Considering the slope and scope of a Fairfax County skiing destination for moguls and the rest of us
Make all the jokes you want. You know, slippery slopes, it’s all downhill from here, not a snowball’s chance.
But in a poll (not a ski pole) at the base (not a base lodge) of Katishi Maake’s recent article in the Washington Business Journal, 79 percent of 809 respondents said they would give indoor skiing a try — at least once.
Artist’s rendition of what the SnowWorld facility in Lorton would resemble. (Image, SnowWorld via Fairfax News)
That level of interest has Fairfax County and SnowWorld International enthusiastic about the prospects of bringing a unique indoor ski slope and sports recreation center to the hills of Lorton.
Actually, the proposed site is the 489-acre county landfill and the facility would be built through a public-private partnership between the county, Netherlands-based SnowWorld International and McLean-based Alpine-X.
SnowWorld owns two indoor ski resorts in the Netherlands and has designs on building as many as 20 similar facilities in North America in the next decade through its partnership with Alpine-X. The Lorton site, as proposed to a subcommittee of the Fairfax County Sports Tourism Task Force, could be the first.
|Indoor skiing at SnowWorld’s Landgraaf facility in the Netherlands. (Photo, alamy.com)|
“The fiscal, sports and community benefits of this opportunity are numerous, including new jobs, exciting new sports opportunities, the potential for high school ski teams, new hotel and restaurant amenities for the South County area, premier national competitions and financial benefits to our tax payers from the lease, sales tax, and hotel tax revenue streams,” wrote Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield District), who has led an effort to promote sports tourism here.
Maake reports that the county will consider competing offers for the site through Sept. 12. Here’s what the proposed project — currently known as Fairfax Peak — could include:
Riding the rails at SnowWorld, Landgraaf. (Photo, Booking.com)
- A 450,000-square-foot facility with multiple slopes (including one up to 1,700 feet long) for skiing and snowboarding, snow tubing runs and a beginners’ slope.
- A gondola between the base and peak of the snow sports facility and Occoquan Regional Park, a mountain zipline and a mountain coaster amusement ride with bobsled-styled cars on tracks from the summit of the landfill to NOVA Parks-managed land.
- A hotel with more than 100 rooms and easy access to the main base area of the ski facility.
- Multiple restaurants, bars, shops, event space and equipment rental facilities.
It’s a story that cannot be buried under an avalanche of one-liners.
Sun shines on our region: The national SolSmart program, which promotes solar energy development, awarded the Northern Virginia Regional Commission a “Gold” designation Fairfax County a “Silver” designation for projects to make it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.
|Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill (right) accepts the SolSmart Silver Award. (Photo, Fairfax County)|
“Fairfax County and its 1.1 million residents should be pleased that we have received a SolSmart Silver Award,” said Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill. “We continue to align government operations through our countywide strategic planning process, and this recognition affirms that we are moving in the right direction, prioritizing the environment, green economic opportunities and a level playing field for residents as we strive for an efficient government.”
More awards and special recognitions:
- Fairfax County’s Department of Vehicle Services ranks 11th on a top-20 list of vehicle fleets in North America based on Government Fleet’s analysis. Judging is based on efficiency, effectiveness and modernity of fleet operations (covering 20 criteria); leadership with staff, with customers, and within the community; ability to stay efficient and competitive; ability to overcome challenges; having a vision and direction for the operation. At last count, Fairfax County DVS serviced and maintained 6,347 vehicles, including 1,540 school buses and vehicles for police, fire and public works.
- SOS International of Reston received the International Stability Operations Association’s Vanguard Award for efforts to demonstrate transparency, accountability and ethics. ExecutiveBiz carried the news.
- The Federal Aviation Administration presented Northrop Grumman of the Falls Church area with the Diamond Award of Excellence, recognizing the company’s FAA-certified repair station for a ninth consecutive year. ExecutiveBiz took note.
- Northwest Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Herndon, was recently recognized with Mastercard’s “Doing Well By Doing Good” award for philanthropic work in the community. Yahoo! picked up this piece of good news.