“A lot of resorts in the Northeast have been investing capital in new snowmaking technology,” Mount Sunapee’s Bruce McCloy told SnoCountry.com. “This is a win, win, win proposition.
“Advances in snowmaking gun design are allowing resorts to make twice as much snow at 27 degrees (early season snowmaking temps) with one quarter of the power per gun.”
McCloy, a veteran ski industry marketing executive, made his comment as Ski New Hampshire, a trade association, announced a lengthy list of capital improvements for the 2013-14 season. Many, like Mount Sunapee, are investing in snowmaking system expansions.
“This is a win for skiers and riders because there is more snow and more terrain open, especially early in the season. It’s a win for resorts because they are making more snow with less money and getting the mountain open earlier and with more terrain. It is a win for the environment because resorts are using less power to make more snow.”
McCloy said Mount Sunapee is purchasing another 52 high-efficiency snow guns for the upcoming winter season, spending $100,000 upgrading its rental shop inventory, and making upgrades to its e-commerce system. “These will either improve the guest experience or ‘smooth out’ the guest experience.
“Another thing guests don’t see is that most progressive resorts turn their rental equipment every 3-4 years,” he explains. “This allows the resort to incorporate new designs in skis, snowboards and boots into the rental operation, giving the guest a better experience.”
Sunapee also added two loops to its Aerial Challenge Course in the Adventure Park for this summer and a Waffle House on Flyway trail between the base lodges is planned for winter.
Ski New Hampshire’s Karl Stone noted that improvements at the resorts come after the fifth best ski season on record. Sunapee improvements are among a solid list of nine other Granite State ski and cross-country resorts.
Here’s the rundown:
Pat’s Peak in Henniker: Cascade Basin expansion continues with new triple chairlift, four new trails, new glade and 100 percent snowmaking coverage. There also will be six new fan guns and an electrical capacity upgrade; new rental inventory; geothermal heating in base lodge and walkways.
Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway: Adding a snow groomer to its fleet; 45 new tower snow guns; new Rossignol rentals for kids and adults.
Loon Mountain in Lincoln: Snowmaking improvements with new pumps to increase capacity by 40 percent; 100 semi-automatic snowmaking hydrants; 15 tower snow guns.
Granite Gorge in Newbury: New downhill and cross-country trails and glades; new snowmaking fans; portable stage for special events; two new parking lots and drop-off area.
Bretton Woods in Bretton Woods: More expansion in Mt. Stickney area; new cross-country terrain for earlier openings at higher elevations – some of the first requiring lift service; canopy tour expanded with four new zip lines.
Black Mountain in Jackson: Complete rebuild of snowmaking pump and drive motor and replacement of the water distribution station; improvements to triple chair for greater reliability.
Waterville Valley in Waterville Valley: Resort has been granted the “go” by the Forest Service for first major expansion in 30 years. Terrain will be developed over next few years on Green Peak with 44 acres of trails, glades, and a new quad chair.
Jackson XC in Jackson: New grooming vehicle and low snow grooming equipment has been purchased. Improvements to trail system are underway on a prioritized schedule, including securing land access.
Windblown XC in New Ipswich: Adds a new snowmobile and bucket for the tractor; trail improvements; new wood stove for lodge guests; replacing half the rental equipment.
Photos: Top -- Mount Sunapee (SunapeeRealEstateBlog.com); Bottom --Jackson XC