21/08/2013 | by tristan | 65 comments
An enormous new indoor ski and snowboard slope is going to be built at Stratford in London, on the site of the Olympic Park.
According to the Evening Standard, the slope is expected to cover a massive 20,000 square metres, with the longest slope being about 300 metres. While it wouldn’t be quite as big as the monster Snowworld Landgraaf dome in Holland, the London slope would be about twice the size of any other indoor facility in the UK, and almost as big as the Ski Dubai enormodome in the United Arab Emirates.
Imagine the potential for park setups in a slope that size? I mean we already get some pretty sick stuff going on at Cas, MK and Hemel, but the sheer amount of space and snow in here would make their setups look like small fry.
The company behind the project, the owners of the Westfield Stratford shopping centre, are apparently expected to submit plans for the development to the London Legacy Development Corporation (the people responsible for ensuring the Olympic arenas actually get used after the games) by the end of this summer.
It may seem an odd time to invest in a massive expensive new project, but Westfield have never been ones to let a recession get in their way – these are after all the people who opened the UK’s second-largest mall slap bang in the middle of the biggest banking crisis for 70 years.
What’s cool about this is they obviously think skiing and snowboarding are worth sinking money into, because the project will require some serious money – we’re talking a cool £200 million.
We’re guessing they’ve got one eye on the potential for a surge in people snowboarding and skiing after the Sochi Olympics. Assuming everything goes to plan, they reckon the slope could be ready to open in 2015.
London’s Mayor (and floppy-haired buffoon-in-chief) Boris Johnson has shouting loudly about the proposal, saying: “Stratford’s status as a stunning new destination is confirmed by Westfield’s plans for a world-class indoor ski centre. This underscores the massive confidence in this area from investors which is delivering a real payback for taxpayers in terms of jobs and the regeneration of east London.”
He also tweeted this pic of the announcement.
Announcing amazing new Westfield Snow Dome project for Stratford as part of incredible London 2012 legacy. pic.twitter.com/zOs8VdzUiQ
— Boris Johnson (@MayorofLondon) July 25, 2013
While we’re not totally convinced by his attempt to paint it as a political triumph, we have to admit, we’re also pretty frickin’ stoked by the plans. Admittedly because we live in London some of that stoke is self-interested (this will obviously revolutionise the capital’s shred scene) but it’s not just that. How much will it help snowboarding in the UK to have such a big slope so easily accessible to a ton of people? What’s the betting that there’s a next Billy Morgan, Jenny Jones or Jamie Nicholls somewhere out there in East London?