Onlookers watch skiers at Big Snow American Dream.


New Jersey

Mall Rats: Has New Jersey Found Skiing’s Missing Link?

Pass through the sliding doors at the end of the concrete parking garage. Ignore the construction signs for the Mrs. Fields cookie store and drop into the human current as it ebbs from one ghastly lit shop to the next. Avoid the fuzzy mechanical animals (and the line at Starbucks) and make your way across the cavernous pavilion. Just beyond the stage, take the escalator up to the second floor. There, somewhere between Zara and Sweet Factory you’ll find it:
Big Snow—skiing’s missing link.

The first indoor ski center in North America, Big Snow is carved out from what New York-based photographer OK McCausland calls, “an American nightmare.” American Dream, in East Rutherford, NJ, is the second-largest mall in the United States. It’s less than 10 miles from Times Square. A testament to our bizarre obsession with entertainment and commerce, the complex also features a Nickelodeon-themed amusement park, an aquarium and a surf wave. But it’s the 180,000-square-foot snow refrigerator that provides something beyond the excess of consumerism, a rare and overdue opportunity in the snowsports realm: Big Snow has brought the mountains to the people…

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