It comes as no surprise that Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort is the first ski area in the East to implement SNOWsat into its grooming fleet. Leading the ski industry in sustainability and environmental awareness is nothing new to the Massachusetts resort. Currently, a staggering 90% of the resort’s electrical power comes from local renewable sources. Installed in 2007, Jiminy Peak’s 1.5 megawatt wind turbine provides approximately 66% of the resort’s annual electricity requirements. More recently, Jiminy Peak became a part of the largest community solar installation in the Northeast. The 2.3 megawatt solar project covers 12 acres near the base of the resort and provides solar power to Jiminy Peak as well as over a hundred local community solar subscribers. A cogeneration system, which is more environmentally friendly than traditional power plants, produces 400,000 kWh per year and is the source of heating for Jiminy Peak’s Country Inn and amenities. Additional energy savings and efficiency are achieved on a daily basis using new LPX snowmaking technology in conjunction with decades of careful water and land planning. Jiminy Peak’s decision to purchase SNOWsat in 2015 was just one more logical step forward on a path to an even more financially and environmentally sustainable future.
Tyler Fairbank, CEO of Jiminy Peak Resort, MA, responded to a few of our questions about how the SNOWsat system has thus far impacted the resort. Jiminy Peak is currently home to two SNOWsat systems and 4 PistenBully 600s.
What was the primary incentive for Jiminy Peak to purchase SNOWsat?
Tyler Fairbank: We want to be as smart as possible when it comes to balancing the costs of making and moving snow while providing our guests with an outstanding on-snow experience. We felt SNOWsat would give us the information we needed to be able to do that in a way we have never been able to before. We were right. Having SNOWsat this year has been invaluable.
With a slow start to the season for the entire East Coast, can you say that SNOWsat has lessened the financial impact of warm temperatures and little early natural snowfall?
Tyler Fairbank: We were able to have detailed views of the trails that allowed us to see factually where we had moveable snow and where we had thin coverage. It takes the guesswork out of it for the groomers. They do not necessarily know what the underlying terrain looks like. They we able to “spread the butter” much more effectively. We also had a fact based understanding of exactly how much snow we had on each trail and altered our snowmaking plans accordingly. That saved us a lot of money. That was huge.
How have your operators reacted to the system?
Tyler Fairbank: They love using it. Even the guys who have been around forever that I was concerned wouldn’t like it thought it was fantastic.
What is your favorite feature of SNOWsat and why?
Tyler Fairbank: I am not an operator so I can’t speak about the features on board the machine, but being able to factually see what the coverage on the mountain is and make fact based decisions about where to make snow and where to move snow is saving us a lot of money. It’s one of the first things I look at every morning now.
How was the support that KATV provided, from the SNOWsat installation to the technical support, up to this point in the season?
Tyler Fairbank: Terrific. Outstanding support.
At this point in time, can you say that SNOWsat has been a good investment for your resort? Would you recommend the technology to other resorts?
Tyler Fairbank: Absolutely - it was a good investment and I would highly recommend it.
Do you have any additional comments or concerns about SNOWsat?
Tyler Fairbank: It’s one of those tools that once you have it, you can’t imagine living without it.