SnOasis secures park operator

THE man behind the ambitious SnOasis winter sports complex has reached an agreement with an American leisure operator to run the site when it finally opens.

Despite years of delays, Godfrey Spanner of Onslow Suffolk, the developer behind the Great Blakenham project, has said that a deal is in place with a “vastly experienced” firm to operate the attraction when it is complete.

Mr Spanner claims the build will start next September and be finished by the end of 2014 and says the American-based firm - who have not been identified - will then take responsibility for operations.

Mr Spanner is set to be given an extra five years to build the project by Mid Suffolk District Council when the SnOasis Planning Committee meets next week and conditions imposed by the Secretary of State on the 2007 outline planning permission for the site are set to be altered to help speed up the work.

The firm lined up to run the site beat off competition from companies around the world and Mr Spanner said they were responsible for a string of top attractions.

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He said: “It’s an American group - we had one from Dubai, one from France and four from America - and we have selected one of the Americans.

“We will have cleared off land to begin constructing from September of next year.”

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Mr Spanner said it was too early to name the firm but explained that he was also in negotiations with a number of leading hotel chains in the hope of landing an experienced operator for the site’s four star hotel.

Although the central element to the SnOasis development is the eye-catching ski dome, it will also include a winter sport academy, entertainment dome - with a cinema, bar and shops - and a complex of log cabins.

There will also be a village centre with an ice rink, health and fitness facility, skate park and restaurant.

Mr Spanner said he was in ongoing negotiations with national and international chains and organisations interested in being involved with these elements.

A separate planning application, also submitted by Mr Spanner, covers a huge housing development on land adjacent to the leisure site while there are also proposals for a train station, police station and community centre.

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