A new indoor snow center, the first of its kind in Australia, has been proposed for the city of Penrith in New South Wales, Australia, about 30 miles west of Sydney. Developer Peter Magnisalis says the center will include a range of year-round winter sports activities for locals as well as domestic and international tourists and aims to have it completed by 2020, for a 2021 opening.
Detailed plans for the $200 Aus ($130m) ‘Wintersports World’ (WSW) have been put forward for a center with an almost 1,000-foot long indoor snow slope with a 151-foot vertical on a 6-acre site. The developer projects 231,000 people visiting the center by 2025 with the ‘Adventure Capital of NSW’ appealing to both local western Sydney residents and domestic and international tourists. Along with the main slope, the complex will include a 260-foot beginner slope, a snow play area, ice skating rink; ice climbing and rock climbing areas and fitness facilities. There would also be a 170 bed hotel, function centre, cafes, restaurants and bars.
The Performance Director of the center will be the British former Olympic skier Stephen Edwards, who is now one of Australia’s best-known ski coaches. He competed in the slalom at the 1992 Albertville games:
“Being able to train on an all-year-round facility will allow athletes to focus on their skills and technique in an environment where all weather conditions are controlled,” Edwards said.
“It will also encourage more participation into the sport, helping us develop our grassroots athletes and grow a stronger, broader team of potential international competitors. We currently spend half the year overseas. WSW would allow us to prepare for competitions at home, reducing travel time and increasing training time in stable conditions.”
WSW’s structure has been designed by sustainable architects Environa Studio and would aim to be carbon neutral. Australia is a leading pioneer in the ‘modern era’ indoor snow centers. Mt Thebarton, later re-named Snowdome Adelaide, opened its prototype indoor snow slope in 1987 and it operated for 18 years before shutting down in 2005, and a second Australian indoor snow slope operated at a theme park on the Gold Coast. But no indoor snow center is known to be operating in the country at present.