Winter Sports World going ahead after State Significant DA approval

The proposal to build Australia’s first indoor snow resort at Penrith was granted State Significant Development Application (SSDA) approval by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment today [January 11] – just over 12 months after it was officially lodged on December 8, 2022.

It was the final step in the SSDA process after a planning proposal was first lodged in June 2018 by local developer Peter Magnisalis.

“It’s a huge relief,’’ he said.

“For the first time in eight years, WSW is no longer a pie-in-the-sky dream but a real project and on course to bring the snowfields to Sydney.’’

Winter Sports World will be an opportunity to enrich lives in the Penrith and wider NSW community through economic and tourism benefits – and the joy of skiing and snow play.

“It has taken an enormous amount of work by a lot of talented and experienced people to get the project to this point.

“It has been all-consuming for me personally for years now and will continue to be so. I can’t wait to get it built.’’

The project still has many Olympic-sized hoops to clear before construction begins.

In early 2024, it will enter a phase of detailed design and engineering development to prepare for construction.

Mr Magnisalis also continues negotiations with suppliers and contractors around the globe for every facet of Winter Sport World, from construction company, snowmaking and lift specialists, restaurant and hotel operators to artists and designers.

“This project will definitely be a global enterprise,’’ he said. “Our goal is for WSW to have the best quality snow in the world for an indoor snow resort.”

“Winter Sports World will use the best in the world for everything, so I am especially excited when I find the world’s best right on our doorstep’’, including specialist engineers and designers from Western Sydney.

Winter Sports World will be a large, technically challenging and complex project that has not been done before in Australia, one that will be recognised globally as an international landmark.

“So we need to take the time in this crucial preparation stage to ensure we get the project right before it can start to rise above the ground,’’ Mr Magnisalis said.

The first stage of construction will involve preparing for the basement walls and excavation to prepare the infrastructure works that will go into the basement such as the massive underground water tank for the snow making, mechanical plant rooms, loading docks and carpark.

Nicknamed “the giant Esky’’ by some, Winter Sports World will have a unique alpine exterior with “ice shard’’ details, night lights and subtle textural surfaces to evoke the appearance of a “blizzard’’, inspired by the melting of glacial ice and the flow of water to the nearby Dyarubbin (Nepean River).

The facade design was inspired by the shimmering, ephemeral, kinetic energy of snow clouds above a hill.

Using real snow, the $400 million Winter Sports World will include:

• A 300m advanced open run for experienced skiers and snow boarders, learn to ski runs and a dedicated winter wonderland snow play area

• Competition venue for snow sports such as alpine skiing

• Ice climbing and crevasse outdoor rock climbing

• 4.5-star 170-room hotel, conference and function rooms

• Restaurant and cafes with snow views

The more than 300m northern facade to Jamison Road will glow at night with kinetic lighting giving the appearance of a blizzard, while the public area and curved lower-level facade will look like melting ice.

The undulating landscape will include features such as water streams, pathway networks, landscaped plantings and large 8m high message sticks to mimic melting ice and mountains telling the stories of the First Nations people and how they lived on Dyarubbin.

Dharug nation representatives have been extensively consulted on the Winter Sports World development and will collaborate with local First Nations artists and designers into the future, Mr Magnisalis said.

Winter Sports World will also feature numerous sustainability elements.

It has been designed to be net-zero carbon ready by reducing embodied carbon; eliminating fossil fuel use on site; minimising energy use; supplying energy with onsite renewable sources; buying green power for remaining energy needs; and offsetting remaining emissions.

Currently a 2.35ha horse paddock located within the vibrant Riverlink Tourism Precinct at Penrith, Winter Sports World is expected to generate more than 1350 new ongoing tourism jobs once open and inject more than $220 million a year into the local economy with around 1 million visitors annually.

The attraction will attract international elite snow athletes and provide a training venue for Olympic sports such as alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding.

Winter Sports World will give visitors another reason to visit the Adventure Capital of NSW through Australia’s newest gateway to the world, Western Sydney International Airport, just 15km away.