Indoor Arenas / Facilities

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Report: Europe’s SnowWorld Eyes Virginia for North America’s First Indoor Ski Resort

3 Apr, 2019

By: Michael Popke

Is North America’s first indoor ski and snow sports facility coming to Fairfax, Virginia.? Maybe, according to local news reports.

“A subcommittee of the Fairfax County Sports Tourism Task Force released a report saying that SnowWorld USA, an affiliate of Netherlands-based SnowWorld, is ‘looking to partner’ with the county ‘in the development of the first indoor ski and snow sports facility in North America,’ to perhaps include a 100-room hotel and restaurants. The task force is in the process of fielding proposals for this project,” writes The Washington Business Journal. “The resort, according to the report, would use the elevation of the county-owned landfill in Lorton and land in the Occoquan Regional Park.”

SnowWorld is a big player in the indoor winter wonderland market, owning two indoor ski resorts in The Netherlands — one in Landgraaf and one in Zoetermeer — the latter of which boasts Europe’s steepest indoor ski slope.

“According to the Fairfax County report, which was quietly released in November, SnowWorld USA wants to build 10 facilities in the United States,” The Washington Business Journal’s report continued. “While details on the size, design and cost of the potential Fairfax facility are unclear, the report said construction would take between 18 and 24 months. … As a major tourist destination for the county, the facility could host nationally televised competitions and provide training for military, ski patrols and national athletes, per the report. With an estimated annual visitation of 350,000 to 400,000 people, SnowWorld would generate an estimated $750,000 in annual sales tax and hotel tax revenue, according to Visit Fairfax. Additionally, it’s estimated to generate $25 million in direct economic impact with another $40 million of indirect impact for the county.”

“SnowWorld clearly expressed interest in doing this and they clearly have experience doing this around the world,” Pat Herrity, a member of the subcommittee who has spearheaded much of the task force’s work, told The Washington Business Journal. “Sports tourism is a great revenue generator and a way to diversify our tax base.” 

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