The world’s biggest indoor snow centre yet is nearing completion and is due to open later this year.
Wanda Cultural Tourism City located in the Songbei District of Harbin, a city in the far North east of the country, will not, it seems, take the title of ‘longest indoor snow slope’ currently jointly claimed by the Amneville slope in France with its 620m slope and the Alpincenter in Germany with a 640m run, … but Harbin will have by far the biggest in terms of slope area with a reputed 72,600sqm of indoor snow and six separate slopes.
That’s more than double the area of the current biggest, SnowWorld Landgraaf in The Netherlands which has 35,000 sqm of indoor snow.
The largest ever indoor slope previously was the SSAWS indoor snow centre built in Tokyo in the 1990s but closed and demolished more than a decade ago. It had a 500m long, 100m wide slope giving a 50,000 sqm slope area.
Construction of Wanda Cultural Tourism City began nearly four years ago on April 28th, 2013 with over 20 billion yuan (£2.3bn/€2.7bn) being invested by the Wanda Group on the complex which was most recently reported as aiming to open on 5th August 2017
“The town is expected to welcome 20 million visitors every year, and more than 10,000 jobs opportunities will be generated,” Liu Ming, vice general manager of Harbin Wanda City Investment Co Ltd told China Daily.
Harbin has a population of 10 million people and attracts a further 20 million tourists. The Wanda Group is one of China and the world’s biggest companies and already runs conventional ski areas in China.
The complex will also include an Olympic sized ice rink, theatre, shopping mall, four and five star hotels, restaurants and a large cinema complex.
Ski slope dimension have not been fully confirmed with some saying the longest slope will be 484m long, others 550m – making it one of the world’s five longest by either measure.
The snow area’s 150 metre width will be the widest ever created indoors..
The centre will offer a skiable vertical of 80 metres and be able to accommodate a maximum of 3000 people at any one time.
Unusually, where ski centres in India, Dubai and other cities often mean customers find temperatures dropping up to 45 degrees between the outdoors and indoors, in Harbin temperatures can reach -30C so going indoors to ski will actually be warmer there than outdoors in winter.