties have announced plans to build the world’s largest indoor ski resort incorporating, ”the world's longest indoor ski trail,” at Shanghai in China.
So far no other details have been given for the project named Winterland Shanghai, except that it will offer a wide range of winter activities and associated property developments.
It has also been given a price tag of 13.5 billion yuan (S$2.8 billion) to build (£1.3 billion/$2 billion US).
The ski resort area will be connected to other facilities within the development including a water park, a tree-lined hiking trail and a "beach club" - an arena resembling a beach - at 100m above ground, the company’s Chairman Ong Chih Ching told The Straits Times.
Ong added that Winterland Shanghai will be the world’s only “integrated” indoor winter resort, meaning it will also include housing, office, retail and hotel space amid the attractions. The nearest comparison, she said, would be a 2.25ha indoor ski resort in Dubai called Ski Dubai.
“You can compare us with Dubai but in our case we are building a whole alpine village with ski-in ski-out hotels, restaurants and a half-pipe; while Dubai has one restaurant in the cold area with a penguin petting area,” said Ong.
Winterland Shanghai will be built on an 18ha piece of land in a new development zone in Shanghai with access to the city’s railway system, and cover a gross floor area of about 80ha.
The firm said it has signed a framework agreement with a local district government in Shanghai, and construction is expected to start in the third quarter of next year and finish by 2018.
KOP is known here for developing posh pads such as Hamilton Scotts in Orchard, whose units boast “sky garages” that let home owners park their cars next to the living room.
It also has resorts in Bali and Batam in Indonesia and hotels in London, and manages hotels, resorts and yachts through its KOP Hospitality arm.
The longest indoor slopes in the world at present are around 600 metres long and located at a separate centres in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Before the economic crash there was tale of creating a 1km long indoor slope at another city in China, and a 2km long slope at Abu Dhabi in the Middle east.
Shanghai previously operated a large indoor snow centre with a 330m long slope but it closed for ‘six months maintenance’ three years ago and has not re-opened.
An artist's impression. We could not be more stoked on that bank. PHOTO: KOP PROPERTIES
More than 20 years after the first indoor snow slope in the Americas was envisaged and more than five years after the first one was actually built (but so far never opened) an indoor snow centre has opened – in South America.
The new Snowland in Brazil incorporates an indoor ski slope, and offers more than 30 sliding activities including skiing, boarding, airboarding, tubing and sledging. There is also an indoor ice rink next to an indoor Alpine street complete with shops and restaurants. The complex is located in Gramado, in Brazil’s Serra Gaucha region.
Brazil has no real conventional ski area but the burgeoning Brazilian population, including a rapidly expanding middle class, are a major market for Argentinian and Chilean ski areas. Brazil does have an artificial surface ski slope and some of its higher mountains occasionally get snow cover – although there is no ski area.
An indoor snow centre was built five years ago in New Jersey, USA, after many projects in North America were mooted since the 1980s, but no other reached construction. Snow was made at the New Jersey indoor slope but the company then operating the large mall complex of which it was part went bankrupt before it could open. This may now finally open next year or in 2015 under new owners as American Dream Meadowlands.
The centre in Brazil is also one of two now operating in the southern hemisphere, joining snow planet in New Zealand. Other indoor snow centres have also operated in Australia in the past but none at present. Worldwide around 90 indoor snow centres have been built over the past 25 years, or which some 55 remain operational in more than 25 countries.
Of the new Brazilian slope, Teo Borzone the operations manager said "The ski slope is 17mts high and has a 130 metres long slope with about 30 metres of width.
We have an ice-age type of attraction where people get to walk in our Glacier where they find real size extinct animals such as mammoths which are robots and have movement and sound accordingly (very cool). We also have the biggest ice skating rink in Brasil with 544m2 to ice skate as well as two restaurants with capacity for 400 people each."
Rubbish clouds. Great sledge slope!
Thailand’s third richest man, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who runs a brewing empire and has a reported personal fortune of more than $10 billion fortune, is reported to have plans to build an indoor snow centre, similar to Ski Dubai, in Thai capital Bangkok.
