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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Rethink over Snowdonia ski dome
Model of Ski-Trac's revolving ski-slope
The dome was to house a year-round revolving skiing facility
The company behind ambitious plans to create a world-class indoor skiing attraction in Snowdonia are rethinking their initial design for the development.

Local developers, Snowdonia Gateway, announced plans to build a huge dome-like structure over an area the size of 10 football pitches at the disused quarry site at Glyn Rhonwy in Llanberis last year.

It was to include an artificial snow-making system, bobsleighing, ice-skating and tobogganing facilities as well as a revolving ski deck.

The company are still pressing ahead with the development but say they will now not be basing it on the revolving slope patented by Australian company, Ski Trac International.

Gwyn Pritchard, Director of Snowdonia Gateway, said they aimed to make the development less obtrusive.

"Our initial proposal centred on a ski experience," she explained.

"Whilst this is still an integral and major part of the concept, we have listened to local people and now incorporated many more leisure activity pursuits but with a much more sensitive approach to the natural beauty of the location."

The consortium of six local businesses behind the project first based their project on the design developed by Ski-Trac's chief executive Kevin Ferris who visited Wales last year.

Llanberis
The company hope to bring a much needed boost to Llanberis

The 150m investment was launched in a press conference chaired by Dafydd Wigley, the then AM for Caernarfon, in Llanberis in February 2002.

Mr Wigley said at the time it would be "of immense value to the tourism sector in north west Wales" and would need funding from the Assembly Government.

Korea

It was said that Ski-Trac were already developing their idea in both Sydney and in Korea and that a possible site in Sheffield was also under consideration.

Snowdonia Gateway say they are forging ahead with the Llanberis development without Ski-Trac's involvement for the time being.

Their spokeswoman, Delyth Lloyd of Sbarc PR company, said: "Gateway wanted to push ahead with the scheme so Ski-Trac are not involved at this point.

"However, the company might yet use the revolving ski-slope idea in the future," she added.

Traffic

The company says their objective for the site to become a major tourist attraction which would provide 700 year-round jobs for local people remains the same.

Concern among some local people about the size of the project and the town's ability to cope with the increased traffic has also contributed to the company's rethink, said Ms Lloyd.

Ian Williams of project managers, Corderoy Limited, said "The task we face is to coordinate the environmental, geological and traffic management aspects of a major project that will bring huge economic benefits to Wales."

The initial outline planning application for the development has been presented to Gwynedd council and the full application will be submitted when all the environmental studies are complete later this year.


SEE ALSO:
Ski dome plan for Snowdonia
21 Feb 02  |  Wales


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