Killington NSSA Winter Trade Show
The NSAA Trade Show was held in Killington Vermont, February 2nd and 3rd. While the snow conditions at resorts west of our office in Denver have been exceptional with record crowds, reports from our Eastern sales and field service reps have told a different story. Many Eastern resorts lost most of December including Christmas to record shattering high temperatures. Only resorts with the most powerful and speedy of snowmaking systems were able to recover and open meaningful amounts of terrain. Thankfully, many of them were our customers. The rotten weather continued through the show with temperatures the day before the show in the 50’s. Crampons were the footwear of choice even in the parking lots. Temperatures dipped Tuesday morning to allow the planned snowmaking demo to proceed in very marginal temperature of around 27 wet bulb. Some manufactures didn’t even bother to turn on their guns and among those that did, snow quality varied widely. It was a good showcase for our TF 10.
In addition, the presentation done by TechnoAlpin’s Robin Smith “The Power of your own Snowmaking Data” was very well received as it was in Squaw Valley. Ee now have several requests to present it at other regional shows this fall.
Walk-ins drove attendance up for Tuesday night Trade Show and Cocktail reception and although the crowd was smaller than the Western show, resorts did send top management. The mood was somber but most agreed that if the weather turned, as was forecasted for the upcoming weekend, snowmaking could help salvage the season. Conversations centered on an acknowledgement that the speed of recovery was mission critical. Snowmaking systems that could build trail count over several weeks to deliver just before peak Christmas demand were not cutting it in the current weather scenario. Most savvy operators were saying the “recovery scenario” i.e. 100% of trail count in less than a week, was much more critical than the “opening scenario” in which an older system can build trail count as market demand builds pre Christmas. Automation, controlling over-production and capitalizing on short, marginal windows of opportunity were common themes. If there are success stories coming out of the East this season, they will be snowmaking stories.