4 Jan - 25 years of modern indoor snow centres
2013 marks 25 years since the first of the current ‘modern’ indoor snow centres were created.
Three indoor snow centres opened around 1988 in Australia (Mount TheBarton), Japan (Ski In Tsudanuma and in Belgium (Skibaan Casablanca). Sadly all three centres have subsequently closed.
Earlier versions off indoor snow centres date back to the 1920s in Berlin and Vienna and in the early 1950s a complex using crushed ice as a snow surface for part of the year opened at Seibu in Japan. Now with am artificial slope surface under the snow this complex celebrated 60 years of operations in 2012.
The longest established and still operational ‘real snow’ indoor snow centre is generally agreed to be Tamworth Snowdome
in the UK
which opened in 1993 so is 20
years old this year. A small earlier ‘test facility’ at nearby Telford
which was opened in 1989 by operators Acer Snowmec, who have gone on to make snow for many of the world’s leading indoor snow facilities, also opened to the public in 1993 but has since closed.
One of the world’s largest ever indoor snow centres, the SSAWS indoor snow centre in Tokyo Harbour also opened in 1993 just after the Japanese bubble economy burst and never recouped its $300m (US) construction cost before closing in 2002.
indoor snow centres have been built in approximately 30 countries over the past 25 years and around 50 are still operational
, with the most (6+) in Germany
, the Netherlands
and the UK
. The largest by slope area in Snowworld Landgraaf in the Netherlands and by slope length the Amneville Snow Hall in France.