Snow Mountain, Texas: Indoor Skiing in Houston

Diagrams of Proposed Snow Mountain Indoor Ski Resort, Houston

It’s difficult to imagine anything more perfect for 21st-century coastal Texas than this: A 2.7-million-sq.-ft. self-contained year-round indoor ski resort on a 21-acre site . . . on the “outskirts” of Houston.

Some details on this proposed development are available on the website of S333, an architecture firm based in the Netherlands. The firm’s London office has worked hard to pack hotels, indoor water parks, “extensive recreation areas,” a parking garage, retail space, timeshare apartments, and five separate ski slopes into what appears in the company’s drawings to be an 18-story terrace-roofed megastructure.

Inside the building, the different ski slopes and play areas are arranged side by side to form a continuous landscape of snow surfaces. New advances in scenography, acoustics and building technologies will be employed to create the ultimate feeling of ‘still being outside’ on a mountain.

The external shape and form of the building continues the landscape theme that is established in the building’s interior. The rising geometry of the ski slopes is extended as a series of stepped terraces. These terraces accommodate on one side private apartments and gardens, and on the other more public amenities such as restaurant, pavillions, gardens, terraces and a central water park of pools and weirs. The water cascades down the roof and links with the water feature at the centre of the leisure complex. This iconic landscape will attract attention to the site, brand the location and help establish a dramatic back-drop to the lake and water-side retail facilities.

More details and drawings below:


Elevations and Section Drawings of Proposed Snow Mountain Indoor Ski Resort, Houston

Site Plan of Proposed Snow Mountain Indoor Ski Resort, Houston

Diagram of Ski Slopes at Proposed Snow Mountain Indoor Ski Resort, Houston

Snow Mountain appears to be a project of Amsterdam-based Unlimited Snow. The company’s website shows images of Snow Mountain and a few other “mixed use” projects in development, but otherwise doesn’t reveal much about its plans for Houston. An apparently hyperbolic article in SkiRebel Magazine from last year, though, makes some rather interesting claims for the snow park — including this gem:

Surplus snow making capacity can be used for creating an outside glacier on top of the Snow Mountain.

Images: S333 Architecture + Urbanism Ltd.

26 Comment

  • Now you don’t have to go to Japan or Dubai to ski indoors, LOL.

    Since there is a flood of skiers that leave Houston to go to the mountains, I can see a place like this having customers. Also, If it is the only one around, I can see people travel from nearby cities and state to come here.

  • At one point in the 80’s Houston had the largest population of snow skiers in the country. I’ll be shocked if this ever came to fruition, but it would be pretty cool…. literally.

  • I can see that as being true. I think we have more stores that service snow skiers than any other large metro that has no snow skiing slope near it.

    I think it could work. It’s immensely expensive to build, but land is cheap here and they proven it could be built in the desert in Dubai.

    Also, if the investment is from Europe and other foreign sources, then the cost is less to them with the US dollar being valuated so low.

    The only thing i couldn’t is where they were planning to build it. I did make out a freeway and some thoroghfares. Some makes me want to say it’ll be on SH 249. That’s just a hunch.

  • Oh give me a break. I believe it Bum Phillips who said, “If God had wanted Texans to ski, he would have made bulls**t white.”

  • Have you ever been to the airport during ski season? Ski racks abound on cars and skis are being checked in.

    I have friends that work at both airports and are surprised every year at how many snow skiers that are originating from Houston are getting on the planes.

    And if you think about it, these are just the people that bring their own skis, most people rent them when they go to ski resorts.

  • This is the kind of folly that gets built when oil prices are sky high. We’ve been here before, and will probably be here again…

  • I think there was a similar idea several years ago of turning the Astrodome into an indoor skiing venue.

  • The difference in the oil boom now from the oil boom of the past is huge.

    The oil boom of the past was created with high oil prices from a complete lack of supply.

    The oil boom of today has no supply issues, but instead a run up in demand from many areas which are competing for the available supply causing the price to rise. Also, the price will fall since the market can’t support the high prices anyway. The price of oil has dropped over $20 in the last two weeks. It’s down to the mid $120’s.

    Since the available supply is SO vast and isn’t going away anytime soon, the oil boom will be here for many more years. This is also why the comparisons from economists to the past has been very few.

  • We had one of these around 1980, although it was outdoors, not indoors. It was on a big, man made hill at the southwest corner of the Southwest Freeway and 610. I skiied there a couple times as a kid. On a cold day, it was quite fun. On a warm day, not so much. It was too expensive to ski regularly though. It didn’t last long.

  • Indoors? Or just blown snow on a hill?

  • That thing’s gonna do so badly…

  • All naysayers aside…. with technology being what it is today, it’s feasible on an engineering standpoint, economically, we’ll see. But, that’s what small business is all about, calculated risk. There are alot of snowskiers in Houston still, me being one of them. It will interesting to see if a concept like this can make it happen, and sustain itself in a profitable manner.

  • Baudrillard would be proud.

  • Is there some way for us to find out if any of these companies involved have purchased a sizable amount of land in the Houston area?

  • It’s called

    Of course this only works if the property is located within the Harris County boundaries.

    All neighboring counties have appraisal districts that may have a website, but probably not as advanced.

  • Part of me wants to make fun of this and the other part of me wants to go skiing.

  • Hey, if you are going to post news on something that was mentioned 4 days earlier on, it should be cited. With as much traffic we sent to you guys, you could at least be thoughtful and give us some credit for finding the source.

  • @Pumapayam:

    The credit is there. See the second link with the arrow in front of it at the bottom of the story. Credits are always listed there, at the bottom of each story. Thanks for looking out for it!

  • I totally missed it, my bad. Thank you for clarifying it and I apologize for my error for the wrong assumption.

  • kjb434

    I checked Mongtomery County and they only allow you to search by first and last name, not company :(

  • @Pumapayam:

    No problem. Keep up the good work at HAIF!

  • if they can pull this off, houston will become the center of the universe.

  • I live in Houston and think this would be fantastic. We travel to CO every year to snowboard. That is not to say we will quit traveling to CO but it would help to have something local year round to fight off cravings.

  • Yep, it’s July, and this thread has picked itself back up.
    In January we might sneer and roll our eyes, but right now…….

  • Texas is so boring so a ski resort would be a great idea. I haven’t heard any latest news about snow mountain and the other two ski resorts that were suppose to happen. I’m waiting for snow in houston so I can take my snowboard on those beltway overpasses.

  • true or false? its 2012 almost 2013 and freeway being builts! but not news to resorts or mountains! me n family are snowboarders n skiiers! wish we had thos 5 years ago. houston would love this stuff for life