Indoor Snow Sport Complex for Texas
The city of Grand Prairie in North Texas has announced plans to build an all-year-around indoor snow sport center featuring seven different slopes to cater for skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. Beginner runs have four slope angles, while green runs feature slopes from 6 to 10 degrees, and blue runs from 10 to 12.5 degrees. Black runs will have slopes from 12.5 degrees to 28 degrees, with the same gradients for forest runs. Snowboarders have look forward to a top-of-the-range snowboard park featuring a full competition half pipe, terrain park, rails, kickers, jumps and a performance area, as well as a free rider run with snow berms. The 1,900′ ski run will be the longest of its kind in the world and all this will be accommodated in a structure almost 300′ tall, 1,220′ long and 570′ wide. Other features of the resort will be a play area, tobogganing, snow tubing and a luge track.
The Grand Alps® indoor ski center will form part of a hotel, entertainment and retail complex. The 4-star Hard Rock hotel will have 300 rooms, as well as a conference center and a number of meeting and event rooms. Entertainment options will include a rooftop swimming pool, complete with cabanas and poolside bar and grill, a family entertainment center, a digital Cineplex and a variety of restaurants, cafés and retail stores. The complex will also feature a Spa and Wellness center, available to both guests and members of the public.
The estimated cost of the resort is $398 million, with funding coming from various sources including private-equity investors and the Grand Alps company, led by Sherman Thurston and Levi Davis. The city’s investment in the project reportedly includes the land upon which the center will be built, three-year TIF funds for infrastructure, as well as 100% real estate tax abatement for a period of seven years, and a 75 percent rebate of hotel/motel tax for a period of ten years.
According to Thurston, Grand Alps is building indoor ski resorts in China, Malaysia and Brazil, but the Grand Prairie project is their first in the United States. The project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2015, with a view to opening in early 2018.