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Materials arrive for future artificial ski slope

September 29, 2008 : Eric Brown

Snowflex, the main ingredient for Liberty University’s year-round ski slope, arrived in bundles of tiles on Monday.

Invented by Brian Thomas of Briton Engineering, Snowflex is a multi-layer, synthetic material that simulates the effects of snow. With the help of small misting devices, the material stays moist, giving it the slip and grip of real snow. Originating in Europe, Snowflex will debut on U.S. soil with the completion of LU’s artificial incline expected by February 2009.

Crews will unload the tiles on top of Liberty Mountain’s bald spot in preparation for the slope’s construction. Thomas, who serves as the managing director, will also be at the building site during the week, providing workers with insight on the project’s design.

“We are absolutely delighted to do the first project in the states,” Thomas said. “In a couple of years’ time, you will see people doing amazing things who quite likely have started from scratch.”

LU’s Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center will consist of a main ski slope and a beginner slope for ski and snowboard instruction, totaling about 40,537 square feet of skiable area. Jumps and additional features on the main slope include a tabletop, a big kicker, an 11-foot high quarter pipe, two grind rails and an extreme tube chute.

The ski slope is an integral part of the university’s Ultimate LU campaign, an initiative instituted by Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. that enhances the LU’s student activities, club sports and intramural programs. With the addition of the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center, the university hopes to add skiing and snowboarding as club sports.

We want Liberty to be known for the good, wholesome fun and well-rounded experience that students have here,” Falwell Jr. said. “We think that if the students are happy, active and physically fit, they will do better academically.”

For more information about Ultimate LU and the upcoming ski slope, click here.