Delhi, the national capital continues its unbearable streak of scorching heat with daily temperatures that go well over 40 degrees. At a time when the residents of the city struggle to keep their cool amidst the sweat, dust and frequent power cuts; news of the opening of India’s biggest indoor snow park in neighbouring Noida comes as a much needed respite.
Modelled after Ski Dubai, Asia’s biggest indoor ski resort, Ski India is quite the successor with a host of rides and attractions for people of all ages, temperatures that are as low as -15 degrees, a sci-fi theme and a massive area of 100,000 sq. feet. (In comparison, Ski Dubai located at the Mall of Emirates, is twice the size)
Launched on April 26, it takes up the fifth and sixth floor at the all-newDLF Mall of India with an illuminating wormhole portal at the entry.
As Priyanka Jain, Co-Founder and Business Development Head of Ski India told us, the idea behind this was to give people a feeling that they were ‘entering a different planet as they walk up the stairs.’
Making the park a reality involved an investment of 70 crores. “Our aim was to create something adventurous in India and as we were inspired by Ski Dubai, we decided to take the plunge and go a step further than what we did with Snow World,” she added.
(Priyanka and brother Prasuk R. Jain, who is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ski India are also behind Snow World, Mumbai’s first indoor snow park located at Phoenix Market City Kurla. Launched four years ago, the park was built on a much smaller scale and is merely 25,000 sq feet.)
She also claimed that the park has a capacity of 3,000 people and can cater to 500 people at a time. “Last Sunday, we saw a footfall of about 1700 people,” she added.
The attractions at Ski India include an ice-skating rink, a ski track, slopes for tube rides, sledging and tobogganing, a stunningly done up cave that doubles up as the kids play area and a guarantee of uninterrupted snowfall as long as you’re inside. There’s also a separate snow play area for when you want to make snow angels or whip snow balls at your friends.
At Rs 1200 per person, you can try out as many activities you want inside the park for as many times as you want. The cost includes a pair of gloves, shoes, jackets and a separate pair of shoes incase you go skating inside.
Each session lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes – with the first session starting at about 11 am and the last session for the day starting at 9 pm.
The Ski India staff stands at about 100 at the moment, though the management is still hiring and looking to fill up some more positions. They are divided in two teams- one that greets you outside and helps you wear your gloves, shoes and jacket while giving you clear instructions regarding slippery floors, the cold inside and the other being the set of people who accompany you inside and help you juggle between the activities you wish to do inside.
“As most of the people we’ve hired here have very little idea of how such a setup works, we’ve even gotten some of our staff members from our Mumbai snow park to teach the newbies the ropes,” she explained.
To get a better sense of the place, we tried out the rides and activities ourselves and were pleasantly pleased about Ski India delivering on the promise of taking you to a whole other world. The temperature inside gives you a fleeting joy of being at a hill-station and is a perfect spot for family outings. However, there were more than enough safety concerns inside the park especially on the 100 feet slope meant for skiing where one wrong move can ensure a grave injury.
There’s another problem with Ski India. When asked about the USP of the park, Priyanka was quick to reply, “The two USPs of Ski India is undoubtedly the fact that we don’t have an age limit, allowing anyone who’s willing to go inside and the interrupted snowfall one gets to experience once inside.”
An indoor snow park of about 100,000 sq. feet naturally requires an enormous amount of snow- which also results in massive consumption of water.
“We use about 10,000 litres of water every day at the moment because we ensure that the snowfall is made available 24 hours to the customer as we are just starting out,” Priyanka informed us, adding that once the snowfall hours are reduced, the park will be requiring less water. “Maybe about 2,000 litres per day,” she added nonchalantly.
Though it would be unfair to single out Ski India on the alarming amount of water usage for its daily functioning considering water parks are also guilty of using similar amounts of water on a daily basis, it certainly is a reminder that recreation spots such as these do come at a cost- one that requires some pondering on, especially at a time when parts of the country are reeling from one of the worst droughts ever witnessed.
Incase you were wondering, the park also rakes up an electricity bill of 20 lakhs per month.
Image credit: Ski India
(For more details, visit their website here)
Source: Business Insider