On the piste in Surfers

‘Snow park’ opens for busi­ness

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW POTTS an­drew.potts@news.com.au

GET ready to hit the slopes and ski just me­ters from the Gold Coast’s most fa­mous beach with­out a snow­ball to be seen.

Af­ter a year of plan­ning the Gold Coast Snow Park has opened its doors in cen­tral Surfers Par­adise, giv­ing any­one from vet­eran skiers to novices the ex­pe­ri­ence of carv­ing up the slopes while wear­ing board shorts.

The mini park, which fea­tures five down­hill runs, is hoped to be just a taste of the fu­ture, with own­ers hop­ing it will be so suc­cess­ful a larger snow park will be built in the Gold Coast Hin­ter­land.

Snow Park Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager Matt McCul­loch said it of­fered a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence to other Coast tourism in­fra­struc­ture.

“Aus­tralia is the land of the sun and beaches yet we love the snow,” he said.

“I wanted to give peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy ski­ing with­out the time and ex­pense needed to go over­seas.

“There is nowhere bet­ter than the Gold Coast to do it, it was the best place.

“The best part is you can go for a ski while in 25-40 de­gree tem­per­a­tures and then go for a surf straight af­ter.”

The park has trans­formed an empty block on Ferny Ave and also fea­tures a cafe and gokart track. The ski jumps and track are made of Ne­vap­last, a syn­thetic plas­tic which repli­cates the feel and move­ment of snow.

Mr McCul­loch said he hoped to ex­pand the park if its Glit­ter Strip home proved pop­u­lar.

“This theme park is a pre­cur­sor to the other big one we are hop­ing to do,” he said. THERE is a mo­ment when you’re soar­ing in mid air and feel the pull of grav­ity pull you back to Earth.

That mo­ment came for me a split sec­ond af­ter fly­ing off the big ski-jump at Gold Coast Snow Park as I felt my eyes go wide and the drop to­ward a gi­ant in­flated cush­ion be­gin.

It’s said that when you’re learn­ing to fly that com­ing down is the hard­est thing and in the mo­ment I saw the cush­ion hurl­ing to­ward me, I re­alised how true that was.

Sit­ting on the lip of the jump in an in­flat­able dough­nut with the mo­ment of truth im­mi­nent, all you can do is take the fall and scream.

The noise was snow joke.

“Build­ing that straight away would have been hard and it is the sort of thing which needs a lot of sup­port from the com­mu­nity.

“What we are do­ing here in Surfers gives you an idea of what we are do­ing and get the num­bers through the door.”

An­drew Potts feels the pull of grav­ity.

Pic­tures: JERAD WILLIAMS

Matt McCul­loch takes flight from the ski jump at the new snow park in Surfers Par­adise.

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