photo contributed by Katrina Amos
Plans for a local indoor year-round ski resort have been led by company Alpine-X since Sept. 10. The ski facility, Fairfax Peak, is located on redeveloped land by the I-95 Lorton landfill. The resort will include other amenities such as shops, hotels and restaurants.
Alpine-X aims to create a family-centered lifestyle based on being active. The Fairfax Peak proposal also includes plans to build a waterpark and a tubing area. Alpine partner John Emery says that the resort will preserve the fun of winter sports on a year-round basis and provide a short-distance family vacation.
“It definitely is a hassle [to travel out of state] because traveling with my board and all my gear is just really bulky,” senior Katrina Amos said. “It makes it really hard to fit in a car or put it in a plane.”
Now that the plan has been approved, it will take 48 months to start building after the coronavirus pandemic ends. After Alpine X breaks ground, the first phase will be completed in three to four years from now.
“I personally don’t ski in Virginia, but I’ve heard of some people who go to [resorts like] Wintergreen or Massanutten,” Amos said. “I’m not sure if they are all great though because of how much snow Virginia gets.”
Virginia receives about 52 inches state-wide per year, while ski-friendly Colorado gets about 120 inches.
“When we want better snow conditions and slope options, [my family and I] go to Colorado ski resorts like Vail or Crested Butte,” Amos said. “If my family wants to ski locally then we go to Wisp, Seven Springs or Liberty.”
While accessibility plays a huge role for some in deciding which ski resort to go to, traveling to a ski resort out of state provides new experiences.
“I would want to travel out of state once in a while,” junior Uttara Das said. “If [skiing] was something I did very often, I would want it to be in-state.”
Fairfax Peak offers avid skiers an indoor range close to home so that skiers don’t have to travel far. The nearest indoor ski range is the Big Snow American Dream, located in New Jersey.
“I’ve never been in an indoor ski resort,” Amos said. “I’m super intrigued and might have to check it out.”
The ski area will have several runs, including a bunny hill for beginners. The ski slopes will be tilted at around 20 degrees, so it won’t be too difficult to maintain the ski’s contact with snow, according to the project proposal.
Besides strengthening Fairfax County as a recreational area, Fairfax Peak will allow local schools to add ski teams. They also plan on opening its ski ranges to law enforcement and the military for cold-weather and snow training.
“My favorite thing about skiing is the adrenaline rush. If you’re early enough in the morning, the snow is fresh and nobody is out,” Amos said. “The crisp air and freedom just feels amazing.”