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NEWS: Massive "Ski Resort" planned for Kissimmee, Florida


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I just spoke with the CEO of this project and this is what he had to say:

 

"The slope is a SnowFlex product outdoors. You’ll be able to put on your bathing suit and ski down 500’ on our new mountain then jump right into the surf pool to catch a wave."

Edited by robbalvey
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Hahha that's cool! The snowflex is just a surface to simulate the feel of skiing. I like this idea. Very low maintenance and easy to glide on.

The weather won't be a problem as talked about above. This snow flex operates through anything and it's much more reliable than using a man made system for an indoor resort. Very cool concept.

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^But the weather will absolutely be a problem in Orlando! I've just spend about 30 minutes on the Snowflex site and the site of the Virginia location that uses snow flex. It can't operate in heavy downpours, it will get worn more, and you're required to wear long sleeves or short sleeves with elbow pads! That's very hot when it's 90 degrees and 90% humidity.

 

Look, I love skiing, and I love the idea of getting some sort of fake skiing here in Orlando but I don't feel like outdoors is the way to go.

Edited by SharkTums
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The roof of this massive building is going to be the ski slope. My enthusiasm for this just went down a notch. So do you get to jump in the water with your gear on? That would be kind of cool if they had a jump at the end.

 

I can understand making snow inside could be cost prohibited. The synthetic surface would be way more cost affective. I think this thing needs to be marketed more to the other attractions and not as much of the ski slope.

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^But the weather will absolutely be a problem in Orlando! I've just spend about 30 minutes on the Snowflex site and the site of the Virginia location that uses snow flex. It can't operate in heavy downpours, it will get worn more, and you're required to wear long sleeves or short sleeves with elbow pads! That's very hot when it's 90 degrees and 90% humidity.

 

Look, I love skiing, and I love the idea of getting some sort of fake skiing here in Orlando but I don't feel like outdoors is the way to go.

 

I tend to side with you on this but absolutely see it successfully implemented in places like Pigeon Forge or the Branson area as part of a larger resort. Could absolutely see Ober Gatlinburg converting to this.

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I thought this was indoors as the concept art looks like a building, but it's outdoors? Makes no sense, unless its a building with indoor skiing with an outdoor slope on the roof for Snow Flex skiing. Still don't get how Snow Flex would work - I guess I'd have to see it to believe it? How is that slope going to work during those rain storms? That video didn't explain anything - it just showed people doing snowboarding tricks with dubstep music and no way did it look like it was over 100°F in that video. I think an indoor ski area would be better for Florida like they have in Dubai, as it can be open in all weather conditions and be a great way to escape the heat. I don't think this project will happen, I'll believe it when it opens.

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I thought this was indoors as the concept art looks like a building, but it's outdoors? Makes no sense, unless its a building with indoor skiing with an outdoor slope on the roof for Snow Flex skiing. Still don't get how Snow Flex would work - I guess I'd have to see it to believe it? How is that slope going to work during those rain storms? That video didn't explain anything - it just showed people doing snowboarding tricks with dubstep music and no way did it look like it was over 100°F in that video. I think an indoor ski area would be better for Florida like they have in Dubai, as it can be open in all weather conditions and be a great way to escape the heat. I don't think this project will happen, I'll believe it when it opens.

 

I've seen the Virginia facility open in July before with my own eyes. It's year around. Seeing it in person got my attention and why I figured this was the same. Like I said, there were several of these about to be built before the crash like that one I posted from the Dallas area. Plenty of heat there. It's not new, it's decade old tech. I suppose the Turkey installation will be watched closely as it gets a bit warm there in the Summer.

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I thought this was indoors as the concept art looks like a building, but it's outdoors? Makes no sense, unless its a building with indoor skiing with an outdoor slope on the roof for Snow Flex skiing. Still don't get how Snow Flex would work - I guess I'd have to see it to believe it? How is that slope going to work during those rain storms? That video didn't explain anything - it just showed people doing snowboarding tricks with dubstep music and no way did it look like it was over 100°F in that video. I think an indoor ski area would be better for Florida like they have in Dubai, as it can be open in all weather conditions and be a great way to escape the heat. I don't think this project will happen, I'll believe it when it opens.

I had many concerns for the snowflex concept as well (and personally didn't like the editing in that video at all). I YouTubed a few videos that I think explains it more. This one is the better so far:

And a close up from one in the UK:

Of course, I would also advise YouTubing "Snowflex" as there's plenty more where that came from.

 

The slope works with light sprinkles with water and has a sort of mesh surface to allow your ski/board to grip on turns and stopping. According to the first video, theres 2 inches of shock padding under the surface to cushion falling. It looks like an okay system, only that it looks like there's more friction against whatever you're riding, that is, until you get to a certain speed.

 

I'd love to try it someday, but I'm with Elissa on being worried on this not working well in Florida due to the humidity and random inclement weather patterns. How many high-energy activities go on in Florida or just Orlando, apart from maybe wake boarding or skydiving (or theme park trekking, for some)? This is especially worrisome if riders may be required to wear long-sleeve clothing. Maybe it'll work especially good in the exact same seasons as most other actual ski resorts, when the weather gets less humid/less hot during fall, winter, and spring seasons? (I don't know how long the humidity lasts since I only visit Florida on occasion.)

