One of the funniest South Florida phenomenons is, on those rare days the temperature drops below 35, the sudden appearance of hilariously out-of-date winter wear: puffy coats from 1993 ski trips, scarves that have clearly been shoved in a sock drawer for a decade, North Face gear no one's touched since college, and even (gulp) Uggs. We're instantly so 12 seasons ago.
But it might be time to upgrade: a local consortium is pitching a massive winter-themed indoor complex in Sunrise that would offer ski slopes, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, and even snowmobiling, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Named Pelion Sunrise, the 31-degree 'mountain' would boast ski trails at least 2,700 feet long and come complete with lifts and moguls.
According to the website of Pelion Sunrise's transportation consultant, developers also plan to include "the largest indoor skate park in the U.S., high performance electric go-carts, laser tag, paintball, and more."
"I don't even know if this thing is for real or not," Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu told the Sun Sentinel. "I'm not even paying attention to this until I know it's a viable project."
Hey, at least it doesn't look like it could tip right over! Investor Norman Canter is again behind a chilly "immersive theme park" project after his plans to build the similar "Solar Mountain" complex at Miami's Biscayne Landing site were shelved in 2010. The company has not sought tax money, according to the Sun Sentinel, but may qualify for job creation or economic impact incentives for the property between Sawgrass Mills Mall and the former BankAtlantic Center.
What's it like skiing indoors? HuffPost blogger Patrick McGinnis hit the famous indoor slopes in Dubai last year and described the experience like this:
Skiing indoors is a novel experience. There is no wind and the snow has the consistency of a Mister Misty. While Mister Misty has always been one of my favorite non-brazier treats at the Dairy Queen (only second to the Peanut Buster Parfait), it's not a great surface for winter sports. I soon realized that the 5-minute ride on the lift yielded just 4 minutes of actual skiing (I timed it), and even less if you rock some Bode Miller moves.
While all of these factors were disappointing, the true indignity came when I noticed that there was a huge TGI Friday's overlooking the slopes. It was replete with large windows allowing diners to overlook the slope during dinner. Call me a purist, but when I ski, I prefer mountain vistas to the sight of a British tourist eating an order of Zen Chicken Pot Stickers.
Ouch. Don't worry, though: we're sure our indoor mountain will have a Flanigan's instead.
Check out these other indoor skiing spots: