World Indoor Snow Resorts
Approx. 35 indoor snow resorts have been built so far worldwide. In terms of the numbers, Japan is top with 9 resorts and 6 in Holland, 4 in UK, each 3 in Belgium and Germany and 2 in China. Adding 10-15 new ones that are under construction or planning, the total resorts will be approx. 45-50 by 2004. The recent tendency shows the increase of the extreme facilities like halfpipe, quaterpipe, air jump, rail, box as well as the ski school and snowboard school for the beginners. Furthermore, the additional facilities like icehockey, skating, swimming pool, rock climbing, horse riding, movie theater, aquarium, and varieties of different type of restaurants, bars and nightclub are supplying the snow domes with vital leisure activities. A recent type of business with indoor snow resort shows its function as a family leisure park and tourist area not only for the local people but for abroad.
1) SSAWS : SSAWS (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Snow) had a pet name of "Lara Port Ski Dome" since it was built at the area of the Japanese largest shopping center "Rara Port" in the city of Funabashi of which population is 500,000 and 30 minutes from Tokyo by electric railway. It was invested by Mitsui Real Estate, a syster company of Mitsui group of companies, and made by the famous steelmaking company NKK (which now became JFE STEEL after the amalgamation) who launched a new material for this special building together with its own snowmaking system spraying down the dreamy powder snow from the ceiling. The 0.35 bil. USD building except the costly land price had the indoor height of 25m and the gaelende with 100m wide and 500m long had 3 types of different ski courses; 20.1 degree of red course for the skilled, 15 degree of yellow course for the intermediate, and 10 degree of blue course for the beginners. It was beyond imigination and every one who visited the area was stunned by its amazing majesty. It was the price of Japan and a slogan for the literal 'year-round skiing' has thus spreaded all over the world, though a couple of previous European indoor snow resorts tried it. However, after experiencing the painful bubble economy of Japan, SSAWS couldn't but closing after long years of deficit operation mainly due to the high invest money and a dramatical drop of the patrons by 30% from 1 million at the initial year to the recent 700,000. Since its close on Sep. 30, 2002, Mitsui Real Estate has been looking for the take-overer, but it seems not so easy for it would cost some 4 mil. US dollars only for the dismantling.
(It was finally dismantled at the end of 2003 by the new landlord.)
Though the annual income was reportedly 35 mil. USD (USD 50/person x 700,000 persons), the real income is estimated as 23.3 mil. USD only, because almost every patrons were serviced by 30% of discount in terms of early morning and free rental, etc. The annual cost of approx. 40 mil. USD for the operation of the mall made MItsui to lose money 16.7 mil. USD every year. With that amount of continuing deficits which had been accumulating since several years ago, even the famous Mitsui could not but drawing his hands from this money-losing monster. However, I'd like to point out the numbers of the patrons which SSAWS couldn't stand is not a small ones. I believe there must be some good way of business with that 2,000 patrons per year, because no indoor snow resorts in Europe currently records this number, while they're staying alive.
I believe the failure of SSAWS was solely due to the high operation cost, and that's why STC is so nervous about reducing it from the initial stage of designing the system for snowmaking and airconditioning.
2) SNOVA : is a chain of small snowdomes constructed by the company SNOVA who has a patent of the polymer which acts like snow if it is watersprayed and frozen under -3 deg.
Snova Kashi : 58m*90m(10-14deg.)
Snova ShinYokohama : 30m*60m(10-14deg.)
Snova Mizonokuchi R246 : 35m*65m(10-14deg.)+halfpipe11m*60m(14deg.,H2.5m)
Snova Hashima : 32m*70m(10-14deg.)+halfpipe
Snova Hiroshima : 35m*66m(10-14deg.)+quaterpipe1.5m
Snova Kobe Freeku : a pet name 'Snowpark Kobe'. 30m*50m(10-14deg.)
3) Folloings are the indoor snowdomes which don't use the chemical snow of SNOVA, but using the real snow;
BIGAIR FUKUOKA : Bayside Place Hakada Futoh exclusively for snowboarding
Across Shigenobu : 45*90m(11-15deg.)+halfpipe13*100(15deg.,H3.5-3.8m)
Sayama Ski Resort : open during end Oct. ~ early April (dome on the ground); 30*320(avg 7 deg., max. 15 deg.)
Saitama Snow Park (Kamui Snow Park) : 45*80m
Dutch merchants must be clever enough to find out the money making business, and there is no country in Europe that has more numbers of snowdomes than Holland.
Snowdome Nicky Broos : 22m*160m, H25m, 9deg.; Virtual Tour
Snow Planet : 230m & 100m
Montana Snowcenter : pdf files
Uithof Snowdome : 55m*200m
SnowWorld Zoetermeer : 3 slopes, longest 210m, Virtual Tour & Web cam
SnowWorld Landgraaf : 3 slopes, longest 500m, Virtual Tour & Web cam
* currently additional 520m slope is under construction (world widest area)
UK was the volcano of the indoor snowdomes. For instance, more than half of the UK junior snowboard team was once consisted of the teens from the high school near Tamworth snowdome. But recently the Xcape chain snowdomes seem to be booming. Xcape Glasgow is scheduled to be opened soon.
