Managers at the Virginia-based Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center don't have to wait for snow or cold weather  to open like the majority of their colleagues in the Mid-Atlantic area. They don't need snow at all and the mountain is open all year long. The artificial turf facility has been so successful since its opening that Liberty University officials who oversee the Center have decided to expand it. Positive responses from students and high repeat visitor rate prompted the decision.

University officials commissioned the second phase of the project not long after the Center's Grand Opening day Aug. 29. The facility actually opened for business in early August. The expansion increases skiable terrain from 40,538 square feet to 69,730 square feet. It also increases slope length by 130 feet and the width in the intermediate areas by 43 feet from top to bottom to allow for easier navigation among recreational enthusiasts and those who use the slopes to train for more competitive ventures.

The expansion has enabled Liberty to increase slope capacity from approximately 150 people to 250 people per hour. Engineers who built the complex estimate that it now attracts between 150 - 200 people daily at an average of four hours per person. There are as many spectators watching. 

"The enthusiasm has blown us away," said Terri Di Stasi, Business Development Manager for Briton Engineering Development, Ltd. That may lead to additional Snowflex facilities elsewhere in the U.S.  Di Stasi says there is interest from developers in at least 10 states from California to Pennsylvania. 

Liberty Mountain Snowflex® Center initially was intended to service Liberty University students but is open to the public. The ticket price is hard to beat at $5 per hour Monday - Wednesday and $7 per hour Thursday - Sunday.   

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