Efficient New Snow Guns, Brighter Lights and 100% Renewable Energy
HANCOCK, Mass. (Sept. 20, 2016) – “Pray for cold.” That’s the mantra these days at Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires north of Pittsfield, Mass.
Of course a heavy snowfall a few times per month wouldn’t be bad either. But it’s cold weather they really want this season, below 27 degrees F., which would allow the resort to unleash a barrage of snowmaking and groom slopes with satellite-assisted snowcats.
To prepare for the coming ski season, The Fairbank Group, operators of Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort and Bromley Mountain in southern Vermont, and owners of New Hampshire’s Cranmore Mountain Resort, is getting fired up for the season opener scheduled for between mid- to late-November.
Over 450 snowguns – 100 percent of the snowmaking system – have been upgraded to the new LPX-Y Gen 3 head designs invented by an engineer contracted by Jiminy Peak. It can spray twice as much water for half the amount of compressed air. Given the right temperature, these so-called “sledgehammers” can create a machine-made blizzard of snow that can be seen on weather radar, as the mountain proved during a low snowfall season last year.
Now this advanced snowmaking technology is being sold by the Fairbank’s Snowgun Technologies (fairbankgrp.com/snowgun-technologies) to other ski resorts.
The resort will be one of the few in the nation to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. A wind turbine, solar field and co-generation facility all located on the western Massachusetts property makes the resort energy self-sufficient.
“Snowmaking is in our DNA,” says CEO Tyler Fairbank. “Every flake of snow, whether natural or manmade, is carefully manicured to perform double duty. We ski on it once it falls, manufacture it if it doesn’t, then borrow snow from little-used and shady trails to be pushed, groomed and tilled where and when we need it,” Fairbank adds.
Jiminy Peak has equipped two PistenBully groomers with digital mapping and GPS to tell drivers exactly how much snow is beneath their treads, blades and rollers. The maps are based on aerial photography captured during summer, and are accurate to within two inches (5 cm).
“Rather than eyeball it, the SNOWSat technology allows us to more precisely gauge depth and place more snow where the cover is thin, and less where the cover is already sufficient for skiing or riding,” Fairbank explains, noting that Jiminy Peak is one of only a few resorts in the U.S. using the new technology.
Turning Night into Day
What’s more, over 230 slopeside lights have been replaced with lighter, brighter, more energy efficient LED lighting covering 60 percent of the mountain. The difference has been likened to that between a manila envelope and a white envelope. Nighttime skiers and riders will see snow more realistically this coming season, just as nature intended.
The emphasis on renewable energy, besides being environmentally-friendly, makes good business sense as well, says Fairbank.
“People care about the environment. When they see a business like ours getting granular about saving energy, right down to the waterless urinals, paperless hiring procedures, and using compressor heat to melt ice on walkways, it makes them feel good to ski or ride here,” Fairbank says.
“We’re a business venture with a social conscious making a difference in this world. The purpose of our business is to enhance people’s lives. Our vision is to become among the most admired, and most respected winter resorts in America.”
For more information: www.jiminypeak.com
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About The Fairbank Group
The Fairbank Group, LLC, based at Jiminy Peak and co-owned by the father-son team of Brian Fairbank and Tyler Fairbank, manages and oversees a group of businesses that include the ski resorts Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Cranmore Mountain Resort and Bromley Mountain as well as EOS Ventures, and other endeavors. For more information: Fairbankgrp.com
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort
413 738 5500
Jeff Blumenfeld for Jiminy Peak
203 326 1200; [email protected]