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Connecticut Ski Resort to Open Year-Round From August

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:11 p.m.

A ski centre in Connecticut, USA, is to open a terrain park with a synthetic surface year-round.
Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort say the new facility – which will include a ski run of approximately 160 metres in length as well as two year-round tubing slopes – will open on August 5th, 2017.

The move follows that by another US ski centre, Buck Hill in Minnesota, to offer year round snowsports on surfaces supplied by Italian company Neveplast.

The new facility at Powder Ridge will use material supplied by Swiss company 365 Synthetic Snow.
"Skiing 365 days a year has been happening all over Europe for many years," said Sean Hayes, CEO of Powder Ridge, "It is made possible by a high-tech version of 'artificial turf.'"

New Dry Slope Complex in Beijing Sees Test Runs

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:36 p.m.

A previously announced dry ski slope in Beijing has been progressively part opening.

The complex, one of the world’s largest and incorporating a new surface of long plastic bristles uses a huge scaffolding structure to support its half dozen slopes.

It is reported to have been built at the southern end of Beijing’s Olympic Forest Park.

The creation of the centre is reported to be part of the Beijing City government’s aim to promote winter sport year-round ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics which it will co-host.

Earlier pictures showed the high slopes at the top of the scaffolding still under construction without barriers to stop people from sliding off, but the latest images show safety barriers now in place.

The centre’s is reported to have been built by the park's management company and Beijing Sinolym Co. Four slopes aimed at entry-to medium-level skiers have opened on a trial basis to enthusiasts.

Qatar Saudi Arabia Rift Won’t Delay Doha Mall Say Developers

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:32 p.m.

The current rift between Qatar and a group of Arab countries including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia won’t delay finance and opening of the already delayed Doha Festival City mall, which is due to incorporate the country’s first indoor snow centre, the mall’s owners say.

Their statement followed reports from Reuters that a $1bn loan has been frozen due to the ongoing international dispute.

“Contrary to recent reports, Doha Festival City’s “re-financing” has not been frozen,” Kareem Shamma said in a statement.

“The project owner, BASREC has, for the last year, been in discussion with banks regarding the financing. Decisions upon the direction of the financing were taken prior to the start of the current diplomatic situation.

Doha Festival City had originally announced it would open in September, last year, then early in 2017 and most recently in April 2017. Currently no opening date has been given.

The mall features more than 500 local and international shops, and four indoor theme parks including indoor snow park Snow Dunes. Artists impressions of this are shown on the centre’s website but there have not yet been any images showing it in ready for opening.

Long Delayed Indoor Snow Slope Project For Swindon Appears To Move Forward

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:30 p.m.

What appears to be a breakthrough in a long delay to development of a site in Swindon in to a seventh indoor snow centre for the UK has been announced.

A £270m deal has been announced for the town’s North Star site where a long planned project to renew the site and ad an indoor snow centre as well as facilities such as a cinema multiplex, bowling, hotel and restaurants are back on the cards.

The project had been originally put forward by the local council and their private ‘development partner’ Moirai Capital, but the latter consistently failed to provide the funds needed and at some points it, or its subcontractors, failed to be pay independent contractors for initial works carried out.

Now Maori’s interests in the development have been bought by Seven Capital which local media are describing as ‘experienced developers’ and Swindon Borough Council have announced a new £270m deal with them.

Fresh planning permission is expected to be sought early in 2018 with the centre opening in 2021.
“This is a long-awaited development for the people of Swindon, and a very exciting project for Seven Capital," John Watkins a Director at Seven Capital told local media,“Not only will it bring a host of new leisure activities and brands for residents to enjoy, it will also help to attract many more visitors to the area.

Ski Dubai Sees Nearly 8,000 Visitors on One Day

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:34 p.m.

Ski Dubai saw a surge in visitor numbers during the recent Eid Festival period.

The world famous indoor snow centre, which celebrates 12 years in operation later this year, hit a peak of 7,800 visitors to the slope in one day during Eid.

Normally Ski Dubai attracts 2,000 people on weekends, some for skiing or boarding but most just looking to have fun in the snow.

Current attractions include a snow slide, indoor zip wire, overnight camping on snow and penguin colony visits.

August is the hottest month in the United Arab Emirates with outdoor temperatures approaching 50C at times but SkI Dubai’s insulation means that power consumption was only three per cent more than February (the coldest month).

The roof has a first layer of insulation, then a five-metre layer of air, then a second layer of insulation. This buffer makes it easier to keep the place cold.

Every night the snow is refreshed by adding between 5 and 25 tonnes, depending on the footfall.

Skiplex Goes in to Liquidation

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:41 p.m.

The UK’s three Skiplex indoor ski centres are in the process of going into liquidation.

There were no real advance signs of problems for Skiplex, except perhaps that it stopped accepting online bookings and only accepted telephone or visitor bookings.

The three Skiplex centres, at Reading, Basingstoke and Chiswick each contained special indoor ski machines which allow skiers to descend a continually moving artificial surface slope which moves up towards them – a kind of skiing equivalent of a runner’s treadmill.

It may not all be bad news however, there are reported to be some interested parties who may buy one or more of the centres; and there is also interest from others to buy the actual machines themselves.

The first Skiplex centre opened in 2011 and thanks to their flexibility in slope gradient and operating speed were used by a wide variety of skiers from complete novices to professional racers in training.

