The long expected Winter Sports World has finally received State Significant DA Approval, meaning western Sydney is getting Australia’s first indoor snow resort.

The indoor snow adventure destination was first flagged in 2018 when a planning proposal was lodged by developer Peter Magnisalis with an ambitious goal of construction being completed in 2020 for operation in 2021.

The State Significant Development Application was eventually lodged in December 2022 and received approval today.

“It’s a huge relief,’’ said Magnisalis. “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.”

The budget has blown out from $200million announced in 2020 to $400 million in 2023 and will include a 300m advanced open ski run for experienced skiers and snowboarders, learn to ski runs and a dedicated winter wonderland snow play area.

According to the company’s press release it will also offer a competition venue for snow sports “such as alpine skiing”. There will be ice climbing and outdoor rock climbing plus a 4.5-star 170-room hotel, conference function rooms, restaurants and cafes overlooking the indoor slopes.

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 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.

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.

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.

As for sustainability, Winter Sports World 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 developers hope that the venue will attract international elite snow athletes and provide a training venue for Olympic sports such as alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.