The first SnowWorld indoor ski sloped opened in Belgium on 21 December, just outside the city of Antwerp. Belgian billionaire Marc Coucke, who owns 95% of the company, finally brought the winter sports centre to his home country after building up his shares over the past few years.
Opened in 1996 in the Netherlands, SnowWorld has another 7 indoor snow tracks in Europe – 5 in the Netherlands, one in Northern France and one in Germany. According to a recent press release, more locations are being sought after as well as the expansion of existing branches. Coucke’s investment firm, Alychlo, only bought 10% of SnowWorld in 2017, but has built up to a 95% stake today.
SnowWorld Antwerp will gratefully be used as a facility for good preparation (…) for the many top athletes of the city and far beyond.Bart De Wever, Mayor of Antwerp
The 8th European location, opened in Wilrijk, on the outskirts of Antwerp, was inaugurated by Antwerp Mayor, Bart De Wever, who tested the slope himself before declaring SnowWorld Antwerp officially open. “I am happy that there are entrepreneurs who contribute to providing good infrastructure for athletes. Sports connects. That connecting effect during winter sports is very special, also private. It is the family holiday of the year and that is why I always look forward to the spring break with great pleasure. SnowWorld Antwerp will therefore gratefully be used as a facility for good preparation for that holiday and for the many top athletes of the city and far beyond”, the mayor said.
The indoor slope is meant to serve as a training ground for athletes. “Despite its low location, Belgium has many top athletes thanks to the opportunity to train intensively close to home”, Lode Nolf, General Manager of Snow Sports Flanders, said at the opening. “Top level athletes are not born, they are formed. Through hard work, team spirit and perseverance.”
Opened from 9am to 11pm, SnowWorld Antwerp has an indoor slope with real snow, for both beginners and advanced skiers. Passed are available for 1, 2, 4 hours or for an entire day, starting at €27.50 for one hour and at €52.50 for one day. Besides year round access to a slope, the centre is also offering ski or snowboard lessons, available for beginners and experienced winter sports enthusiasts alike, either in a group or privately.
Taking over from the former ski slope “Aspen”, SnowWorld also added a restaurant to the location, called Chalet 55′, where fondue, raclette and stone grill are central in an authentic winter sports atmosphere.