As human-induced climate change continues to warm the planet, ski season will likely become shorter and shorter, with decreased snowfall and increased rainfall. Warming may cause Spring-like temperatures during Winter for resorts around the world and may cause coastal regions, such as California and the Pacific Northwest, to lose their season forever.
Is Alpine-X the future alternative to days like this? Credit: New York Times
One Virginia company hopes to keep the love of skiing alive despite the looming climate catastrophe. By bringing year-round indoor skiing to locations all across the country, Alpine-X aims to create affordable, accessible skiing for millions of skiers – despite the warming climate that threatens traditional snowsports.
Related: Bode Miller and Former Squaw Valley Chief Andy Wirth Join Forces to Make Year-Round Snowsports Available to Everyone
Alpine-X was founded in 2016 with a clear goal in mind: “to develop family-centric active lifestyle communities and experience-based sports entertainment venues throughout the United States.” Since then, they’ve planned over 20 destinations to fulfill this mission.
“Our inclusive approach to expanding access to all demographic groups creates a community atmosphere well beyond those with access to traditional snowsports”
– John Emery, Alpine-X CEO
By late 2024 or early 2025, the company aims to open its first location: Fairfax Peak in Fairfax County, just outside of Washington DC. Fairfax Peak will feature several ski slopes at an approximately 20-degree angle. The only current indoor ski area, Big Snow American Dream in New Jersey, features a maximum pitch of only 15 degrees. Fairfax Peak will also feature a slope compliant with Fédération Internationale de Ski standards meaning, it can be used for competitions. The resort will also have terrain park features like jumps, boxes, and rails.
A computer-generated image of the Fairfax Peak location. Credit: Alpine-X
After Fairfax Peak, Alpine-X will open 20+ resorts in additional city markets. At every resort, the indoor ski slopes will be the main attraction, but the resort complex will also include a mountain coaster, zip lines, restaurants, and a hotel.
One benefit of being able to remain open year-round is lower ticket costs to ski at Alpine-X resorts. Since the ALpine-X resorts can spread their expenses throughout the entire year and 16-18 hours a day, the ticket prices will be far lower than the average US lift ticket price of $94.
Alpine-X is considered the “TopGolf of snowsports,” hoping to provide a snowsports experience at the perfect intersection of accessibility, affordability, and fun for all. Alpine-X hopes that they see a similar impact on snowsports as TopGolf had on golf participation.
Ultimately, Alpine-X hopes to increase snowsport participation through convenience, low cost, and activities for all – even those who don’t ski. With global warming threatening traditional snowsports, Alpine-X’s indoor ski resorts may be the sport’s primary future.