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What's up with the power?

ss20

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So we know that a lot of mountains have been scaling back their snowmaking operations this year due to the cold and lack of energy. But this winter hasn't been particularly cold, correct?

Mount Snow's GM gives an excellent synopsis on what's going on, for those of you who aren't aware http://mountsnow.com/kellys-blog-while-you-were-sleeping/
 

bzrperfspec77

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I love seeing emails/blogs/postings like this. It gives great insight to whats going on and I'm sure most of us (us on the website) appreciate it. Some will never get it though and that's where we come into play and do what Kelly says... Explain the situation.
 

pcampbell

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Interesting blog post. It seems like it's been particularly cold to me .

I thought resorts normally made snow at night anyway?
 

steamboat1

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This is an advantage for ski areas that power their compressors using diesel. I'm sure most that do lock in their price for the year so it doesn't make a difference when they blow snow.
 

drjeff

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Kelly is about as much of a straight shooter as they come when it comes to communications with guests/customers about what's going on and why it's being done that way. And it's this openness that tends to make Mount Snow regulars like myself very content with how the mountain is being run.

I feel fortunate to be able to call her a friend, and having gotten to know her over many years (and many chairlift rides, and lunch table conversations, etc) reading one of her blogs is exactly like talking with her in person.

For example, this coming weekend is passholders appreciation weekend at Mount Snow (unfortunately I won't be there this weekend die to a convention in Boston that i'm attending), but because of the year round good job at communicating to passholders and guests about what the mountain is doing, at the passholder's Q&A session with senior management that is held, basically the only questions that get asked pertain to the status of the West Lake Snowmaking project, what next year's pass prices will be, and it woudln't be a passholders meeting if someone didn't ask if they have any plans to buy Haystack and connect the 2 :rolleyes: (although this year with how the Hermitage Club/Haystack is apparently doing, even that "annual" question might not get asked! :lol:
 

dlague

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I work for a electric utility company and see what he is talking about from the utility side. The power market for large users is almost like a commodity and high demand periods hit the large demand customers. We are a distributor and buy our power from various sources with volume and rate being set based on short term and long term projections. Most of the ski areas that we deal with have control centers that show them just how much something is costing them as they use it. For example: it you see good terrain and the chair is not running - it more than likely is due to the skier visits that day compared to lift capacity that dictates whether a chair is worth it! Same applies to snow making!
 

C-Rex

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For example: it you see good terrain and the chair is not running - it more than likely is due to the skier visits that day compared to lift capacity that dictates whether a chair is worth it! Same applies to snow making!

I have a problem with this. If the terrain a chair provides access to is skiable, and said terrain is not accessable from another running chair, then the chair should be running. They are charging me the same amount as when all lifts are running so I should have access to all the skiable terrain. I hate when resorts save terrain for the weekend or holidays. Weekday customers paid for their tickets too. It sucks to drive all the way to the mountain to find out a certain chair isn't running even though the trails are skiable. That's also why I have no problem ducking ropes if I think the coverage is fine and they are just saving it for Saturday.
 

SIKSKIER

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This is interesting to hear about the rates changing on the fly.Makes me wonder what kind of deal Cannon has cuz they have had as many guns going 24/7 the past week as I have ever seen.
 

ScottySkis

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It has been cold. I just read on Facebook's NOAA that Alaska has had temperatures in the 60 s currently.
 

jrmagic

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I have a problem with this. If the terrain a chair provides access to is skiable, and said terrain is not accessable from another running chair, then the chair should be running. They are charging me the same amount as when all lifts are running so I should have access to all the skiable terrain. I hate when resorts save terrain for the weekend or holidays. Weekday customers paid for their tickets too. It sucks to drive all the way to the mountain to find out a certain chair isn't running even though the trails are skiable. That's also why I have no problem ducking ropes if I think the coverage is fine and they are just saving it for Saturday.

This really isn't a case of saving it for Saturday. I have no tolerance for that either. While you are entitled to your opinion, a lift ticket does not guarantee you access to all the possible lift served terrain. I think in general, when resorts don't run certain lifts due to demand they usually try to close these that can be accessed from other lifts but I guess that isn't possible in all cases. Lift tickets are generally cheaper than weekend rates so it at least helps compensate for these inconveniences. You could also take the lift that gets you closest to where you want to ski and hike from there.
 

sf77

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Mount Snow's GM gives an excellent synopsis on what's going on, for those of you who aren't aware http://mountsnow.com/kellys-blog-while-you-were-sleeping/
It seems as if he is saying that Mount Snow will make the majority of their snow, now during the night shifts. This is because they want to cut back in their spending for power. Now a days, it seems as if all businesses are scaling back or using other options to save money:x
 

ScottySkis

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So after rai$ events is Mountain Snow only going to make snow at night? If that is the plan it might be smart to charge prices they charge and I was conserding a Sunday only pass next year but maybe not now.
 

