WORLD’S LARGEST SKI DOME SET TO OPEN
15th May 2017 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
The world’s biggest indoor snow centre is on course to open in China next month. The Wanda Ski Park has six slopes & hosts 3,000 people.
Updated Tuesday June 6th 2017
The centre has taken four years to build and is expected to open in June, a couple of months ahead of schedule.
Wanda Ski Park is in the city of Harbin in the far north-eastern province of Hei Long Jiang, which is home to more than 50 of China’s ski resorts, including Yabuli.
It is opening at a time of rapid growth for the snowsports industry in the country with interest in skiing and snowboarding on the increase ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
See our report from last summer, Skiing on the rise in China, and our article from November when the Warren Smith Academy became the first British ski school to open a permanent base in China.
The Wanda Ski Park is more than double the size (in surface snow area) of the previous record holder, SnowWorld Landgraaf in The Netherlands, although other indoor centres have longer runs.
It has six ski slopes for all abilities. The longest is 500 metres long with a vertical drop of 80 metres.
There is also a large snow play area.
Tuesday June 6th, 2017 – latest video of the Wanda Ski Centre – Official opening set for 30th June:
The slopes are served by chairlifts and the world’s first conveyor belt with a motorised handrail, developed by the Austrian company, Sunkid.
The centre has been built by the giant Chinese corporation, the Wanda Group, as part of a major leisure and tourism development.
Last year the company described it as a 20 billion yuan (£2.25 billion) project, although in March this year the China Daily news website suggested the cost was double that figure.
As well as the indoor snow centre, the Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City – to give it its full title – will include an ice rink of competition standard, a shopping mall, nine hotels, cinemas and performing arts centres.
The Wanda Group already operates several conventional ski resorts, including the Changbaishan International Resort in Jilin Province.
China is building new ski resorts at a dramatic rate and has more indoor snow centres than any other country.
The indoor centre which currently has the longest slope in the world – 640 metres – is in Germany, though it will be overtaken by the Meydan One development in Dubai.
Expected to open before 2020, its ski slope will be 1.2km long – that’s the equivalent of 12 pitches being laid out end to end.
And to put that in context, the longest indoor snow slope in the UK is at the Chill Factore in Manchester. It is 180 metres long.
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