Feature Article - May 2008
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Always in Season

Transforming Single-Season Swimming Into Year-Round Fun

By Kate Bongiovanni

Seasonal Switching

Swim in the winter, ski in the summer. As easy as it is to locate an indoor pool to either play or swim laps year-round, skiing without a snowy climate proves more difficult. But soon skiers will be able to accomplish this without leaving the continental United States, having to hop a plane to a European glacier or a spot south of the equator.

In the city that seemingly has it all, even more exciting attractions stand on the horizon with the expected 2011 opening of Las Vegas WET. The complex will be built on the southern end of the strip and encompass approximately 200 acres filled with entertainment, retail, food, kids' activities and sport opportunities on a grandiose scale. According to the complex's Web site, www.lasvegaswet.com, planned projects include a 350,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, outdoor water attractions across 25 acres, a 150,000-square-foot indoor snow dome for skiing and snowboarding, an ice rink, a theme park, lodging and condominiums, a casino, sports arenas and a performing arts center. The development would mark the largest indoor waterpark and snow dome in the United States. And for a state that rarely sees snow outside of its northern ski region, Las Vegas WET could potentially turn "the meadows" into a city with anything and everything for everyone even if it seems impossible.

Expected to open in the fall of 2008, Meadowlands Xanadu will bring a whole new sports—plus entertainment, leisure and shopping—adventure to the Meadowlands complex in northern New Jersey. Housed across 4.8 million square feet, this complex will engage all ages with a variety of entertainment options, dining, outdoor attractions and the first snow dome in the United States for indoor skiing and snowboarding.

"We wanted to create a unique experience for consumers by offering the perfect mix of entertainment and retail," said Larry Siegel, president of Meadowlands Development.

Constructed in an already-proven sports mecca, Xanadu plans to have some activity to appease every family member, even if it's just relaxing in a natural environment. While the structure will be enclosed, Siegel explained that natural aspects will be brought in.

"Natural environments will be integrated throughout the space, such as a water garden, rock garden, bamboo forest, an orangerie and flower garden," he said.

But a major draw to visit Xanadu is its sports district, deemed the ultimate skybox and offering premier opportunities to participate and spectate.

"Built within a completely enclosed structure, The Sports District is seasonless, enabling visitors to ski in the summer and ride the waves in the winter," Siegel said. The complex will have a skydiving simulator and Flowrider surfing attraction in addition to its snow dome. The snow dome, over 16 stories tall, creates a 165,000-square-foot ski area entirely indoors, with a slope 800 feet long, equipment rental, a ski lodge, beginner terrain and a half pipe, and peak access via a quad chairlift, two magic carpets and a platter lift. "All of these sporting options will create the ultimate sports and entertainment experience, allowing Meadowlands Xanadu to redefine leisure time," Siegel said.

To learn more about the plans at Xanadu, visit www.meadowlandsxanadu.com.