Copenhagen made international news a couple of years ago by turning the roof of a waste-to-energy power plant into a year-round ski hill made of an artificial carpet surface. Dubbed ‘Copenhill‘, they brought out big guns like Jesper Tjäder to demo the surface, and it was celebrated as big win for environmentalism and recreation in Denmark’s capital.
But, according to The Architect’s Newspaper, the hill is already in need of substantial repairs to the surface. One report from The Copenhagen Post suggests that repairs upwards of $1 million are need to be completed by 2024.
The ski area can continue to operate while the repairs are done in bits and pieces, but does anybody else see disaster written on the wall? It’s just concerning that the ski surface needs over $1 million USD in repairs not even 2 years after it opened. That’s clearly not a sustainable business model.
Call me dumb, but I never considered the costs of maintaining an artificial surface ski area. I guess you save bucket loads of money on grooming equipment, snowmaking equipment, and staffing, but you end up shelling out a lot of money on surface repairs.
Copenhill will continue to operate for the foreseeable future, but something clearly has to change if the operation hopes for a longstanding future. I’m interested to see how this plays out as I believe it could influence others thinking about opening year-round skiing surfaces here in the US.
All image credit: Max Mestour and Amelie Louys via Copenhill