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Indoor skiing has been slow to arrive in North America, but it’s coming. And when it does, it will aim to open up ski and ride opportunities to tens of thousands of people who may otherwise not have the opportunity.
Alpine-X is the company behind Fairfax Peak, a 400,000-square-foot snow dome in the DC suburbs of Virginia that will anchor the country’s second indoor ski dome. (Big Snow American Dream, in New Jersey, is the first; it opened in late 2019.) It’s scheduled to break ground in around 15 months, and will also feature a 200-room hotel, restaurants, a mountain coaster, tubing hill, zip lines, and a snow-play attraction.
It’s also just one of 20 indoor snowsports facilities that Alpine-X is planning to build.
Last spring, Alpine-X CEO John Emery told SKI that the ski domes were not necessarily aiming to attract skiers, but rather leverage their urban locations to attract new demographics to snowsports. “We want this to be for everybody in the community—we’re trying to expand access to skiing and snowboarding, and having this type of location is absolutely key to being successful,” he said about Fairfax Peak’s northern Virginia location.
Now Emery is further making good on those intentions with the debut of the “Snow Play for All” program, which will guarantee a minimum of 1,000 no-cost visits to each Alpine-X ski dome every year. By working with the appropriate local or national programs in the nearest metropolitan areas, Alpine-X will offer children, individuals, and families who’ve traditionally been underrepresented in the ski industry the chance to visit for free, with complementary rentals, lessons, and meals, as well.
“We’re proud to introduce these programs as a way of furthering our mission of ‘Snowsports for Everyone’,” says Emery. “Our indoor resorts offer an ideal opportunity for us to grow a community that can participate in and enjoy snowsports. With convenient locations and perfect conditions year-round, our company’s resorts are a great place for new participants to learn about snowsports in a safe, fun, accessible environment.”
The Fairfax Peak dome is expected to open in 2024, with another one that’s currently in the beginning planning stages not too far behind. For more info on Alpine-X and it’s equity initiatives, visit the website.