Wednesday, February 8, 2017
It was great to see everyone at the Passholder Appreciation Weekend events. Some passholders who could not attend asked that I post some of the questions from the Q&A session. Here are a few of the highlights. Feel free to chime in or ask your own questions.
West Lake: With EB5 money released from escrow, work on West Lake has started up again. The lake, for the most part, is built. We still have to build the pipeline from West Lake to Haystack, construct 3 pump houses and an inflatable dam. Our goal will be to withdraw water from West Lake next fall for snowmaking season. The hardest part may be filling the lake with water. When filling we will be restricted to one foot per day. The lake is 50 ft deep so it will take about 50 days minimum. The soils at the site are very fine and stay suspended when introduced to water. It will be a challenge to get those fine particles to settle but we have a few tricks up our sleeve.
If West Lake comes on line for the 2017-18 season, will snowmaking increase?
Yes and no. We will be able to make snow faster on existing snowmaking trails. We will go from pumping approximately 6,000 GPM to 12,000 GPM.
Can we expand snowmaking to natural snow trails like Hop and Big Dipper next year? Not next year as we will need some permits and we will have to install air/water pipelines and snowmaking equipment. The good news is that we will have the water needed to obtain permission for snowmaking expansion and it is a top priority.
Carinthia Lodge: The remainder of the $52M EB5 money is for the construction of a new lodge at Carinthia (38,000 sf). We will break ground this summer, sometime between July and September. The lodge will be finished for the 2018-19 season. We will use the existing lodge for one more season.
Dick Deutsch explained that he will continue to raise funds for the next phase, 102 residential units at Carinthia.
Lifts: There were several questions about lift upgrades and replacements and we assured everyone that Sunbrook is our first priority but we do not have an exact date. With the ability to add snowmaking to trails on the Sunbrook face, the time is perfect to also replace the quad chair and build some sort of warming and food building at the base. Our goal is to create an area where our skiers can spend some time, taking pressure off the main mountain.
Passholders also asked about lift upgrades on the North Face. I explained that one of Mount Snow's strengths is lift redundancy on every mountain face. On the North Face the two lifts come in handy when faced with wind (like this past Sunday) or a mechanical issue. If we decide to replace the two lifts with one, we will have to engineer it so it will operate well in winds, like the Bluebird Express. For the most part, Sunbrook remains the highest priority for lift replacement.
Season Passes: Passholders wanted to know if we would keep the Peak Pass and pricing structure for next year. Thad Quimby let everyone know that we are currently working on that plan and we will share it with everyone later in February.
Main Base Lodge: When will the Main Base Lodge be replaced? It is hard to tell. Dick explained that all of these projects will depend on financing and that we want to continue to raise EB5 funds and build something every year but it will depend on how the funding goes. Dave Moulton told the group that when we tackle the Main Base area it would be a big and complicated job and we would have to use temporary structures like tents for a year. Building the Carinthia lodge allows us to shift some of our skiers to that facility while the Main Base is being built.
Those are a few of the big ones. As I mentioned, please ask if you have a question.