It’s such an odd conceit, isn’t it? Skiing indoors. Like surfing or mountain climbing or hunting or riding a bike, skiing belongs, in our collective imaginations, to the wide world and all its temperaments. But, as with climbing gyms or stationary bikes, technology has found a way to compartmentalize our outside pursuits, to give us a version of wild nature that’s completely walled off from it. As far as technology goes, it’s not exactly the Millennium Falcon: a big freezer on a hill covered with snow. In fact, the rest of the industrialized world has had indoor skiing for decades. Why not the U.S.? It has the population, the open land, the cultural default to canned experiences, and the wealth both to build these things and to visit them. Sure, there are plenty of ski resorts here, but they are concentrated in a few places. Thirteen states – including Florida and Texas, where a combined 50 million people live – don’t have a single ski area. And while these states have plenty of skiers of the annual-trip-to-Keystone variety, how many more would they have if anyone who wanted to try skiing could drive 20 minutes and do so? And how many of those, delirious from the rush down the decline, would then start to eye the distant snowy mountains and say, “let’s do this?”