Faced with a massive financial loss due to the recent freeze, the operators of Wales’s Coed Llandegla trail centre have responded with good humour and are offering a ‘car park worth of snow’ for sale on eBay.
Bidding has already reached £10.50, with six days to go. But Oneplanet Adventure Ltd will have to hope for a bidding war if they are to get anywhere near to recouping the estimated £100,000 of trade they have missed out on since the first snowfall on 23 December.
The item description calls the lot a “once-in-a-lifetime offer to buy yourself a winter wonderland worth of snow” and suggests possible uses including building the world’s biggest snowman, sledging and snowing yourself in so you don’t have to go to work.
It adds: “The snow is unused and in perfect condition. (There are a couple of patches which have gone a bit yellow for some reason, but these are only very small areas.) This is the real McCoy, not the usual Chinese imitations you get on here. This offer won’t last forever – well we hope not anyway. Viewing is welcomed – if you can get here that is.”
Ian Owen, who co-owns OPA with Jim Gaffney, told BikeRadar: “We’ve been below zero since 20 December, and down to -20°C, and there’s so much snow that we can’t open, so we thought ‘why not put it on eBay?’.
“The weight of the snow is snapping the trees so we can’t let people go into the forest. The tracks are under about 15ft of snow. We had a couple of people go in on cross-country skis, but they said they almost got hit by a falling tree. This is the first day it’s risen above zero, so we’ve got a ray of hope.”
A huge cleanup operation will be needed to repair the centre’s 40km of trails once the snow has thawed. Coed Llandegla’s eight full-time staff are facing a bleak start to the new season while doing their best to keep the normally busy centre (visitor numbers in 2009 were close to 200,000) running.
Llandegla’s blue route is unrecognisable: One Planet Adventure
Coed Llandegla’s blue mountain bike route is unrecognisable