by Andrew Martin
Winter is quickly approaching and Lamoille County’s ski resorts are gearing up for the upcoming season. Both Stowe Mountain Resort and Smugglers’ Notch Resort have recently invested in new snowmaking capabilities in order to better their 2012-2013 seasons and both are scheduled to open in the coming weeks.
Stowe Mountain Resort is continuing to invest in its snowmaking infrastructure. The winter of 2011-2012 and the record low snowfall over the last 10 years has made it clear that Vermont ski resorts will need snowmaking capabilities moving forward, and Stowe is quickly working to answer that need. Over the last eight years Stowe has worked to implement its eight million dollar investment in snowmaking. That work includes the creation of the 116 million gallon water storage area and a fully-automated snowmaking system on Spruce Peak.
Stowe has continued its investment into snowmaking this year with an additional 4.7 million dollars in new equipment and upgrades. Among the improvements this year were 325 HKD tower guns, 150 energy efficient land guns, 16 Super Pole Cat fan guns, and seven miles of new snowmaking pipe. The new projects and equipment will not only increase Stowe’s snowmaking ability but also reduce the resort’s energy footprint by reducing the need for nearly 100,000 gallons of diesel storage, use, and emissions.
Stowe is tentatively scheduled to open on Saturday, November 17.
Smugglers’ Notch has also been investing in its snowmaking capabilities. This year the resort spent approximately $1,000,000 on 150 new high efficiency tower guns and a new electric compressor. The new guns have been positioned to provide more snow on the most popular trails at the resort.
Smugglers’ will open on Friday, November 23, with intermediate trails on Sterling Mountain being available. The resort will also be holding its annual Brewfest on December 8 as part of its early season festivities.
Stowe’s Trapp Family Lodge has also been working to prepare for the season. Workers at Trapp’s have been working to clear and expand trails, and the lodge plans to begin using its snowmaking equipment before Thanksgiving, temperatures permitting. The lodge has also hired a new Director of Sports, Paul McNeil.