[R602R, Val Thorens], France is investing €300,000 in a project to expand its snowpark for the 2008-2009 winter season.

After opening last year to overwhelming popularity, Val Thorens has decided to expand its snowpark by 18,000 square metres. On completion the snowpark will measure 88,000 square metres.

New additions to the park include a 500-metre-long hand rail, a boardercross of 1.4 kilometres in length and 350 metres in height, and the construction of a second ski lift to the park.

The snowpark's originality lies in its Jump'Air, which is a jump incorporating a shock-absorbing stuntman's mattress. Jump'Air should prove exceptionally popular with those learning or improving freestyle, such as back flips, under flips, 360s, 740s or 900s.

The expansion  also will offer new jumping tables and raised bends, which are popular with younger boarders and skiers. Terrain parks have grown more and more popular over the past few years and will continue to be developed throughout the alpine ski world.

Skiers and boarders to Val Thorens are also offered a ‘Snow Guarantee' by the tourist office. If, due to lack of snow, less than 70 per cent of the Val Thorens-Orelle ski lifts are working during a week, one or more skiing days will be offered free of charge.

Visit Val Thorens' "Snow Guarantee' Web site for more information