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Vail to Increase Grooming by 20%

thetrailboss

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VTKilarney

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It's very interesting to see that they achieved this by simply becoming more efficient with existing equipment.
 

skiNEwhere

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Well thank goodness. I'm tied of always having to deal with that pesky powder

It's very interesting to see that they achieved this by simply becoming more efficient with existing equipment.

or in other words, more grooming personnel or longer shifts
 

VTKilarney

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or in other words, more grooming personnel or longer shifts
Uhh... No.

"Two years ago, Vail installed a system on their snowcats which would feed them data about how the cats perform. Those examining the data came to the conclusion that with more training, Vail could better optimize performance. Howe described it as a reimagining of the way they do grooming."
 

BushMogulMaster

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You'd be amazed at how much more efficient you can be simply by analyzing grooming patterns and operator habits (turnaround spots, tiller speed, and engine speed are big ones!). For a smaller mountain like ours (400 acres), we can accomplish this without multi-thousand dollar GPS-based systems, simply through training and watching as the season progresses. But for an area like Vail, with a fleet of 40+ cats, the tracking systems make sense.

The idea of grooming certain terrain more frequently, however, I would take issue with (you know... each time you till a trail without a fresh fall of snow, the snowpack gets harder and harder.........). But that's another argument for another venue.
 

Cannonball

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You'd be amazed at how much more efficient you can be simply by analyzing grooming patterns and operator habits (turnaround spots, tiller speed, and engine speed are big ones!). For a smaller mountain like ours (400 acres), we can accomplish this without multi-thousand dollar GPS-based systems, simply through training and watching as the season progresses. But for an area like Vail, with a fleet of 40+ cats, the tracking systems make sense.

The idea of grooming certain terrain more frequently, however, I would take issue with (you know... each time you till a trail without a fresh fall of snow, the snowpack gets harder and harder.........). But that's another argument for another venue.

You guys are amazing at this (I used to ski Cooper a lot). I wonder if a larger place like Vail could scale up your approach by assigning areas to well-trained groomers. They could each manage their area as they see fit and use the techniques that you describe.
 

VTKilarney

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That does make sense. A lot of Midwesterners drive to Colorado for ski vacations.


.
 

mbedle

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I just read an article that Vail is going to invest 13 million into the Wilmont ski area. That is on top of the 12 million they paid for the place in January. I'm sure they know what they are doing, but its hard to imagine how that pays off for them. Since the Epic pass tracks usage at every resort, they must have a really good handle on how many mid-westerner are skiing at these places and than booking trips to their bigger resorts. Interesting to note that Wilmont was created by digging out a huge excavation and piling the dirt up to make the ski slopes on a 180 foot hill. Thats also how they made vail's Mt. Brighton 150 foot hill. Another thing that is odd is they also purchased the tubing park on 49 acres (makes sense), a couple of 8 acres parcels and an additional 127 acres of land next to the resort, up against the river. Maybe they plan on building out a big vacation resort.
 

4aprice

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20% less incentive to visit Vail.

Vail is so big that the even with the 20% more groomed they still have more ungroomed then most ski areas have in total. Grooming in the west is not to be looked at in the same light as it is back east + they publish maps daily to show you whats been groomed.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 
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