A huge indoor snow centre in Moscow is to be demolished after major structural flaws were found.

The SNEZH.COM slope at Krasnogorsk, just northeast of the city’s limits, was built at a rumoured cost of about $100 million and opened in March 2008. It was closed in late 2021 after failing a long list of health and safety checks by government officials.

Attempts to rectify these have failed and at a meeting of creditors, it was decided to demolish it.

The huge 21,600 square metre, 365 metres long indoor snow slope was the world’s fifth longest at the time of opening and seventh by area. However bigger facilities in China and elsewhere built over the past decade have knocked it down the list since and at the time of closing it was the 10th biggest on slope length and 15th on indoor snow area, worldwide.

However, its profile is so big it’s clearly visible on the Moscow city skyline which may be part of the reason why representatives of Russia’s national government had been involved in attempts to save the structure.

“The slope, load-bearing structures and the main production elements of the ski complex were examined. The decision to dismantle was made on the basis of technological expertise and a conclusion on the emergency state of the facility,” said Roman Nosov, the facility’s bankruptcy trustee, who added, “There are deviations of the supporting structures and subsidence of the soil. Many other reasons have been established that indicate that the complex is in disrepair. Its further operation is impossible for the safety of people. Therefore, the creditors decided to dismantle the hazardous production facility.”

When it opened the facility was a key selling point of a huge 1.2 million-square-metre residential district.

“The snowdome helps to sell the apartments, of course,” said Vladimir Famin, a spokesman for the developers told local media during construction. “It increases the prestige of the area.”

Lots of indoor snow centres were planned across Russia during the first decade of the century but plans dried up after the global economic crash and SNEZH.COM was the only one in the country.

More than 160 indoor snow centres have been built in over 35 countries on six-continents since the late 1980s according to IndoorSnowNews.com.  Around 75% of these are currently operational. The dismantling of SNEZH.COM is the biggest failure of an indoor snow centre since the SSAWS in Japan, a similar huge structure built near Tokyo in the 1990s. This was completed just as the country’s obsession with snowsports was waning and the economy on the slide.  It was demolished two decades ago to make way for the country’s first Ikea.