The $32 million, 54,000-square foot facility, to be called ‘Snow Town’ will be accessed via a gondola across Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river, modelled on the Emirates Airline over the Thames in London, which will depart from the Asiatique shopping mall which Mr Sirivadhanabhakdi’s company opened in 2012.
The billionaire is reported to be in talks with investors regarding the project, which may open as soon as next year according to the reports.
Bangkok has hosted several small snow fun play areas over the past 20 years.
A proposed leisure complex incorporating an indoor snow slope, first mooted for Bahrain in 2007, is back on the cards.
The £32m project at the Muharraq Grand Garden, near Bahrain International Airport, was officially scrapped last June but was resurrected in an agreement between Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi and Bahraini investor Fouad Shuwaitar, according to a report by Gulf Daily News.
The theme park will also include an ice rink, aquarium, karting track, indoor sports arena, three-storey shopping centre, mosque, business centre and an old people’s home.
Gulf Daily News reports that new backers from India have enabled the project has now been fast-tracked into development by Bahrain’s Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalia.
Work is due to begin next February and is expected to take two and half years to complete. No details on the size of the ski slope have been announced.
Ski Dubai, which is home to a group of captive penguins bred at sea world in the US, is donating over AED 500,000 to help fund a penguin research expedition.
The expedition is being led by Dr. Brent Stewart, a Senior Research Scientist at the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute with over 25 years of experience, and will visit the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands beginning later this month.
Scheduled to start on October 14th, Dr Stewart will conduct a four-week in-depth studies of the penguin colonies for the development of long term education, research, and conservation plans.
“The project, which was developed in conjunction with Ski Dubai, is an extension of the Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai initiative, which seeks to educate people about snow penguins, their habitat and the importance of environmental awareness,” said a statement from the giant indoor snow centre in the desert.
Dr Stewart will spend a week at Ski Dubai to prepare for his journey and spend time with the colony of Gentoo and King Penguins, that call Ski Dubai their home. The Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai initiative was launched in January 2012 and has gone from strength to strength, even being recognized by the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) for the excellence of the program.
“Ski Dubai’s collaboration with Hubbs Sea World Research Institute on this project will enable us to gain new insight into the lives of snow penguins and continue to channel our efforts and mobilization of resources into the research and implementation of pro-conservation efforts. Ski Dubai has always led by example and we wanted to ensure that the next steps we take are impactful on an international level and contribute towards the longevity of animal research programs,” said Mr Omar El Banna, Marketing and Sales Director, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment.
SnowWorld, which runs two of the world’s leading indoor snow centres in The Netherlands, has announced that its plans for an indoor slope in Paris, first mooted several years ago, are moving forward.
SnowWorld will build an indoor ski slope in the Ile de France, on the Eastern outskirts of the French capital. The complex will have several slopes up to 300m long, a chairlift, cost over 50 million Euros to build and create 200 jobs. It is scheduled for completion in three years’ time - September 2016.
The companies involved are taking a collaborative approach with local communities to prepare the administrative steps necessary for the project, which will also incorporate a hotel and restaurants.
Skiset is reported to be a key partner in this project and will run the slope’s equipment rental facilities.
There is one existing indoor snow slope in France at Amneville up near the Belgian border which has one of the world’s longest indoor slopes at over 600m in length.
2014 is the year when the first indoor snow centre in North America, built five years ago at what is now the American Dream Mall (previously known as Xanadu) at Meadowlands in New Jersey, USA, may finally open.
But Meadowlands is also involved in the Super Bowl and The American National Football League will be using a temporary snowy attraction to promote it in midtown Manhattan in the week leading up to the final on February 2nd 2014.
A toboggan ride, 20 metres high and 55 metres long will be built, able to handle up to 1,000 riders per hour on its eight lanes.
Plans announced last year for an indoor snow centre in Barcelona have been linked to the city’s likely bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Gamers according to the latest reports.
The proposed Barcelona indoor snow centre would be fully green powered with its roof covered in solar panels and energy provided by recycling industrial waste product that is currently just dumped. The project is backed by the Dutch Snowworld company which ruins two indoor snow centres in The Netherlands, including one of the world’s largest.
The 22,000m2 complex planned for Barcelona would be designated an official Olympic training centre and including curling and ice rinks according to reports – all of Olympic standard.
