Ski Asheville? The name is officially "Canton Wintersports Center at Westmoreland Resorts", but the result of this project, according to one of the project’s top reps, Rich Sutherland, will be the ability to enjoy a ski vacation getaway in June, July or any other day of the year. We began communications with Sutherland, owner Steve Westmoreland and engineers involved in the project planning about eight months ago and we developed a website for them (http://www.uski365.com) that details some of the plans.
Just last week we emailed a press release for them that went out to more than 37,000 ski enthusiasts on our "skiMail list" and according to Sutherland, "Just to let you guys know, we received over 250 emails in just the first few hours after the blast, along with several requests from news stations asking for information." Due to that overwhelming response, Rich fired us the scoop on their latest press release.
CANTON, NORTH CAROLINA – September 6th, 2007
We’ve all heard of snow skiing in the desert of Dubai or during the summer in Germany, Japan, or the Netherlands. Well now, it’s coming to North Carolina. Westmoreland Resorts is putting the final touches on plans to begin construction of the world’s largest indoor ski resort in Canton, North Carolina, close to the Great Smoky Mountains.
While Westmoreland Resorts is not vying for the title of largest in the world, it is currently the largest known snow dome planned to be built anytime soon. It is designed to be a full-blown indoor winter sports resort with 5 slopes ranging between 750 feet up to 3,600 feet on actual mountain slopes with just over 80 acres under roof. Skills range from a beginner slope to an extreme slope with a 900 feet total drop over the 3100 feet total run. With a total of 6 inside triple lifts that can move up to 16,000 people per hour, there won’t be long wait lines.
”It’ll be a massive indoor ski resort that will have alpine runs for skiers and a double diamond run for adrenaline junkies. For snowboarders, we’ll have a half-pipe, a super pipe, and a mogul run. It’s all about an awesome skiing experience, any time of the year,” Westmoreland said.
The first phase will feature restaurants, a country club, and a hotel with conference center. The pre-sales of ski-in ski-out condominiums (70% of them with walkout to the slopes) will start around the end of September 2007. A total of only 2600 condos will be built on the property. Phase One, Partition I, which is the western part of the property with winter sports operations is estimated to cost $700,000,000 and will open for operations in two years from beginning of construction.
The second and third phases of the Resort will boast an executive 9-hole golf course, seven hotels, 60 restaurants and over 1,200,000 square feet of retail shops. Also added will be unique tourism attractions along a waterway system including a lake, and a proposed winter sports stadium with special snowboarding and skiing features, ice climbing (with a drop-down distance of 480 feet – the tallest artificial wall in the world), and cross country skiing through a submarine tunnel connecting all tourism attractions onsite.
The Resort can handle up to an estimated 25,000 people per weekend day assuming 3 hours of solid skiing each and is reachable by 30 million people within 6 hours driving.
“The land has been owned in my family for over 70 years and I have been looking for the right project to put here. I really wanted something that would provide an exceptionally memorable experience for those who visit. It’s a beautiful property, with beautiful mountain views,” said Westmoreland
Westmoreland and his team have been working aggressively on the project for over two years. The first few years’ revenue streams are complex due to initial real estate sales and varied operations. However, Westmoreland also said when fully developed, he is predicting about $100 million in revenue each year and the project will generate in excess of 6,000 jobs.
He has had preliminary meetings with county authorities, and they will formally examine the project once all official submissions are made.
Soon after the email blast, news stations began reporting on the plans and within hours we began to field questions of whether we knew anything about the project. As you can see, the answer to that question is "yes" and if these developers get their wish granted, it will provide thousands of ski and snowboarding enthusiasts around the Southeast with 365 days of skiing and riding per year. Stay tuned as we’ll update you as we learn more!