Look out Parisian snow lovers, a new $60 million indoor ski complex could be making its debut in the French capital. The French newspaper Le Figaro is reporting that Dutch company Snowworld hopes to build a 72,000 square-foot complex with about 1,000 feet of skiing. Located in Elancourt just to the west of Paris, the complex will also have a chairlift, toboggan, restaurant, and three-star hotel. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Well, not all Parisians are sold on the idea.
SnowWorld already operates two similar indoor ski centers, both in the Netherlands, so the business model is there. Some Parisians are super into the idea. Local Mayor Jean-Michel Fourgous supports the indoor ski center, predicting that it could create 200 jobs and create a boost to the local economy. Tickets won't come cheap, as it looks like a lift ticket will cost about $70, including equipment rentals.
But the French being the French, others question whether a country with over 200 ski areas needs indoor snow. A former mayor of nearby town Magny les Hamlets told Le Figaro that the Elancourt hill was being exploited for "leisure-business projects for a small elite."
Alain Le Vot went on to say, "What is the interest in skiing in a tin? The real people who have the money to go this ski dome can simply go to real ski resorts within a few hours of the capital by TGV." And based on the comment section of the Le Figaro article, it looks like many are apt to agree.
It's true, "real" mountains in the French Alps are about a six hour train ride from Paris, so the ski center's critics do have a point. What do you think Curbediverse, Oui or Non for indoor skiing in Paris?
· Plans for £40m ski centre in Paris [Telegraph]
· Un projet de piste de ski à quelques minutes de Paris, été comme hiver [Le Figaro]
· Get Stoked Boston, Indoor Ski Facility Coming Soon! [Curbed Ski]