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I don't know how long the humidity lasts since I only visit Florida on occasion.

 

There is no humidity "season" in FL. It's always humid, just bearable at times (like this week when it gets "cold"). I don't see this happening outside, as there are way too many safety concerns for the GP. Locals aren't going to use this, as I assume that as the surface isn't snow, it can ruin people's skis. I'll chalk it up as another dream project.

 

But as for the pipe dream that this turns into an indoor ski resort like in Dubai, I'm in!

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I don't know how long the humidity lasts since I only visit Florida on occasion.

 

There is no humidity "season" in FL. It's always humid, just bearable at times (like this week when it gets "cold"). I don't see this happening outside, as there are way too many safety concerns for the GP. Locals aren't going to use this, as I assume that as the surface isn't snow, it can ruin people's skis. I'll chalk it up as another dream project.

 

But as for the pipe dream that this turns into an indoor ski resort like in Dubai, I'm in!

 

Interestingly enough, there's a recent proposal for an indoor ski slope in the Dallas area in Grand Prairie. The hotel attached to it, wait for it.........................................................................Hard Rock.

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I think with it just being a fake snow surface, the appeal will die out quickly except for diehards. I think an indoor ski slope with real snowmaking capabilities (like Dubai) would have been a huge hit, but probably cost prohibitive.

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  • 8 months later...

Not surprised.

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-xero-gravity-changing-locations-20151029-story.html?utm_content=buffere309e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

A nearly $300 million action-sports resort with a 140-foot ski mountain covered in fake snow is on hold and might not be built in Osceola County after all.

 

Officials with Xero Gravity Action Sports LLC said in February they planned to build the Xero Gravity Action Sports & Entertainment Resort in Osceola off U.S. Highway 192 near State Road 535.

 

The development hinged on a deal to buy 75 acres of land owned by Central Florida Investments Inc., parent company of Orlando-based Westgate Resorts. Larry Walshaw, chief executive officer and founder of Xero Gravity made a $50,000 deposit on the land, but the sale didn't happen.

 

"It just wasn't the ideal location," said Walshaw, adding there were too many wetlands at the site. "We were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, so to speak."

 

Westgate Resort officials confirmed the sale fell through.

 

The resort, scheduled to open in 2018, could have brought as many as 1,000 new jobs to the region. Initial estimates projected the resort would cost $309 million to develop, but Walshaw updated that price tag to between $250 and $275 million.

 

The group is now eyeing other possible sites in and out of the region. While sites in Orange and Volusia counties, specifically in Daytona Beach, are being considered, Osceola County hasn't been completely ruled out, Walshaw said.

 

Land at Osceola Parkway and State Road 535 is being evaluated, which would put the resort across from a Walmart Supercenter and a Wawa convenience store.

 

Walshaw only said land somewhere off John Young Parkway is also an option. That parcel is owned by Tavistok Group, the investment firm that owns the Lake Nona community near the Orlando International Airport.

 

The final option would take the project to Volusia County, Walshaw said. In that case, the project would be scaled back because the land available there is smaller than those parcels in Orange and Osceola counties.

 

If built in Orange or Osceola, the resort would include a 250-room Hyatt Place hotel, the 140-foot ski mountain, a 14-story "double extreme" waterslide and a 30,000 square foot indoor/outdoor skateboard park.

 

Other amenities include a rocking climbing tower, a dodge ball arena and a 3,500 square foot spa, according to the resort's website.

 

The Volusia County project would cost significantly less at between $50 and $100 million, Walshaw said, adding it had not been determined what features would be cut from the project if it were built there.

 

Even if the park lands closer to the coast, Walshaw said it would still draw large crowds from the Orlando market.

 

"Our preferred location is the Orlando/Osceola market," he said. "However, it's tough to discount Daytona because that still is a good market for us."

 

Walshaw hopes to have secured land for the project in the next three or four months. He said he will know sooner than that if the Volusia land sale will happen.

 

In addition to searching for land, Walshaw is considering ways to pay for the project, including an option to open it up to Orlando investors, something he's never done before. Instead, he's been focusing on investors in Brazil, Japan and China, individuals and companies that might offer larger financial backings.

 

DT Minich, chief executive officer of Experience Kissimmee, Osceola County's tourism arm, said he's not necessarily worried about losing the Xero Gravity project.

 

"I'm not considering this a loss because it was never on our radar," Minich said.

 

Minich said he spoke to Walshaw a few times earlier this year, but there were a lot of moving pieces with the project and funding had not yet been secured yet.

 

It's not uncommon for plans to be announced but ultimately not developed, Minich said.

 

"He's a dreamer," he said. "We have those come in and out all the time."

 

cdineen@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5414

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Not surprised.

 

A nearly $300 million action-sports resort with a 140-foot ski mountain covered in fake snow is on hold and might not be built in Osceola County after all.

 

I would say I'm shocked... but...

 

Oh... that's right....

 

I'm not.

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