Barcelona in Spain plans to bid before the November 14th deadline for submissions, according to reports, with some events to be staged in Andorra if successful, the country has bid to host the Winter Olympics without success four times before and Barcelona hosted the summer games just over two decades ago.
If Barcelona ultimately staged the 2022 Games they would be the first city to stage both summer and winter Games.
The successful host will be announced by the IOC on July 31st 2015.
The decade old project to open North America’s five year old and only indoor snow centre is moving forward again.
The latest owners of the New Jersey mall where the indoor snow centre has been built, the leading mall operator the Triple Five group, finally closed a deal to run the centre at the start of August, according to reports, after more than a year of negotiations.
The latest reports say that ‘sources’ indicate Triple Five is close to securing major tenants who will also open their largest outlets worldwide in the mall, currently known as ‘American Dream Meadowlands.’
Those major retailers have been announced as including Uniqlo, Topshop, Forever21 and Zara.
Along with the existing indoor ski slope and a long planned ‘largest Ferris wheel in the US’ the latest reports from the anonymous sources say that Cirque du Soleil would perform shows at the venue.
There is currently no projected opening date for the 3 million-square-foot complex.
German media is reporting that, although there is no official announcement as yet, the country’s Snowdome Bispingen is set to re-open this autumn.
The relatively new complex closed on 31st March, earlier this year, apparently due to financial problems. 137 full time and 100 temporary staff lost their jobs.
The centre is owned by Sölden Lift GmbH, which runs the ski lifts in the famous Austrian resort. They are reported to have been convinced that a new operating structure with lower energy costs thanks to a new cooling system and fewer staff.
The installation of new cooling technology, which should cut costs by 30%, is already underway and 15 of the formerly sacked employees have been reinstated to work on that. The cost of the new system and in getting the snowdome fully operational again has been estimated at 1.5 million Euros.
There is also a plan to only open the ski slopes for public use at weekends during the quieter periods of late spring and summer, although it will be open seven days a week in autumn and winter once it re-opens. The operators say that last winter the centre had a total of 500,000 visitors.
A US $5 billion leisure development project in Avaza, Turkmenistan, will see a 1.2km long indoor snow slope as part of the ‘Las Vegas style’ resort, say Turkmen officials.
The 1.2km long slope would be nearly twice as long as the longest of the world’s existing indoor slopes and would mean a return to growth in indoor slope size since the last of the 1km plus projects announced for China, Dubai and the UAE collapsed with the start of the worldwide economic downturn five years ago.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is personally overseeing the Avaza project on the shore of the Caspian Sea according to reports where the 16km-long coast area already boasts six four- and five-star hotels and 11 beaches.
“This is just the beginning,” said economist Iozgul Muhammetkarimova. “In 2020... 60 hotels, hundreds of recreational facilities, a 1,200m-long indoor ski complex and a huge water park with a sliding dome will stretch across here.”
A new study by Snow24 Ltd has sought to locate every country on earth where skiing and snowboarding downhill is possible.
The study found that 97 countries on seven continents had some sort of skiable surface, in most cases snow, but the study also included artificial surface slopes, whilst a further three countries offered sand skiing on sand dunes taking the total to 100.
The report found that more than 30 countries offered indoor snow or artificial surface skiing and that six countries are only able to offer snow sports, normally, because of indoor snow centres.
There include Malaysia, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).
They are to be joined later this year by new indoor snow centres opening in Bahrain and Egypt.
Countries including Qatar and The Philippines are also expected to open indoor snow centres in the next few years, taking the total number of countries with skiing past 100, thanks to indoor snow.
However six countries close to the equator in Africa and South America with permanent snow fields at high altitude were identified as rapidly losing their snow cover which may keep the total below 100 if it goes altogether.
Indonesia and Taiwan both formerly had indoor snow slopes but no longer do.
Ireland only has an artificial surface ski slope while Brazil and Mexico do have some snow cover but their only permanent ski areas are artificial surface slopes.
The Snow Dome Bispingen in Germany may re-open later this year according to local media reports.
The complex, which was part funded and sponsored by Austria’s Otztal region, closed suddenly on 31st March, but recent reports suggest that behind-the-scenes efforts to re-open it are underway.
