Believe it or not, some people in Hemel Hempstead believe the town still has a dry ski slope in St Albans Hill.
Ian Brown, managing director of The Snow Centre, says it is not uncommon for people to come to the £23million four year-old attraction and stand aghast at the building that has been visited by 1million people since it opened.
Promoting the Snow Centre – the only facility of its kind close to London – to local people is one of the challenges and opportunities the business faces.
Another is persuading people who travel to a competing facility in Milton Keynes that there is no need to traipse 25 miles up the M1 when there is such a fantastic winter sports hub so close by.
The Snow Centre, which costs something like £250,000 to keep to chilled Alpine perfection, is also aiming to develop more of a summer trade and get itself known as a place to visit even among those who hate snow.
“We’ve seen more people come here to use the coffee shop and free wi-fi facilities,” said Mr Brown, who added that they have a steady trade in booking the two conference rooms to local businesses.
The venue, which is sometimes booked out by large corporate businesses, is also used as a pub by locals.
“We’ve a trade of local people who used The Snow Centre as a place to have a pint and watch the football,” Mr Brown added.
The birthday celebrations taking place from May 4 to 6 are being used by The Snow Centre as a way to promote everything the venue, which employs 300 people, has to offer.
Other events are being planned for hard core skiers later this year and a sledging run is being built for the summer.
For more details visit thesnowcentre.com/birthday