Sugar Bowl to invest $8M in snowmaking

Sugar Bowl will invest $8 million in snowmaking upgrades. | Courtesy Sugar Bowl.

Sugar Bowl Resort will be expanding its snowmaking system during the summer for the 2018-19 winter season. The first $3 million of an $8 million snowmaking system upgrade and expansion will be invested to produce more snow to cover trails, race venues and terrain parks faster when temperatures drop, the resort announced in a press release.

The initiative will be completed in three phases, which at conclusion will result in:

  • More snow, faster. Thanks to a 50 percent increase in water pumping capacity and the latest snow gun technology, the time it takes to cover Sugar Bowl’s snowmaking terrain will be reduced by two-thirds.
  • Reduced energy consumption. With the addition of more than 150 low energy-use snow guns (low E’s), Sugar Bowl will significantly reduce its need for high-pressure compressed air.
  • Reduced carbon emissions. Less compressed air equals elimination of diesel-powered air compressors and a significant reduction in CO2 gas emissions.
  • Snowmaking coverage on Mount Disney. Pending regulatory approvals, snowmaking will be added to the popular advanced terrain on Mount Disney, including the black diamond run, East Face, Disney Traverse, Montgomery, and Upper and Lower McTavish trails.

This summer’s phase one is significant in its commitment to add more than 120 of the project’s new, low energy snow guns, along with increasing water pumping capacity by 50 percent.

“Our current snowmaking system has ‘good bones,’ it just has not kept pace with the latest technology,” said Jenna Prescott, Sugar Bowl’s executive director of mountain operations, in a press release. “By making this substantial move to low E guns we will see a huge increase in snow production immediately, using less energy.”

The new snow guns will be comprised of a mix of fixed and mobile stick and fan guns, including 17 tower-mounted fan guns positioned in large open areas where long throw range can be put to maximum use.

This summer will also see the addition of a new snowmaking spur along Union Street with 10 fixed low E stick guns to produce critical early-season snow to ensure top-to-bottom terrain from the summit of Mount Lincoln to the Village base can be opened as soon as temperatures drop.

Phases two and three of the initiative include the planning, permitting and installation of snowmaking coverage on Mount Disney and the replacement of all diesel-powered air compressors with highly efficient, electric air compressors.

“The commitment of Sugar Bowl to improve the ski experience and weather-proof the resort continues to be our focus for our guests and homeowners,” says Greg Dallas, Sugar Bowl president and CEO, in a press release. “With these snowmaking improvements our local and regional visitors can depend on Sugar Bowl to provide great snow coverage and conditions across the resort, even if winter has other plans.” | sugarbowl.com