One report suggests that a 1.5 million Euro investment in upgrading the facility is required along with a restructuring of the business with fewer staff employees in order for it to be sustainable in the future.
The hope of a lifeline is based mainly on an interview with regional leader Olaf Lies and Jakob Falkner who run’s Solden’s lift company in Austria, which is responsible for the centre. Both said they remain committed to it with Mr Lies saying, the community wanted to support the Snow dome moving forward, adding, "We want vibrant and sustainable tourism here and the Snow Dome is an important beacon, which we would like to maintain so we are delighted that Mr. Falkner remains committed to the Snow Dome at Bispingen."
Some reports said renovation work was already underway at the facility but a message on the centre’s website indicates that the centre is permanently closed.
The first ever indoor snow park in Qatar will be among the major attractions at the QR6bn Doha Festival City which will be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
“We did an extensive market research which revealed snow entertainment is something that people here want to experience. The next generation snow park will be something unique and cutting edge,” said Kareem M Shamma, Chief Executive Officer, Bawabat Al Shamal Real Estate Co (BASREC), the joint venture representing the development’s Qatari and Emirati shareholders.
The indoor snow park would be complemented by an outdoor entertainment park which will comprise a rapid river, splash fountains and a host of extreme games, added Shamma.
Full story at ThePeninsularQatar.com
A report by long time local commentator John Brennan in New Jersey on the decade plus old Meadowlands project in the state, incorporating the first indoor snow centre to be built, but not open, in North America , suggests that after four years in hibernation work on the site may be about to recommence.
Brennan notes that the indoor snow centre, which was completed four years ago and was famously structurally damaged by weight of natural snowfall on its roof during a major storm, remains part off the revised project, currently slated to open in autumn next year, but that it has been renamed The Snow Park.
The overall mall project which has already seen an estimated 3 billion spent on it by three different owners over the past 12 years requires another 2 billion dollars spent on it, including an additional indoor water park and Dreamworks-backed theme park, before opening according to new owners the mall developers Triple Creek.
Here's a video posted back in 2009, showing the completed slope just sitting there, quad chair lift at the ready.
Germany’s Snowdome Bispingen has unexpectedly announced it will close in a month’s time on Easter Sunday (31st March) with the loss of 137 jobs.
The centre opened in 2007 and is located 50km south of Hamburg in Germany. It was built with the support of leading Austrian resort Sölden and the local Lower Saxony government, who have asked the centre’s management to discuss the situation.
The building housing the snowdome facility is easily visible from several miles away and blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape, drawing guests from near and far. The centre’s 100m wide slope is believed to be the widest indoor run in the world and with a length of 300m it is one of the six longest. Slope gradients range between 9 and 20 degrees and are served by a Doppelmayr six-seat chairlift with a capacity of 3000 skiers per hour.
According to German media reports the centre’s closure came as a surprise even to the Snow Dome’s CEO José Fernandes, with the closure decision the result of a meeting of the operators and a group of investors around the Ötztal mountain railways.
"We already had the press releases ready for the summer events," said his spokeswoman Leonie Pride who said the number of visitors you had actually been happy - 500,000 people had come in the past year to Snowdome, although more than half of these were reported to be visiting to use a permanent surfing wave which was added three years ago, and dine in restaurants, with the target of 1000 people on the slopes each day not being met.
Reasons for the closure initially appear to be high energy costs outstripping income and required investment in lifts and snowmaking making the facility even less financially viable. Federal and state governments had contributed 3.4 million Euros to the complex.
The recommencement of construction at the site of North America’s first indoor snow centre looks set to be delayed by complex financial and legal debate between the various stake holders.
The project, in New Jersey, USA, which began more than a decade ago, was once called Xanadu and is on to its third owner, Triple Creek, operator of many of the continent’s largest malls including the Mall of America in Minnesota.
The company wants to spend around $2 billion more dollars on the project which has already seen a similar amount spent, adding an indoor amusement and water park. The indoor snow centre part of the development was completed around four years ago but, like the rest of the complex, has never opened.
It had been hoped the facility would open in February 2014 but with a probable two year construction period it now looks unlikely the facility will open before 2016 – some 15 years since originally mooted.
View all 339 headlines for World Indoor Snow News.