Vermont Invests in $15 Million Snow Gun Upgrade
Ski Vermont resorts will not be waiting around for Mother Nature to be gracious enough to deliver snow timeously during the 2014-2015 snow sport season. It was recently announced that resorts represented by non-profit trade association Ski Vermont, together with Efficiency Vermont, will be undertaking a $15 million upgrade of the ski area’s snowmaking system to ensure skiers and riders will be able to hit the slopes when the season begins.
In addition to bringing business to the area, the upgrade makes sense from an environmental point of view. Up to 1,800 older model snow guns will be scrapped and 2,300 new low energy snow guns will be installed for the upcoming season. To determine what models of snow guns would be most suitable to meet Ski Vermont’s goals, engineers from Efficiency Vermont conducted tests on fifteen different models, taking note of water, air and energy consumption, as well as their overall performance. Advances in technology have resulted in new model snow guns using up to 85% less energy to operate than older snowmaking equipment. It is anticipated that the upgraded snow guns will result in saving of around $2 million per annum, while attracting more snow sport enthusiasts to the area, thereby contributing to the economic welfare of the state.
While the energy saving of the new equipment is significant, snow sport fans will no doubt be thrilled that it will produce better quality snow and has the capability to create slopes even when temperatures are above ideal, thereby extending Vermont‘s snow skiing and snowboarding season.
Vermont Ski Areas Association President, Parker Riehle, noted that an upgrade of this magnitude has never been seen before, going on to thank Efficiency Vermont for its dedication to the Vermont ski industry. Snow skiing and snowboarding are the official state sports of Vermont, which is a leading international snow sport destination.