Here in North America, we're pretty spoiled on the whole ski resort front. No matter where you live, you can be at a top-10 mountain in six hours, carving first tracks and slamming hot toddies like slamming hot toddies is what you get paid to do. In other parts of the world, however, winter is a luxury, and that's where massive artificial mountain malls like Wintastar Shanghai—the new largest indoor ski resort on earth—come into play.
Announced on Tuesday by Dubai shred n' shop conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim—who also built one of these suckers on the Arabian Peninsula, in case you're wondering about the most expensive air conditioning bill on earth—Wintastar Shanghai is a 90-000-square foot skitropolis set down in the heart of China's largest city, featuring a gondola and three slopes of varying difficulty abutting a tropical oasis perched on top of a giant shopping center. In total, the complex, which broke ground on August 30th, will include 25 non-skiing attractions, including 24 H&M's and a Wolfgang Puck Sushi Lounge (just kidding, retail options are still TBD).
There's no proposed opening date for Wintastar Shanghai, which will usurp nearby Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort in terms of size (if not name length), but officials are likely hoping for it to be up and running before the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Given that less than 1% of China's overall population has ever even tried skiing, Wintastar Shanghai probably won't do much to improve China's downhill medal chances. Keep your eye on Milan 2026, though. If these ski bum enclaves keep popping up around China, the Austrians may finally get a run for their spandex.