training system, for which its primary goal is to quickly and effectively teach visitors to ski or snowboard. It also offers the DruFunPark, a four-level entertainment complex for children, and several restaurants and bars, including a (real) ice bar by Absolut and a wine bar. There is also a clothing and equipment rental service. “We have it all,” says Zibuda, who explained the project was implemented under the 20072013 Cohesion Promotion Action Programme, which specified “local and urban development, conservation of cultural heritage and nature and their use for tourism development” and “the creation and development of eco (cognitive) tourism, recreation and health improvement infrastructure”. “UAB Stamita is the company behind the Snow Arena,” he says. “For Lithuania, which is rapidly developing as a tourist destination for visitors from Western Europe, it is yet another feather in Druskininkai’s tourism cap. 32
“With three ski slopes stretched across eight hectares, the Snow Arena is one of the largest indoor winter sports arenas in the world, constructed to provide yearround skiing at a cost of some 32 million euros”
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“It was built to attract more overseas visitors to the country and that is happening.” The Druskininkai resort is one of the most popular places to visit all year round in Lithuania. The resort is gifted with mineral waters and curative mud and it has been popular for centuries with Lithuanians and people from neighbouring countries. “The nearest competing indoor snow arenas are found in Moscow, Russia and Hamburg, Germany,” says Zibuda. “Apart from the recently completed construction of the complex, in conjunction with the Druskininkai City Council, and after completion of the technical project side, a lift is to be built connecting the hotel complex in town up to the Snow Arena over the Nemunas River, which will be a direct easy access link for patrons. The project is looking for investors at this stage.” There are also proposals for a bungee jumping complex. A recent visitor told European Outlook the Snow Arena as a “very impressive facility”.