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SKIPLEX GOES BUST - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Tuesday July 11, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Three of Britain's indoor ski centres have gone out of business after making big losses. Skiplex heads for liquidation.

The company had slopes at Reading, Basingstoke and Chiswick in west London.

All three closed without warning at the end of June and the company ceased trading.

Staff were given the news one day and the centres did not open the next.

"We ran out of money," the company Chairman Patrick Taylor told PlanetSKI.

"The simple fact is the revenues that we earned in the winter have, over successive years, not proved to be sufficient to carry us through the summer.

"There comes a time when the shareholders cannot go on putting more and more money into the company."

Skiplex had been losing between £250,000 and £300,000 a year, despite revenues rising.

Patrick Taylor, as the majority shareholder, faced the prospect of having to plough in a six figure sum of his own money simply to get the firm through the summer.

A shareholders' meeting will take place next week to appoint liquidators.

Skiplex used machines with a revolving carpet similar to a runner's treadmill.

The skier or snowboarder would remain in one place while the slope moved underneath them.

PlanetSKI reporter, Katy Dartford, tried out the slope in Chiswick back in 2011 shortly after it opened.

SkiplexTraining at Skiplex














Patrick Taylor said potential new investors had come forward for all three sites and for buying the slopes to move them elsewhere, so it was possible the end of the company was not the end of the story.

Skiplex was established in 2010 and opened its first ski centre at Chiswick.

The other two followed just a few years ago.

"The reaction we got from a large number of our customers was very positive," Patrick Taylor said.

"It took a year or two for people to start to appreciate that this form of ski training is really effective.

"I would never claim it's the same as skiing in the mountains on snow but for the UK skiing fraternity, the ability to learn in an extremely focused way has real benefits.

"It's a fantastic system for learning, improving and getting fit."


Steve Cross, a ski and snowboard instructor who had been acting manager at Chiswick, said the decision to wind up the company had come as a surprise.

Summer activities at the slopes had been planned and were still being promoted on social media a few days before the company folded.

"We were told on the Tuesday and none of the centres opened the next day," Cross told PlanetSKI.

"We had a good winter, we seemed to be busy.

"There had been discussions that the company was not in profit and we needed to push harder and get more revenue coming in to survive but we didn't know it had such a short lifespan.

"It was a case that winter was good but it needed to be better."

Cross said he had been paid and his contract terminated.
















One of the events that had to be cancelled is the chalet company Ski Famille's open day at Reading Skiplex on 27th July.

  We reported on it when it was announced.

Earlier this year the Reading and Basingstoke Skiplex centres took part in National Schools Snowsport Week, giving schoolkids the chance to try out snowsports for the first time.

Skiplex Chairman Patrick Taylor, a dedicated lifelong skier, said he was extremely disappointed the three centres had had to close, but there had been no choice.

"It's been a great experience and great fun," he said.

"I am very sad it hasn't worked but you can't just go on pouring money into something."

We'll update this story when we hear any more on the future of the centres.

Skiplex Chiswick - 12 July 2017Skiplex Chiswick - lights out 12 July 2017
















Skiplex Chiswick - 12 July 2017Skiplex Chiswick - Closed - 12 July 2017
















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