Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort in China, featuring the world’s largest indoor ski slope, is set to open on 30th June 2017.
While in China for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games IOC Coordination Commission in mid-June, several delegates from the International Sports Federations took the chance to head north to the Chinese city of Harbin to get a first-hand look at the resort which boasts an impressive six indoor runs, the longest being half a kilometer.
Spanning 80 hectares, the resort will also accommodate a shopping mall, movie theatre, outdoor theme park, hockey rink, curling training lanes and numerous hotels and live theatre venues.
In terms of skiing and snowboarding, the new park has something for all levels and will be a major step forward in developing snow sports in China. The main intermediate run is 60m wide and has a 20° pitch. At 500m in length, it is the fourth longest indoor run in the world, with only slopes in France, Germany and the Netherlands that are longer. However, its width is greater than those at the European centres, giving the new Chinese facility ultimate bragging rights with a world record 72,600 square metres of indoor snow.
The park also features a 380m long black run that is 40m wide with a 25° degree pitch. A second shorter black run descends into the main park, where a large snow play area will be developed. Other runs include two 40m long easy slopes in a separate area.
“What we saw was impressive,” said FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis. “The size and scope of the facility that will enable both newcomers right through to advanced skiers and snowboarders is unique. This project is a clear indication, that skiing and snowsports in China are poised to take off in the upcoming years.”
Located in the northeast of the country, Harbin is one of China’s traditional winter sports destinations, known for its bitter cold winters as temperatures can reach -20° to -30°Celsius. The town is expected to welcome 20 million visitors each year.