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Western Sydney indoor ski resort gets development approval

Western Sydney indoor ski resort gets development approval
January 16, 2024

The development of a $400 million year-round indoor winter sport resort on the banks of the Nepean River in Western Sydney is a step closer following the NSW Department of Planning and Environment have granted approval for the development.

When complete, Winter Sports World (WSW) will feature a 300 metre-long ski run, an ice rink, thermal pools and snow play area, along with a 170-room hotel, conference and function rooms and a range of restaurants.

Visitors would be able to ski until midnight, 365 days of the year, while other facilities such as restaurants and the hotel would open until 11pm.

Deemed a state significant development, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment said the indoor ski resort was in the public interest and should be approved subject to conditions.

Advising that the approval comes after eight years of planning, WSW Managing Director, Peter Magnisalis told media “for the first time in eight years, WSW is no longer a pie-in-the-sky dream, but a real project and on course to bring snow fields to Sydney.”

With the project now entering a detailed design phase, the first stage of construction is set to involve a giant basement water tank/snow machine.

I also has to considered cultural and environmental factors – with the facility to be designed to be net-zero carbon ready, with consultation with Dharug nation representatives informing the design.

Large amounts of water and energy will be required to make snow and cool the facility, with Magnisalis estimating the amount of energy use will be comparable to an office tower.

He noted “there are technical challenges where you need to create the perfect snow box environment so that the snow is kept perfect for as long as possible.

“It’s having a perfectly sealed snow box with no windows that face the outside.

“Once you have that, the energy usage is probably less than a commercial office building on a per square metre basis.

“It’s all about getting thermal mass - once you get the snow in and the building to ideal temperature, which will take a couple of months, it’s very efficient.

“Much like your air conditioner at home, although our building will be better sealed than the average home.”

In terms of funding, Maginalis said the project had private backers and had not received “public funding to date”.

Welcoming the development, Australian Ski Areas Association Chief Executive Colin Hackworth who said it would boost interest in snow sports and the tourism sector and complement existing alpine resorts.

Hackworth commented “I think this is an excellent new public facility that will appeal to a great many people, and will give people living in Sydney’s western suburbs another recreational option they currently don’t have.”

Images: Concepts for the planned Winter Sports World in Western Sydney. Credit: Winter Sports World.

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