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Plans move forward for $300 million indoor winter sports centre in Penrith
Plans for a year-round indoor winter sport experience in Western Sydney have moved forward following Penrith Council having last night (24th May 2021) endorsed the planning proposal to build the new facility.
First revealed in 2018, the $300 million Winter Sports World will include a 300-metre long artificial indoor ski slope, an Olympic sized ice rink and 170-plus room hotel.
Winter Sports World site owner and developer Peter Magnisalis said he was excited to work collaboratively with the Council and the NSW Planning Department on finalising plans for Australia's first indoor snow resort and alpine winter attraction.
The development proposal was supported in principle by Councillors, who voted in favour of Councillor John Thain's motion of six amendments to the plan.
Magnisalis praised Penrith Council for supporting one of the largest tourism developments in the area's history, commenting "Penrith has billed itself as the ‘adventure capital’ (so) it’s great to see that the Council has embraced that adventure.
"Not only will this be a major new tourist attraction for Western Sydney - right on the doorstep to a new international airport - (but) it will be the first indoor snow resort and alpine winter attraction in Australia.”
Magnisalis is aiming for the centre to attract international elite snow and ice athletes and provide a training venue for nine Olympic sports (alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snow board, figure skating, ice hockey, speed skating, curling with the possibility of also catering for cross country and biathlon).
Aiming to attract 250,000 visitors annually, Magnisalis also wants the development to be accessible and affordable to all.
Pointing to research which says Australia has about 1 million regular skiers, Magnisalis suggests another 4.5 million people do not ski because they cannot access the snow, explaining "it's just too hard for them to go there or too expensive so they haven't been introduced to it.
"I want people who have never skied to come here to learn. I want school and community groups to come here.
"We will have perfect snow under perfect skies all year round, and Winter Sports World will be the coolest place to hang out on those scorching forty-degree summer days in Penrith."
Key features of Winter Sports World will include a 300 metre indoor downhill ski slope; an 80 metre slope for dedicated learning; winter wonderland snow play area offering fun activities for adults and children of all ages and abilities; an ice skating rink; ice climbing and rock climbing areas; and fitness facilities including gymnasium and altitude training.
Currently a 2.35 hectare horse paddock located within the Riverlink Tourism Precinct on the banks of the Nepean River, Magnisalis began developing the idea for Winter Sports World seven years ago and undertook extensive research with architect Tone Wheeler including visiting several snow centres around the world before finalising plans.
The carbon-neutral design of the development by renowned eco-friendly architecture practice Environa Studio would set new environmental building benchmarks with features such as most advanced technology for capturing and reuse of free heat, roof solar system for electrical energy needs, insulation systems, non-toxic cooling and roof water harvesting for snow making.
Construction would hopefully commence next year subject to planning approvals, with Winter Sports World expected to open in winter 2024.
Images: Concepts for Winter Sports World. Lower image shows Winter Sports World site owner and developer Peter Magnisalis with a model of the facility.
8th March 2021 - Construction commences on new Selwyn Snow Resort
4th June 2020 - Mt Hotham’s 2020 snow season focus is on keeping visitors safe
13th September 2020 - COVID-19’s ‘devastating impact’ on the Australian ski industry
11th May 2020 - Australian Ski Resorts launch Keep Our Season Safe Campaign
27th March 2020 - Doubts over Australian ski season as Coronavirus restrictions impact
24th August 2018 - All ability competitors join iFLY Australia Indoor Skydiving Championships
12th September 2016 - Sydney’s In2ski closes its doors
2nd May 2012 - Indoor ski slope offers ‘ski for free’ event
28th January 2015 - New indoor ski centre to open in North Geelong
1st July 2014 - iFLY Downunder fully operational in Penrith
11th December 2009 - Waterski Park Reopens at Penrith
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