“I worked with Skiplex three years ago when they had just launched the Reading and Basingstoke centres and I thought it was a great fun concept and another positive addition to the UK ski market. I’m sorry to hear that the company hasn’t been able to survive in this tough climate,” said Vanessa Fisher of Vanessa Fisher PR

A further Skiplex centre had been ear-marked for a new multi-sports complex proposed for Bristol, but clearly that now seems unlikely.

The machines were first used in ski shops the US in the 1950s but have become increasingly popular over the past 10 years at venues around the world.

Another facility using a similar machine opened in 2015 in London, run by a completely different company to Skiplex, Chel-ski, and a centre in The Netherlands recently installed four of the machines and now claims to be the world’s largest single location for them.

World’s Largest Indoor Snow Centre Sold A Week After Opening

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:13 p.m.

The world’s biggest indoor snow centre has been sold just a week after it opened, following four years under construction.

The complex, build for a cost variously estimated at between the equivalent of $3 and $6 billion US Dollars has been sold along with “91% of Wanda’s “cultural tourism” business” for RMB 29.57 billion – about $4.4billion, reputed to be the second biggest deal in Chinese business history.

The buyer of ‘Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties’ is Sunac China Holdings, one of China’s largest property developers. A separate deal of similar value ($4.9bn) also sees Sunac buy 76 of Wanda’s 102 hotels.

Sunac will take over the Wanda Cultural Tourism City projects in Xishuangbanna (which features an outdoor ski slope) , Nanchang, Hefei as well as Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City.
The complexes will continue to carry the Wanda name and to be operated by Wanda, although now owned by Sunac.

The deal also covers Wanda Cultural Tourism Cities currently under construction, some of which feature further indoor snow slopes, included developments at Wuxi, Qingdaa, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guilin, Jinan, Kunming and Haikou.

Team Behind Ski India Aiming to Open More Indoor Snow Centres

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:42 p.m.

The brother-and-sister team who brought the sci-fi themed Ski India snow park to New Delhi have revealed that they’re hoping to open more indoor snow centres in the country.

Ski India takes up two floors with a 100,000+ sq. ft foot print in Noida's DLF Mall of India and co-founder Priyanka Jain told local media that the concept behind the centre is was to give people a feeling that they were "entering a different planet as they walk up the stairs."

Ski India has a capacity of 3,000 people per day and can cater for up to 500 people of all ages at any one time. "We have 100-150 staff. This is our dream and hence, we could build such property. Here we run 6
sessions with each lasting for 1 and half hour," she said.

The facility operates at -10C and provides gloves, shoes and jackets to visitors and offers activities including skiing, skating, tobogganing, sleigh rides and snowfall as well as a laser show.

Priyanka and her brother Prasuk R. Jain, who is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ski India, are also behind Snow World, Mumbai's first 25,000 sq feet indoor snow park located at Phoenix Market City Kurla.

"We are in discussions with few other malls but we need the required space. The theme or park will be unique which has never have been introduced in India," said Priyanka who also revealed plans for an Ice Bar at Ski India.

"We are planning an ice bar upstairs. It was earlier planned, but due to investment, we had to stop the project. We wanted to research a little bit. Probably later this year, we will start the ice bar along with the themed restaurant. The entire floor is coming up with an amazing lounge concept."

Snow Valley Slope Extension Underway

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 9:46 p.m.

Work is continuing at Peer in Belgium on the extension of the centre’s main slope.

The centre’s main slope will be extended from 223 metres to 350 metres long, taking it from the 19th longest indoor snow slope in the world, to the 9th longest, as well as being the longest and steepest indoor ski slope in northern Europe’s Benelux region.

Snow Valley is built on largely flat ground with metal support towers to installing new pre-fabricated sections for the slope involves contractors in lifting slope sections 60 metres in to the air to move them in to place.

The slope extension work is expected to be completed quite quickly with the lengthened slope expected to be usable by both recreational skiers and boarders and racing teams for training from mid-August.
The national squads from France, Slovenia and Sweden are reported to be booked in for training along with the Belgian national squad.

New Indoor Ski Machine Complex For Australia

Patrick Thorne | Aug. 1, 2017, 10:39 p.m.

A new centre with three indoor ski machines is set to open in Canberra, Australia, before the end of the year.

Vertikal will provides year-round slope access for skiers and boarders and offer, “a unique bridge between the indoor and outdoor experience where individuals can continue to develop and build upon their skills,” a company statement states.

Vertikal’s management team say that their business concept is based on an established indoor ski and board slope simulator business model by Maxxtracks in The Netherlands.

As well as training for all abilities from beginners to race team members, the Vertikal facility will be used as, “A means for returned servicemen and women to engage in and develop a new skill-set; an avenue for disadvantaged youth to access snow sports and build confidence and competence and a sense of accomplishment through goal-setting; a safe environment for disabled participants to enjoy a sport often difficult to access and as a unique means of rehabilitation for individuals recovering post operations.”

Fyshwick, the suburb infamous for fireworks, porn and industrial land, is the new home of Dairy Road District, an almost 20,000-square-metre, warehouse-style precinct being developed by Canberra's Molonglo Group.

The centre is due to e part of a complex that will also include a brewery, a coffee roaster and a rock climbing centre that’s due to open on a Dairy Road site next to the Jerrabomberra Wetlands.

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