Indoor Chill Factore ski slope sold as part of U+I disposal
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Developer U+I has sold its Chill Factore indoor ski slope to the operators of The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead, for an undisclosed sum.
The sale is part of listed developer U+I’s strategy to dispose of non-core assets to boost funds and reinvest in major regeneration projects across the UK.
Chill Factore boasts two indoor real snow slopes – a 180m main slope, the longest in the UK, and a 40m lesson slope – plus a designated fun zone for sledging and snow play as part of Beyond, less than four miles from Manchester city centre and next to the Trafford Centre retail site.
The site is also home to a broad range of cafés, bars, and restaurants as well as retail brands, such as Evans Cycles and Snow & Rock.
The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead is London’s closest indoor skiing and snowboarding destination.
Ian Brown, managing director of Snow Centres Ltd, said: “For more than a decade, Chill Factore has built a reputation as one of the most iconic leisure brands in the UK.
“It complements our existing business extremely well and was the most obvious way to expand our role in the growing UK Snowsports industry.
“We are hugely excited by the prospect of working with a highly accomplished Chill Factore team and building on their considerable success to date. We look forward to welcoming guests back to Chill Factore when we re-open the doors on April 12.”
Matt Potter, head of direct investment Pportfolio at U+I, said: “The sale of Chill Factore to The Snow Centre is part of our ongoing strategy to dispose of non-core assets.
“In so doing, we can focus on investing time and resources on our regeneration portfolio and boost our balance sheet.
“Chill Factore has performed strongly in terms of operational and rental income, so we have every confidence that The Snow Centre will make it a success as people start to enjoy using sports facilities again.”
Oliver Church of Arcane Real Estate and advisor to Snow Centres Limited (SCL) on the acquisition of Beyond, said: “This purchase signals SCL’s intentions to gain market share in the indoor ski sector.
“Despite COVID-19 causing major disruptions to the retail and leisure industry, SCL have looked past that and can see the opportunities that present themselves in a ‘post-COVID’ economy.
“With ‘staycations’ increasing SCL are looking to capitalise on their ability to offer customers’ exciting experiences a little closer to home. Through innovative asset management SCL are looking to elevate Beyond to one of the UK’s top retail and leisure destinations.”