Artificial ski and snow facilities includes ice skating, now operate on most continents around the world. These man-made venues have become increasingly popular as recreational options and are a fun way to provide a gathering place for a community or region. Of interest is the fact that such facilities are far more prevalent around the world than in the U.S.
Apart from having the necessary capital (funding) and engineering expertise required to develop these facilities, the industry has been propelled by various companies that offer artificial surface options for skating and skiing, as well as artificial snow compounds. Snowflex® is one example of an artificial snow surface, while Glice® is an option for a man-made ice skating surface. There are other options.
One of the most recent facilities to open is Snø Ski Center (Oslo, Norway), which opened earlier this year (2020). Also in 2020, in China, Xiangjiang Joy City Snow World (Hunan province) and Chengdu Sunac Snow World at Binjiang Dujiangyan New District (Chengu, Sichuan province) have also opened.
In the U.S., Liberty University was among the first hosts of an artificial downhill ski venue, with the development of their Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre (opened 2009). In Canada, an upcoming man-made downhill ski and skating facility is integrated in the design of Water City Niagara Falls, a Cocov Destinations’ project. With American Dream Mall now open in New York featuring an indoor downhill ski venue and another possible coming at American Dream Mall in Miami, we expect to see many more artificial ski and snow facilities in the U.S. In Miami, the Boca Developers attempted to create Ski Miami as part of an “extreme sports and adventure park-oriented retail mall” many years ago but were not successful.
The history of artificial ski and snow facilities began with the Glaciarium Skating Rink in Chelsea, London. Glaciarium pioneered the first mechanically-refrigerated ice skating rink. In 1928, Schneepalast (Vienna, Austria) saw the first artificial snow made from soda. We include some of these interesting places from the past, in our directory of artificial ski and snow facilities.