PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Snowcat Ridge in Dade City is back and open for business.
The attraction says it’s Florida’s first and only snow park, offering a downhill sledding run and an igloo with indoor temperatures at or below freezing. Guests can experience snow and a 600-foot long ice track for skating.
Several hundred employees run the facility, which will be open until March.
In its first year of operation, the park experienced a number of technical problems with consistently producing enough snow. It was also shut down by Pasco County Fire Rescue and Building Construction Services who discovered fire, building, electrical and plumbing violations that posed a significant threat to public health and safety.
Co-owner and CEO of Snowcat Ridge, Benjamin Nagengast, says they’ve spent considerable time, effort and money during the off-season to overcome those issues.
“We made several other improvements to the park. We’ve actually made a grand total of about five million dollars of improvements,” Nagengast said. “We took all of the feedback from our guests, from our first season and, as you can imagine, opening a snow park in Florida is not easy to do.”
Maggie Penello and her husband are both from Canada and visited the park this year for opening day to bring their children.
“We’re used to the snow and our children are from here and we thought it would be a really fun thing for them to do because they haven’t really seen snow and done anything like this,” Penello said.
Nagengast says this year’s experience will be much better than the park’s first year of operation.
“This is a very challenging project, from a standpoint of how to regulate this type of operation, seeing that there has never been a snow park in Florida before,” Nagengast added.
The park is open until March 9 with prices ranging from $27 for admission to about $40 for the day. Guests can add unlimited sledding and even rent a private igloo for an additional cost.