A STYLISH new café was to be opened today at Midlothian Snowsports Centre by Scottish world cup slalom skier Emma Carrick-Anderson.
The cafe will provide catering and meeting room facilities to the public.
Situated on the first floor of the ski lodge on Caerketton Hill, the new balcony and gallery will provide views to all the slopes and over Edinburgh, the Forth Bridge and into Fife on a clear day.
The cafe opening comes at the start of the new ski season. Midlothian recreation leader Councillor Bob Jenkins was also expected to attend the launch, at 3pm.
More than 140,000 people ski or snowboard each year in Midlothian - Europe's largest dry slope - with an additional 220,000 visiting the site as spectators to walk in the country park, picnic or take a chair-lift ride to the viewpoint.
The attraction, formerly Hillend Ski Slope, was renamed Midlothian Snowsports Centre to recognise the growing popularity of snowboarding.
Cllr Jenkins said: "Snowboarding emerged during the early 1990s and the centre embraced this change, adapting facilities specifically for snowboarding in 1999.
"With a quarter of all users at the facility being snowboarders, the management team at the centre felt it was time to embrace this change within the sport, incorporating snowsports into branding, as many similar facilities and organisations have done in recent years."
He added: "The change of name was a positive move and reflected changing demands. It has ensured the centre remains customer focused and continues to meet the specialist needs of future users."
Meanwhile, Midlothian Snowsports Centre is giving people of all abilities the chance to sample skiing and snowboarding courses throughout August.
Tim Dent, Midlothian Sport and Leisure Services manager, said: "The courses aim to provide the highest standard of instruction at reasonable cost for all standards of skiers and snow-boarders."