Tamworth Snowdome : 170m + 30m*150m, Virtual Tour
☞ [v.d. an article from Seilbahnen International]
Xscape Milton Keynes : 2*170m + 1*110m. planning 6 chain snowdomes in UK.
Xscape Castleford Leeds : 37.5m*150m
Though Germany started the snowdomes from 2001 later than Holland or UK, the scale is quite bigger and the snowmaking system looks mordenized and the automatic snowmaking system from ceiling (like SSAWS) is adopted by Allrounder Winterworld.
Veltins Alpincenter (Wintersport Bottrop) : 30m*640m*H7~9m
Snowtropolis : 36m*130m, Video Clips
Influenced by Holland, Belgium started the snowdomes quite earlier.
Skibaan Casablanca : 30m*100m,Web Cam
Snow Valley Peer : 2nd indoor snowdome in Belgium
When there are little skiers, China opened quite big snowdoms. The business is done only with the a small number of membership basis. However, it is without question that Ski will be booming in China sooner or later.
Shenzhen Ski Center (Largeski of Alps) : 24m*114m
Shanghai LongZhu Hokkaido Indoor Snow Resort : 80m*380m*H42m
Australia had launched the world first indoor snow resort and developed a variety of snowmaking technologies, but there is only one snowdome because of a little population. Whereas the snowmaking technologies have been exported to Europe and Asian countries. A 140m long snow dome named 'Big Banana' was considered at the Coffs Harbour a few years ago, but nothing has benn developed.
SNOWDOME Adelaid (Mt. Thebarton) : 19m*120m, indoor temperatue +4 deg.C.
This ski tunnel was added in 1997 to the [Vuokatti Sport] in Vuokatti city that is 600km north of Helsinki. [VS] is a multi sports mall with a variety of sports facilities like cross country ski, biathlon, ski jump, ice hockey, trempolining, skating, swimming, health club, massage, basket ball, volley ball, badminton, sports test facilities, etc.
DNA Ski Tunnel : 8m*1210m*4m tunnel type, temp. -5°C ~ -9°C, Web Cam.
Parque de Nieve Madrid Xanadú : Located in Arroyomolinos, 22km south of Madrid, it was opened on May 16, 2003. The owner is The Mills Corporation, US real estate investor who is also planning 1.3 bil. USD multi-complex snowdome in New Jersey.
Snow area is just 18,000m2 (W50m/80m*L250m) among total 130,000m2 leisure sports shopping mall. indoor temperature of -2°C with fantastic mood by a dazzling lighting.
Total estimated annual sum of tourist is 1 mil. and half of them is expected to us snow facilities. web cam.
Wong Brothers, a Malysian company specilized in refrigeration constructed a couple of snow parks, but the scale is incomparable with the normal indoor snow resorts.
Thailand also has two small snowplay facilities in the shopping malls.
Four-season room : Malaysia since 1990.
Mines Wonderland : 1000m2 snowplay, 5km from Kuala Lumpur. since 1994.
Megamall Snowland : 1600m2 ski (45m long) and sled (42m long). since 1998
Snowtown : Thailand. snomaking system by Polar Technology in Australia.
Snowland : Thailand . Ice-mat snowmaking system by PATINE in Japan.
Snow World : Hyderabad India, 1580m2 Snow Play Arena, Water Park and Amusement Park
SnowFun Park : Wittenburg, Germany on July 2004. 60m*462m+30m*90m.
Xscape Blaehead : Glasgow, UK in 2004. Xscape chain snowdome
SnowPlanet : Auckland, New Zealand. 40m*200m*10m. (uncertain)
Las Vegas Snowlab : Las Vegas, USA on Dec. 2003. 74m*330m
For 2008 Olympic, Beijing is considering 100*565m huge snowdome.
1.3 bil.$ leisure sports shopping mall in New Jersey by The Mills Corporation
leisure sports mall in Buffalo, New York by Syata Group. snow area 23,000m2
30m*1,000m long in Bahrain in 2005. German snowmaking by Innovag and laser system by Carl Zeiss Jena.
35m*270m & 25m*270m, water park (25m x 7 lanes), Golf training Center (250m x 200 ea), multi-sports area.
3~4 snowdomes respectively with 50m*500m, 50m*280m, 30m*200m snow area are under planning.
[Modified type of Indoorsnow Resorts] : 2 places
Sayama Ski Resort : 30m*320m snowdome on the hill with 7~15 deg. open only during the end Oct.~end April.
Wood Stage (Kijima Snowboard Resort) : 25m*75m. open only in winter.
[Close or Cancelled Indoorsnow Resorts] : 8 places
Telford World of Snow : 10m*30m, the first UK snowdome opened in 1992. closed.
Liverpool's Snowzone : 3rd UK snowdoem. closed.
Tsudanuma Ski Resort : owned by Panasonic group of companies. closed.
Gotcha Glacier : world largest snow complex planned in California Anaheim. cancelled.
Aussie Snowdome : 140m small slope planned in Big Banana Theme Park at Coffs Harbour, Australia. cancelled.
Salford Snow World : 250m snowdome planned in Manchester, UK. cancelled.
London Snow World : supposed to be opened in Autumn 2003 in Beckton, UK. cancelled.
Snowdonia : magnetic type rotating snowdome with a skirun of 380m~20km planned in Wales, UK by an Australian
company Ski-Trac. but cancelled reportedly by the inhabitant opposition.