From landfill to ski slope: Virginia may be home to one of the world’s largest indoor ski areas

Rendered images: Courtesy of Fairfax County

On Wednesday, May 29, Virginia’s Fairfax County announced possible plans to build one of the world’s largest indoor skiing facilities on the I-95 Landfill Complex, which provides environmentally-conscious recycling and disposal services for all of Fairfax County. Seeing opportunity with the slope of the landfill located near Lorton, Virginia, Alpine X–a recreational development company based out of McLean, Virginia–started developing its proposal back in 2016.

“When Alpine-X approached me nearly two years ago through my work with the Sports Tourism Task Force with an innovative way to utilize the elevation of the county-owned landfill in Lorton, I was eager to help,” said Pat Herrity, Springfield district supervisor, in a recent press release from Fairfax County.

The Alpine X proposal includes plans for multiple ski slopes, one of which would be North America’s longest indoor slope at 1,700 feet, as well as at least one slope compliant with the Fédération Internationale de Ski’s standards in order to host formal competitions. A terrain park with various jumps, rails and features as well as a bunny hill for beginners will also be included in the construction of the 450,000-square-foot complex. On top of the skiing, the Fairfax Peak complex would also include restaurants, a ski shop, a 100-plus-room luxury hotel, a gondola and even a gravity-powered mountain coaster.

For a state with minimal access to skiing and other snow-related activities, this facility could completely change the game for the Fairfax community and Virginia as a whole.

“The fiscal, sports and community benefits of this opportunity are numerous, including new jobs, exciting new snow sports opportunities, the potential for high school ski teams, new hotel and restaurant amenities for the South County area, premier national competitions and financial benefits to our taxpayers from the lease, sales tax and hotel tax revenue streams,” said Herrity in that same press release. “I am extremely excited to partner with Alpine-X to develop a unique downhill snow sports destination right here in Fairfax County.”

Before plans become official for Alpine X to break ground, the county will have to go through its formal procurement process, which includes opening it up to competing bids, community input via public hearings and the Board of Supervisors’ approval. Once approved, Alpine X foresees the project’s first phase being complete within 36-48 months.

For more information on the Fairfax Peak proposal, click here.

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