I have mixed views on snow centres - both environmentally and on the indoor / outdoor topic.
As a place to practise, enjoying learning a new sport or simply having the chance to try skiing and boarding without the cost of holiday, snow centres are a good idea - and far-removed from the traditional dry slope days of pulled thumbs, bruises and scratches. And if we can encourage kids to enjoy some activities, albeit indoors, then that’s got to be a positive move.
In leisure terms I guess it is meant to be comparable with pursuing indoor activities such as gyms, pools, bowling, climbing walls etc - and as a year-round opportunity and a lot of fun.
But this incredible building boom is getting ridiculous. Oodles amount of money spent on constructing larger and more elaborate centres is, quite frankly, madness. "Alpine Resorts" under cover? in the desert? - it has gone far beyond the Centre Parks idea of unobtrusive family holiday centres. Snow centres now seem to require chairlifts, hotels, full retail and dining areas, toboggan runs etc. No longer a bit of fun in a spare hour or two - this is a full-on holiday experience, without having to step outside!
There is a wonderful, real world outside, to be appreciated, savoured and explored. Plenty of real Alpine villages to visit year-round and the UK countryside has so much more going for it than most people realise. And if you can’t get wet, muddy and cold now and again, then "nanny state" is perhaps a sad recognition of what the future holds for some.
It would be great to have more views on John’s question. Anyone? I’m off to enjoy the great outdoors while everyone is indoors!