Indoor ski slopes provide a climate controlled environment in which snow is manufactured using a snow cannon. This enables skiing and snowboarding to take place year-round. The first indoor ski slope called "Schneepalast" (German for snow palace) was opened on November 26, 1927 in Vienna in an abandoned railway station, the Nordwestbahnhof. The snow was made of soda. The Schneepalast was closed in 1943. The world's first commercial indoor ski slope operated from 1987 to 2005 at Mount Thebarton, in Adelaide, South Australia.
The world's largest indoor ski area is SnowWorld, Landgraaf, Netherlands (opened 2001) with a total of 35,000 m² of snow. In 2003, the first indoor snowboard FIS WorldCup contest was held in SnowWorld Landgraaf.
The world's longest indoor slope with 640 m is in the AlpinCenter in Bottrop/Germany and the world's first indoor black diamond (difficulty rating) with a 31 percent grade is in the SnowFunPark in Wittenburg/Germany.
The biggest indoor slope in the UK is Chill Factore, 4 miles outside Manchester, featuring a 180m long real snow main slope.