Giant Indoor Ski Slope Announced for London
Boris Johnson yesterday announced that London can look forward to having around 20,00 square metres of indoor real-snow skiing from 2015. The project, planned for a site adjacent to the Olympic Park and Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, is reported to to have a budget of £200 million and will give visitors the opportunity to ski a 300m long slope, double the length of the UK's current longest indoor slope.
The project is being funded by Westfield, who aim to attract 3 million visitors a year to the new facility. The news is yet another boost to the East end of London, as well as being encouraging for the UK Snowsports Industry as it will give a lot more people the opportunity to give skiing and snowboarding a try in the UK at a fraction of the cost of an overseas holiday.
It is still not clear whether the new ski centre will be linked to the gondola lift that crosses the Thames but if it is, London might start marketing itself as a stand-alone winter sports destination in years to come. Other ideas for snowsports in the capital include turning the Northern Line into a huge funicular serving the slopes of Hampstead Heath (snow conditions permitting) and eventually going directly to the Freeze festival in Battersea.
by David Froom