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Publication charts growing number of indoor snow centres in China

Publication charts growing number of indoor snow centres in China
July 6, 2023

Research by the online publication IndoorSnowNews has found that China now has 44 indoor snow centres, with six more in the final stages of construction and expected to open by the end of the year.

With a history dating back to the opening of the first facility in 2003, indoor snow and ski centres operate in 15 of China’s 23 provinces, two of its four municipalities and two of its five autonomous regions. The province of Zhejiang has the most, with eight operating or under construction, while Hunan has six centres and Jiangsu four.

As revealed in the China Indoor Snow Centres Guide 2023, the 44 centres include six of the 10 largest worldwide, including the planet’s three biggest, boasting up to 70,000 metre² of indoor snow space each.

Many of the centres have opened in the last six years as part of a national drive to get more than 300,000 people to try snow or ice sports ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

A further five Chinese centres have opened and closed again in the past two decades and dozen more facilities are planned.

As IndoorSnowNews founder, Patrick Thorne explains “the 44 centres represent more than a third of the 125 indoor snow centres currently operating in around 35 countries on six continents worldwide - by far the most of any country with India the only country in double figures - although most of its centres are small ‘snow experience’ rooms rather than indoor snow and boarding slopes.

“Japan got into double figures for the number of centres it had open in the 1990s but now has just a few remaining.”

Thorne goes on to say “although China has a huge landmass and vast population, much of the country where the great majority of the population live has a subtropical climate and rarely see snow.

“The northerly areas do get some snowfall and are bitterly cold in winter, but are sparsely populated and represent a long trip for many Chinese people so the indoor snow centres, along with hundreds of dry slopes, make snow sports affordable and accessible to tens of millions of Chinese people.”

IndoorSnowNews’ China Indoor Snow Centres Guide 2023 is a nearly 120 page, 17,000 word document detailing the 55 centres that have been built or under construction in China and many others planned, including ideas that are still live and those that have been dropped.

The report also compares centres by various metrics such as indoor snow area, age, location and slope length.

The report, which also includes around 100 images, is available as a PDF for €120 (US$135) at www.indoorsnownews.com/products

Image: The world’s largest indoor snow park in the Chinese city of Harbin.

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