Alpine-X aims to bring year-round snowsports to Austin

Bo Espey, Sports Reporter

Austin’s hot climate is far from ideal for snowsports, making skiing and snowboarding an uncommon pastime for locals. However, new company Alpine-X is aiming to create new hobbies for one of Texas’ largest cities.

The Virginia-based business has plans to build at least two year-round ski resorts in Texas, one finding a home in Austin after signing a joint letter of intent. The planned resort will include areas designated for skiing, snowboarding, training and other related activities. For CEO John Emery, the expansion into Texas was an easy decision.

“Austin is entrepreneurial, collaborative and welcoming to all people,” Emery said. “It’s a perfect environment for our new brand of healthy, fun entertainment and our mission of bringing snowsports to everyone.”

Due to a warmer climate and less snowfall, indoor ski resorts are becoming more common. The first North American location opened in 2019 at New Jersey’s American Dream entertainment complex. However, Alpine-X is still in the construction phase with its flagship indoor ski resort, located in Fairfax County, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C.

“We look forward to providing the Alpine-X experience to communities in Texas — locations typically without snow or convenient, year-round access to snowsports,” Alpine-X said in a statement on their website. “Our resorts will be designed for the entire community and offer experiences for everyone, inside and outside the snowdome, regardless of skill level.”

One of the company’s sponsors is former Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller, who competed in the alpine ski race event between 2002-2014. Miller has also recently created his own brand of skis, and started the Bode Miller Ski Academy. Miller announced the partnership with Alpine-X in January on his Instagram, where he also invited his followers to invest in the company, a crowdfunding effort that closed in March.

For some UT Austin students, the possibility of an indoor ski resort so close to campus is exciting.

“I think it’s a really cool idea,” said Abby Shropshire, an international relations and global studies freshman. “It’s not really something we have in Austin, and Austin has basically everything.”

Shropshire also said the center could provide a new range of activities, outside of the typical warm-weather sports in Austin like paddleboarding and sand volleyball.

“I feel like UT students would use it as a place to kind of hang out,” Shropshire said. “I think it will encourage different clubs or intramural teams to go there.”

Despite the exciting prospect, Alpine-X is currently still in early stages of its Austin project, with projections of the resort in the next few years.