Ski season is just around the corner but for one Connecticut resort, it cannot get here soon enough.
The owners of Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort have invested millions of dollars to ensure that it can open earlier than ever before.
Powder Ridge is tired of the mild winters. Their business depends not only on cold, but on snow, and they are taking snowmaking to a whole new level this year.
The mountain has a variety of snowmaking machines – more than 200 of them – but for ownership, that’s not enough.
“We’re referring to this as the snow factory,” resort co-owner Sean Hayes said, standing atop a snowmaking machine about the size of a small building.
The snow factory, or more accurately the “DeMaclenko Snow Pro,” is the resort’s latest investment.
Unlike traditional snowmaking machines that require sub-freezing temperatures, this massive device can crank out a snow-like mixture at virtually any temperature.
“This machine will give us December, guaranteed, every year from this point on,” Hayes said.
The machine arrived from Germany just last week and engineers are still setting it up. Once operational, the technology will work much like a giant ice maker.
“The ice falls down into trays, goes through augers and out is blown, with high-compression snow,” Hayes said.
The resort declined to say exactly how much the machine costs only to say, “in the millions.” The impact, though, could be priceless.
“Eventually, we might enclose a trail, and give you winter 12 months a year,” Hayes said.
Hayes hopes to have the machine operational in the next couple of weeks and is aiming to have snow on the trails by the end of November.