Indoor ski slope coming to Fairfax County

photoAlpine-X photo

The Workhouse Arts Center at the site of the old D.C. prison in Lorton will soon be displaying more than art. One of the largest indoor ski slopes in North America will be built adjacent to the Workhouse Center in a complex to be known as Fairfax Peak. Developers say the approximately 500,000-square-foot facility will include a 1,500-foot ski slope, sky bar, 100-room hotel and multiple restaurants and bars.

SnowWorld International B.V., a Netherlands company, and McLean-based Alpine-X LLC have submitted a bid to build the indoor slope on a 489-acre county-owned landfill adjacent to the Workhouse Center. The facility would be developed through a public-private partnership agreement, with funding come from private sources.

“The fiscal, sports and community benefits of this opportunity are numerous, including new jobs, exciting new snow sports opportunities, the potential for high school ski teams, new hotel and restaurant amenities for the South County area, premier national competitions and financial benefits to our taxpayers from the lease, sales tax, and hotel tax revenue streams. I am extremely excited to partner with Alpine-X to develop a unique downhill snow sports destination right here in Fairfax County,” said Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity (R).

“When Alpine-X approached me nearly two years ago through my work with the Sports Tourism Task Force with an innovative way to utilize the elevation of the county-owned landfill in Lorton, I was eager to help,” Herrity said.

Called Fairfax Peak, the proposed snow sports complex may include:

    • Multiple ski slopes at approximately a 20-degree angle, including a slope compliant with the Fédération Internationale de Ski’s standards ensuring it can be used for competitions.
    • A specially designed area for skiing and snowboarding with a variety of ramps, jumps, rails, boxes and other features, capable for use in national snowboarding and freestyle skiing competitions.
    • A bunny slope for beginners, snow tubing run and area for skiers and snowboarders to perform tricks.
    • Restaurants, ski shop and sky bar and terrace at the summit.
    • A 100-plus room luxury hotel at the base of the indoor snow facility.
    • A gravity-powered, mountain coaster that will slide from the summit to Occoquan Regional Park.
    • A gondala to ferry riders from Occoquan Regional Park and the facility’s base to the summit.

The proposal also envisions other amenities that could be added in the future, including a water park, a “gravity ropes course” and passive recreation areas. SnowWorld has signed a confidential agreement with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to possibly operate or own some of these facilities.

Competing proposals can be submitted until September 12, 2019. A development agreement would be finalized in 2020. The project will enter the zoning and permitting process at that time. Construction is anticipated to take 36 to 48 months.

SnowWorld owns two indoor ski resorts in Europe. It has said it wants to build 10 facilities in the United States.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.