Mount Snow Bolstering its Snowmaking System with 645 New Snow Guns

Mount Snow, Vt. (August 18, 2014) – Following a variety of snowmaking projects that began in the spring of 2013 with the goal of improving the system’s efficiency and output, Mount Snow announces it will receive delivery of 645 new low-energy snow guns this fall. By replacing hundreds of older less efficient snow guns, the resort’s entire fleet of snowmaking equipment will now be comprised of 100% low energy technology.

As a result of this upgrade, Mount Snow will have the ability to produce more snow at one time than it did before thanks to the efficient operating nature of the new technology. On average, the new snow guns will require as little as eight cubic feet per minute (CFM) of compressed air, compared to 200-300 CFM that the older technology required.

“The correlation of higher efficiency and higher snow output is quite a remarkable thing,” said Mount Snow’s Director of Mountain Operations, Dave Moulton. “We will be saving a tremendous amount of power, which will ultimately reduce our carbon footprint, while also producing more high-quality snow for our guests to enjoy.”

It is estimated the average annual energy demand to operate the snowmaking system will drop by more than 2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) moving forward; an unprecedented improvement only made possible by the single largest snow gun delivery in Mount Snow’s history. That equals enough energy to power 180 homes for a year or operate the Bluebird Express, Mount Snow’s six-passenger bubble lift, for three winter seasons.

Skiers and riders will notice the upgrade right away as the new snow gun’s higher snow output and superior performance in marginal snowmaking conditions will allow the resort to open terrain faster and recover more quickly following inclement weather. Another advantage to this improvement is the resort’s snowmakers will be able to spend more time making snow and less time moving equipment because a snow gun will accompany every water hydrant on the mountain.

“Gone are the days that our snowmakers need to spend time dragging hoses and snow guns through the woods or from one location on a trail to another,” said Peak Resorts’ Northeast Project Manager, Brendan Ryan. “With a snow gun at every hydrant, ideally our crew will only need to position the equipment and dial them in which means they can spend more time doing what they’re great at: making snow.”

These new additions add to the firepower of a snowmaking system that was already anchored by 253 high output/high efficiency fan guns, which is the most of any resort in North America.

Other projects Mount Snow has undergone since the spring of 2013 include replacing nearly six miles of aging snowmaking pipe and installing new equipment to better control the flow of air and water. Another marquee element is this summer’s installation of Smart Snow, a $200,000 state-of-the-art snowmaking control system that provides constant data on the performance of the operation, among other benefits. It is the same system used to control the vast snowmaking complex in Sochi, Russia, which was installed specifically for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

The estimated total cost of these snowmaking efficiency upgrades over the last two years is around $2.5 million. The resort’s cost was offset thanks to incentives provided by Efficiency Vermont, with whom Mount Snow worked closely on completing all of these projects. A major part of the agreement for the snow gun upgrade is that Mount Snow will be donating over 500 older model snow guns to Efficiency Vermont for scrap.

Efficiency Vermont is a non-profit organization that provides technical assistance, rebates, and other financial incentives to help Vermont households and businesses reduce their energy costs with energy-efficient equipment and approaches to construction and major renovation.

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