The $1.7 million Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center, a synthetic ski and snowboard slope using a substance called Snowflex to simulate the real thing, officially opened Aug. 29 near Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. It is the first facility of its kind in the U.S. The complex spills over an acre on Candlers Mountain.

It consists of a main slope with a terrain park and a beginner slope totaling more than 40,537 square feet of skiable terrain. Instruction is available and first timers are required to start on the beginner slope to get accustomed to the synthetic surface.  The complex can handle 100 people per hour.   

The ski area offers a cafe and full service rental shop stocked with ski, snowboard, and tubing gear. A deck overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Tickets cost $5 per hour during non-peak times (Monday - Wednesday) and $7 during peak periods (Thursday - Sunday). Equipment rentals cost $12 for a ski or snowboard set-up including helmets. Tubes are $5. Hours are noon to 12 a.m. Monday - Friday; 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. to 12 midnight Sunday.

Youth under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. IDs are required for students. Long sleeve shirts, pants and gloves must be worn despite the genrally warm climate to protect against the synthetic surface. Liberty Mountain partially was built to cater to the physical education and recreation department students of Liberty University, but the facility is open to the public. The complex was built by Briton Engineering Developers who are responsible for a number of synthetic ski mountains in the UK and elsewhere.

More Information. Or call 434-582-3539; 866-504-7541.

Read Paul Doherty's A Map To the World's Indoor, Dry Ski Slopes for more information on dry ski slopes, details on indoor ski slopes, and links to relevant stories.