University in Virginia opens year-round ski slopes

It’s always been that, at their most basic, skiing and snowboarding require two things – some sort of skis or a board and of course, snow. And snow usually requires precipitation and a sufficiently cold temperature(this concludes today’s lesson in meteorological science). But as of August 29th, snow – and the weather conditions required to create it – will become unnecessary for American skiers.

That’s the date when the Liberty Mountain SnowFlex Center opens. And it’ll stay open, all year round. How? The complex, on the grounds of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, will be home to a ski slope that utilizes a synthetic material called SnowFlex. SnowFlex aims to be the closest replication of snow. It’s already in use at several European locations and has been used at Olympic training facilities, but this will be the first public ski area in the US to use it.

The Liberty Mountain Center will feature a beginner slope, freestyle rails, and a quarter pipe. Prices are pretty reasonable – actually when compared with the cost of most mountains, they’re downright cheap. Thursday through Sunday rates are $7 an hour. Monday through Wednesday the rate goes down to just $5 an hour.

For die-hard skiers and snowboarders, I doubt this faux snow could ever replace the real thing, but for those looking to get in some more practice time, it’s one cheap way to spend summer on the slopes.