Tin

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I have a problem with this. If the terrain a chair provides access to is skiable, and said terrain is not accessable from another running chair, then the chair should be running. They are charging me the same amount as when all lifts are running so I should have access to all the skiable terrain. I hate when resorts save terrain for the weekend or holidays. Weekday customers paid for their tickets too. It sucks to drive all the way to the mountain to find out a certain chair isn't running even though the trails are skiable.

This is why I avoid certain places now. Wind holds my ass.
 

drjeff

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It seems as if he is saying that Mount Snow will make the majority of their snow, now during the night shifts. This is because they want to cut back in their spending for power. Now a days, it seems as if all businesses are scaling back or using other options to save money:x


What she's saying is that right now, with good base depths around the mountain on essentially all the snowmaking trails, that Mount Snow will be making snow, while the power company still has "restrictions" on large consuming customers, during off peak power hours to both be economical with their power consumption costs and also help to minimize what their overall charged rate per KwH for next year will be. The plan will be, as long as a thaw/freeze recovery isn't needed, to make snow at night on the terrain mentioned to continue their work in increasing base depths for spring.

If temperatures become more seasonable and power consumption rates are their usual, instead of the extra that they've been recently due to increased demand across the entire New England grid because of the cold, then I bet that day time snowmaking will be happening (heck it was yesterday on a few of their trails, just not a major, full system snowmaking effort (that will be saved for night operations while the power restrictions are in place)
 

drjeff

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So after rai$ events is Mountain Snow only going to make snow at night? If that is the plan it might be smart to charge prices they charge and I was conserding a Sunday only pass next year but maybe not now.

Not at all Scotty. What she was saying is that right now, while large power customers are being asked to limit their consumption due to very high demand across the entire New England power grid because of the very cold temps, Mount Snow is mainly going to make snow at night, when overall power demand is low, and the amount that they are being charged per kilowatt hour of electricity is lowest. If they ran the system right now, and having last skied there less than 48 hrs ago, I feel pretty comfortable saying that they don't need any major recovery resurfacing snowmaking work on open terrain, the rates that they'd be paying for their bulk buy of electricty for NEXT season would be over 2 times greater than this season, so as a result they've scaled back(not eliminated) daytime snowmaking, until more "normal" temps are across the New England power grid and the power consumption restrictions are eased.

From both their Carinthia webcam yesteday and their picture of the day yesterday, it was plainly evident that they were making snow over on Inferno and Prospector/The Farm at Carinthia and Charlie's Chase on the main mountain, during the day. What they won't be doing DURING THE DAY, while the power restrictions are in place, is run the system at maximum capacity, that will be done at night.

I fully suspect that if a thaw/freeze cycle hits between now and at least Presidents Week, that Mount Snow will fire up their snowmaking system to maximum capacity during the daytime to aid in the recovery process.

This is just about making a smart, cost effective business decision in a time when overall the condition of the open snowmaking terrain is quite good, not a policy per say that will be carried forth through the end of the snowmaking season
 

fbrissette

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This is why I avoid certain places now. Wind holds my ass.

I see wind holds (real or fake ones) as opportunities. If you are willing to hike or skin-up, you can have parts of a resort to yourself for several runs. Last Sunday at Jay, all upper mountain lifts were closed but the Jet. It's a 15-20 minutes skin to the top from there. Real easy. Several of my best ski days have happened during wind hold days.
 

Tin

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I agree it makes for great tracks if you're willing to hike or skin up but driving four to five hours to a ski area during the week and having a wind hold because of a low turn out is bs.
 

Newpylong

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So we know that a lot of mountains have been scaling back their snowmaking operations this year due to the cold and lack of energy. But this winter hasn't been particularly cold, correct?

Mount Snow's GM gives an excellent synopsis on what's going on, for those of you who aren't aware http://mountsnow.com/kellys-blog-while-you-were-sleeping/

I can tell you there haven't been many days above the single digits this winter here in NH outside of that warm-up. It has been exceptionally cold.
 
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