Year-round ski course planned

A project for a winter sports complex is in its early stages

Downhill skiing could come to the outskirts of Prague if an ambitious project for a sports complex is built. Architectural firm Deco Group has presented their vision for a sports complex with a ski slope to the city and the Radotín district.

The area proposed for Sport areal Lahovice (SAL) currently consists of a few warehouses and meadows between Radotín and Velká Chuchle.

If built, the complex would serve not only Prague but the surrounding Central Bohemia region. There is nothing similar to it in the Czech Republic.

“The idea was created around 2016 on our own initiative. The ski slope is intended mainly for the public, but the project is designed so that even professional athletes can train or race there,” Petr Bedrna, co-author of the project and architect from the DECO Group, said.

The website for the project proposal points out that Czechs have an above-average interest in sports, and that the country as a whole has gained international recognition for its athletes. But there are insufficient training areas to meet the demand.

The architects are looking for an investor for their project. The preliminary estimate of the cost of the entire complex is around Kč 6 billion, of which about a third of which would be spent on the ski slope.

The area would cover 760,000 square meters and it would include a winter stadium for ice hockey, speed skating, curling, and a place for cycling and cross-country skiing, and above all, an enclosed ski hall opens all year round.

The land in question is zoned for sports and recreation, but the project has a long way to go before it becomes a reality.

City Councilor Vít Šimral (Pirates), responsible for education and sports, told daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) that he was aware of the proposal but did not have enough information to comment on it. He added that it was unlikely the complex would be in operation by the target date of 2024, as projects such as this one usually took a decade to realize.

Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) spokesman Marek Vácha also confirmed the plan was in its earliest stages, and that preliminary consultations with the city, Prague 16 district and IPR have yet to take place. Factors such as accessibility and parking need to be considered, among other things.

Prague 16 Mayor Karel Hanzlík (ODS) said that if technical issues such as financing and altering the railway protection zone was solved, he would not be against the plan, adding that it could be a benefit to the area. He reserved the right to change his opinion, though, based on further developments surrounding unclear issues such as transportation.

Deco Group is taking an optimistic approach, and has already made arrangements with the landowner and has contacted sports organizations such as the Association of Skiers of the Czech Republic (SL ČR), which supports the idea.

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