A FIRM in Huddersfield is helping to bring skiing to sun-drenched Texas.
Briton Engineering Developments Ltd, based at Scholes, Holmfirth, specialises in supplying artificial ski slopes for leisure centres and theme parks around the world.
Now it has won a contract to install its innovative Snowflex surface at the Coolzone Winterplex, which is being built in Dallas.
Briton will provide the Snowflex system for a 60-acre, 20-storey high outdoor ski and snowboard "mountain".
A team of engineers from the Holmfirth firm will travel to Texas to oversee the work, which is scheduled to be done over the next two years.
Company spokesman Christopher Brown said the Coolzone Winterplex contract underlined the firm's growing worldwide reputation.
The Coolzone Winterplex will feature several runs of varying length and complexity.
The main slope is a straight downhill run built for speed, but there will also be tree-lined runs featuring winding paths and hills to appeal to every type of skier and snowboarder.
There will also be viewing platforms for spectators to watch the fun. Other features will include a hotel and "alpine village" as well as shops, ice rinks, rock climbing, and snowboard park.
The £375m winter sports development is expected to be completed by the end of 2008 and aims to attract up to 2m visitors a year from the Dallas-Forth Worth area.
Briton Engineering was formed in 1979 by Brian Thomas, a former engineer, to sell portable ski lifts.
The firm developed Snowflex in the 1990s and first installed the system at an activity centre in Hampshire in 1996.
Snowflex differs from the old-style mesh covering on earlier dry slopes and provides a continuous cushioned surface rather like a carpet. There are no holes to trap fingers or ski poles.
Snowflex has been installed at more than 160 sites - including the Sheffield Ski Village and the Midlothian Ski Centre in Edinburgh.
It is also used at ski centres in Halifax, Aberdeen and Kendal in the Lake District.
Mr Brown said Briton was also providing Snowflex for a new ski centre being built in Glasgow.
The company would shortly begin work on another in Madrid, Spain. And it is involved in a new ski centre at Noeux-les-Mines, near Lille in France.
Mr Brown said the workload reflected the increased popularity of snow sports.
"The Winter Olympics has created new interest," he said. "And as the skiing season in the Alps draws to a close, more people are turning to the artificial slopes to carry on skiing."