Ambitious plans were unveiled today for a €430 million ski, casino and all-weather tourism complex in Co Louth.
Developers claim about 1,500 jobs will be created at the Altitude snow sports and leisure centre just outside Dundalk over the next seven years.
Investors are also banking on the Government loosening gambling laws, clearing the way for a casino with the entire complex potentially attracting six million people a year.
Sam Curran, one of the developers, said the centre will be built in phases with the ski facility one of the first to open. “We’ve done very extensive work over the last 30 months to fine-tune what we include in our plans,” he said.
The development is planned for a 29-acre site just off the M1 Dublin-Belfast motorway at Dowdallshill, Dundalk.
The plans include ski and nursery slopes; a 100-plus bed family hostel; 110,000-sq ft indoor concert arena; cinema, tenpin bowling and children’s zone; 40,000-sq ft surf and swim centre; sports and leisure stores, restaurants and bars.
Later phases will include additional hotel accommodation and the international casino.
Developers claim it will create 1,198 full-time and 388 casual direct jobs.
It is hoped work can begin early next year with the first attractions due to open in the first half of 2011 and other phases to be introduced over the next five years.
The project will be privately funded without support from from Irish banks, and Mr Curran said it has the potential to help boost the economy. “While the current economic climate is clearly not ideal, it does present some cost advantages in the construction phase,” Mr Curran said.