A weekend of snow-themed celebration is in store as a landmark Hemel Hempstead leisure venue marks its fifth birthday next week.
The Snow Centre is setting aside the bank holiday weekend for a slalom of celebration to mark the impact it has had since transforming the town’s long-established dry ski slope into a world class indoor winter sports centre.
The new look centre in St Albans Hill opened its doors for the first time in May 2009.
Now the thriving business has more than 300 people on the payroll, both and off the slopes.
Over the past five years no fewer than 165,000 skiers and boarders have enjoyed group lessons and a further 47,700 have booked private ski and snowboard tuition – including a string of celebrities and some of the top names in winter sports.
The celebration timetable will spread across five days of fun for all levels of skier and snowboarder, from beginner to expert.
There will be activities designed for both children and adults and there will also be après ski fun straight from the slopes.
It will all kick off next Thursday. May 1, when organisers are hoping to break a world record during the day – details of the challenge will be unveiled nearer the time – as well as an evening charity event with Snowbility and the Lord’s Taverners charity.
On Friday snow sports star Jamie Nicholls will open and ride his signature Freestyle feature, and fans will be able to join him for a Freestyle session.
On Saturday and Sunday it’s families to the fore when kids can ski for free and eat for free in the Lodge Bar & Kitchen. Family ski lessons will be available at a reduced price of £99.
Arctic Alley Sledging will also be open – absolutely no ski experience is required to enjoy these thrills – and there will be a Bavarian-themed buffet open to all held in The Lodge Bar on Saturday night with après ski entertainment provided by a live oompah band until midnight.
On bank holiday Monday, there will be the chance to board and ski for free – 15 minute taster lessons will be available for complete beginners, skiers or snowboarders, adults and juniors – and meet Team GB snowboarder Aimee Fuller and alpine skier Ed Drake.
Youngsters under seven won’t be left out – a Burton Riglets set-up for tiny thrillseekers will make the most of the an outside superslide at the venue.
Visitors will be able to sample and test next season’s ski and board equipment before visiting the travel clinic for tips on when and where to go skiing next year
Snow Centre managing director Ian Brown said: “Our year-round facility with guaranteed snow has proved a hit with universities, schools and youth groups as well as with families of skiers and boarders.
“Interest in snowsports rose during the Winter Olympics in Sochi and has inspired many new people to take to the slopes.
“We are thrilled to be able to introduce people to the snow and the slope and to help nurture the next generation of aspiring athletes at the Snow Centre.”
For more information on what’s planned visit www.thesnowcentre.com/5today