Winter travel is an incredibly expensive sport. Yes, we just called travel a sport. Catching the first days of fresh powder, or the last days of the season is a balancing act of epic proportions, and like all great victories, there’s often a little luck involved. One week too late, and you might miss all the snow in Zermatt. China will soon offer a far more dependable winter getaway option, with three indoor ski slopes, one of which will offer Olympic competition standards. Oh, and since snow and ice work together like red wine and red meat, there will be an ice hotel too…
It may be a couple years off, but ground has been broken on Shanghai’s newest star attraction, and naturally it will be called Wintastar. The gigantic indoor sports complex will offer three top class slopes, a water park, multiple snow attractions and just a casual four themed hotels. Indoor ski slopes and parks can be found all over the world, so there’s nothing inherently new or novel in the concept, but the scale of Wintastar is an entirely different story.
Shanghai’s Wintastar in perspective, is a giant like none other. Well, technically Boeing’s Everett factory is larger, but there’s not much skiing done there. Just one of Wintastar’s three slopes is over 3km, whereas most indoor slopes around the world hardly ever topple 200m. That’s more kilometers than most others offer meters. Even Dubai’s impressive “Ski Dubai” indoor ski park, often referred to as the “next best thing”, only offers 1.2km slopes. With guaranteed “perfect” conditions almost 365 days a year, Shanghai may yet become the “it” destination for winter travel.
If the traveling public has proven one thing, it’s an extreme appetite for quirky themed hotels. The famed Ice Hotel in Sweden, and the many replicas which now exist all over the world are wildly popular amongst all tourist groups. In response to the themed hotel concept, we’re seeing breweries open beer hotels (with beer taps in every room), Disney opening immersive Star Wars hotels, Marvel opening a similar Iron Man concept, and now Shanghai will feature an ice hotel, even when the 90°F humid summer sets in.
No opening date has been set for Wintastar, but with construction underway, expect this to be built quickly. China is always impressive in areas of construction and manufacturing and with the winter Olympics just four years away, it seems only right to get the new Olympic training slope up and running well before. You’ll be the first to know.
Will you be visiting Wintastar in Shanghai?