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Video: First indoor ski centre in Lower Mainland opens in Richmond

The new centre has two slopes and will be open seven days a week

Skiing on a hot summer day without the hassle of going to the mountains?

This will soon be possible at an indoor ski centre, set to open in Richmond next month.

Infinity Ski, at Bridgeport and No. 5 roads, is believed to be the first indoor ski centre in the Lower Mainland.

The 6,000 plus-square-foot facility has two indoor ski machines and an open space for physical training.

“I fell in love with skiing two years ago and had been going skiing with my child. But as a beginner and a parent, I found it very challenging to ski and watch my child on the slope to make sure we didn’t get hit,” said Gina Xu, founder of Infinity Ski.

“I know indoor ski machines are popular in Europe. Skiers can focus on practicing and improving their skills on the machine, so it’s much safer for skiers, especially beginners.”

When Xu went looking for an indoor ski training centre, she realized there weren’t any in Metro Vancouver, so she decided to open one herself.

Each ski machine has a six-metre wide, nine-metre long slope with a large treadmill made of special material with water being sprayed on it – to mimic a real ski slope.

The angle of the slope and the speed of the treadmill are adjustable. There is also a mirror in front of the slope for skiers to watch and get instant feedback on their posture, Xu explained.

She said she chose Richmond for the new ski centre because of its proximity to the rest of the Lower Mainland, so ski enthusiasts can save hours on commuting time if they feel like skiing.

“Especially in the current economic environment, people might need to spend more time working to cover inflation. Compared to hours spent driving to the mountains, looking for parking and waiting for a lift, it can all be done in an hour,” said Xu.

Xu said she also hopes Infinity Ski becomes a hub for ski lovers to meet and form a community.

Infinity Ski will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The promotion price for new members is $49.99 for a 45-minute session, which includes the use of the facility, a lesson and ski equipment.