The suburbs of Chicago may soon be home to a year-round ski hill. The Daily Herald reports that a developer is hoping to build a ski area on what is currently a flat 94-acre property. The hill would be built in the flats near Fairfield Road and Route 120, pictured above, which is near the town of Round Lake. This ski hill would consist of a Snowflex surface and would have five trails and four magic carpets. Snowflex is a synthetic surface that allows you to turn like you are on snow but it obviously feels different. Some examples of ski hills with Snowflex include Liberty Mountain Snowlfex Centre in Virginia, the ramps on the Big Air Jumps at Utah Olympic Park, and a tubing park in Missouri(Snowflex Park at Wolf Mountain).
The plan is being proposed by Dan Powell, the Owner/Operator of CHDS LLC, and property owners Daniel and Leah Light. Their goal is to annex the 94-acre property to zone it for commercial use. Once approved, they would build the hill with a filled dirt material over three phases in a twelve-year period. The dirt would come from local construction projects. The small ski hill would have a 175 vertical drop, and also feature a 10,300-square-foot ski lodge with a large full-service restaurant. Eleven of the acres would be dedicated to commercial use in the future, which has not been specified yet. Last month, “the advisory planning and zoning commission by a 3-2 vote recommended approval of the annexation, zoning, preliminary planned unit development and plat of subdivision.”
There are many locals who are opposed to the project, as they do not want them to build a huge landfill. Some of their main concerns include “increased traffic, wear and tear on roads, dust, pollution, noise, and potential contamination or depletion of the aquifer.” Making the landfill would require truckloads of fill that would be built for most days of the week for many years, which sounds like a pain for the local townspeople. Another concern is what the town could do if contamination were to become part of the dirt build. It sounds like an interesting idea, but I feel like an indoor ski hill would better serve the suburbs of Chicago. Image Credits: Daily Herald, Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre