Announced in the Summer, the proposed Wintastar Shanghai dubbed as the world’s largest indoor Ski Resort is set to open it’s freezer doors in 2022.
Right on cue for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Italian Architect Massimo Mercurio has created a mammoth Iceberg exterior, (reminds me of a ‘Hunger Games’ arena) with icicle style skyscrapers.
The cold Winter theme is contrasted with the inclusion of a huge tropical, volcanic Water Park, which dominates one side of the complex.
The interior of the Snow Park is said to be inspired by European Alpine charm, and if you look hard enough you can even see a church in the middle of the complex!
The estimated cost of this development has not yet been released.
In comparison, Tokyo’s Ski Dome, (which closed in 2002) cost a reported £310 million and at the time was the largest indoor ski centre in the world.
Its longest slope boasted a now measly 500m in length compared to the impressive 3000m that the Wintastar is said to offer.
One thing is for certain, that’s one hell of an air-con bill!
Whilst it is still to be announced whether the development will be used for the Winter Games, it is said to include an Olympic training standard slope for budding athletes, as well as two other ski slopes.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding facilities, the Wintastar Shanghai will also include a whole host of non-skiing and apres ski activities, including bars and restaurants, spa, ice skating rink and events space.
This is sure to attract the estimated 3.2 million annual visitors.
Or is it?
China does have it’s fair share of ‘natural’ ski resorts, however, it is reported that less than 1% of China’s population has ever tried skiing; the majority preferring to travel overseas to Canada and Japan to ski more cheaply and in more favourable snow and weather conditions.
There is no denying that there has been a flurry of interest in Winter Sports ever since it was announced that China would host the Winter games, and with Dawang Mountain Resort, another luxury ski complex currently under construction in Changsha, the Chinese government are certainly encouraging the population to get involved in Winter sports.
Ahead of the games, it is estimated that just shy of £170 million is to be invested into developing hundreds of new ski resorts in an attempt to boost the medal count.
At the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, China placed 16th overall in the medals table.
The first ever snowboarding medal for China was won by Liu Jiayu in the Women’s Halfpipe.
Her silver medal was one of 9 medals won by the Chinese team, including 2 silvers and 1 bronze in freestyle skiing.
Could this new ski resort and the massive investment mean a rise in China’s Winter Olympic success?
We will have to wait and see…