Approval for Australia’s first indoor ski resort

Construction of Australia’s first indoor snow resort has been given the green light from the NSW Government, with the $400 million project gaining development application approval.

The proposal for the Winter Sports World resort at Penrith, in Sydney’s west, was granted State Significant Development Application (SSDA) approval by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment on 11 January, 2024.

The planning proposal was first lodged in June 2018 by developer Peter Magnisalis.

“It’s a huge relief,” he says. “For the first time in eight years, Winter Sports World is no longer a pie-in-the-sky dream but a real project and on course to bring the snowfields to Sydney.

“It has taken an enormous amount of work by a lot of talented and experienced people to get the project to this point.”

Plans for the resort include a 300-metre advanced open ski run for experienced skiers and snowboarders; learn-to-ski runs; a dedicated winter wonderland snow play area; a competition venue for snow sports such as alpine skiing; ice climbing and crevasse outdoor rock climbing; a 4.5-star 170-room hotel; conference and function rooms; and a restaurant and cafes with snow views.

The next step in the complex project is a phase of detailed design and engineering development to prepare for construction, which will involve suppliers from around the world covering the building of the facility, snowmaking and lift specialists, restaurant and hotel operators, and artists and designers.

“This project will be a global enterprise,” says Magnisalis.

“Our goal is for Winter Sports World to have the best quality snow in the world for an indoor snow resort.

“We need to take time in this crucial preparation stage to ensure we get the project right before it can start to rise above the ground.”

Winter Sports World will have an alpine exterior with “ice shard” details, night lights and subtle textural surfaces to evoke a blizzard appearance and melting ice.

Winter Sports World is designed to produce net-zero emissions and is expected to generate around 1350 ongoing tourism jobs once operating.

It is projected to attract more than one million visitors annually and contribute more than $220 million to the local economy each year.

The site will also provide a training venue for Olympic sports such as alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding.

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