Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2006 9:21 AM | Contributed by Jeff
A group of amusement-park designers and developers plans to bring year-round skiing and snowboarding to the Texas prairie. The $375 million Coolzone Winterplex park could break ground this summer between Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and Dallas, said Steve Baker, owner and president of Orlando, Fla.-based Baker Leisure Group. The park would take about 18 months to build, he said. Skiers and snowboarders would use an artificial surface similar to a "soft, long carpet," Baker said. The surface replicates the properties of snow but does not need to be kept cold.
Read more from The Star-Telegram.
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 10:27 AM
Sounds like some serious rug burn waiting to happen. ;)
I wonder how many folks in Texas actually ski or snowboard though? I guess with Colorado and New Mexico next door there might be more than one would expect...but that's still quite a ways from the large cities like Dallas or Houston.
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 1:03 PM
They make synthetic ice surfaces for this type of application also. I have played hockey on them and they just aren't the same. There is a lot more friction then real ice. I would assume this is about the same as a slideboard (also made for hockey and various other sports.) It's a slick board and you wear cloth on your feet to slide back and forth to work different muscles. Similar but just not the same. But it does sound great for an area that never gets cold enough to do these things. From a business standpoint I would just be afraid it would be more of a fad and then slowly fade out. It didn't look like people were into cold weather sports as much when I went down there, but I could be wrong since Dallas does have an NHL team. With the extreme sports craze going on it just might work out.
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 1:56 PM
This could be using the stuff that the US Olympic team uses to train during poor snow conditions around the world, or when they don't feel like flying the whole team to an area with snow. It has been used by ski jumpers and aerialists for a long time to practice jump during the summer into a lake. I would not be surprised to see this park try to use it for a commercial application. I just wish I knew the name of the stuff and who made it.
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 2:05 PM
The company that makes it is Briton Engineering Developments LTD.
Their Site is at http://www.snowflex.com/
Found it at the End of the Star-Telegram Story
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 2:35 PM
Texans are skiing/boarding fanatics. The colorado ski industry is fueled by Texan families and church groups. This indoor complex will be a huge success.
The snow will probably be very similar to the artificial snow blown out of the guns at resorts. No reason that they couldn't use them, just water + the cannon. It's stickier than natural snow, but way better than nothing.
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 2:54 PM
The article mentions that they will use an artifical carpet type surface. I'd imagine that keeping a huge indoor building cold enough for snow in Texas would use a lot of electricity.
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 6:11 PM
Did yot not read the article "does not need to be kept cold"
Anyways. Yes, living in Centeral Texas, I can tell you people do like snowboard alot here. Which doesn't make sense. However, this is something that Austin needs. Austin has nothing in terms of amusement parks. Yeah a few local things here and there like Austin's Park n Pizza. This would also bring alot of tourism to Austin as if there wasn't already a bad situation with the freeway. However, it could be a good addition.
Too bad it's going to Dallas.
Wednesday, April 5, 2006 9:05 AM
The stuff I was thinking of is not snowflex, since the Texas install will be the first stateside install. It's another substance.
Wednesday, April 5, 2006 2:42 PM
Wednesday, April 5, 2006 4:37 PM
I am an avid skiing fan and I don't want to have to drive all the way to Colorado to do it. This will go over well I think.
Thursday, April 6, 2006 5:53 PM
Somehow, the words "Texas" and "faux" don't seem to go together. :)
Friday, April 7, 2006 11:05 AM
Sure they do...if you want to "Mess with Texas." ;)