Southern Flakes

If you build a ski mountain, they will come? That's what one Texas resort believes.

    Photo: Jameson Simpson

WHAT'S INSIDE
Snowflex is a polymer composite that mimics the reaction of real snow. An integrated mist system keeps the surface of each moldable tile slippery. Below the first layer is a shock-absorbing foam pad that cushions falls.

Texas skiers will soon have another option besides racking up air miles to Salt Lake and Denver each winter. Bearfire Ski Resort, outside Fort Worth, is opening a "mountain" using Snowflex—a skiable artificial surface currently used in Europe and now coming to the U.S. Essentially a plastic, Snowflex doesn't require cold temperatures, making it perfect for Sunbelt states that don't have the freezing weather required for traditional snowmaking machines. Bearfire (bearfireresorts.com) is building Glacier Peak—a 250-foot-tall, 35-acre "mountain"—with plans to open in 2009.

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