TechnoAlpin Showcase at Park City
April 8th TechnoAlpin hosted a showcase tour of Park City’s snowmaking system.
Although the forecast contained the “R…” word, Park City delivered flawless bluebird skies and remarkable skiing considering our visit was just two days before the close of the season. Park City merged with the Canyons to form the New Park City and created the largest resort in the United States. This was an on skis tour because that was the only way we could get a look at the snowmaking system spread out over 7,300 acres! We were delighted with the turn out from as far away as Sun Valley because this late in the season lots of management teams are spread so thin they are loading lifts. In fact that is where our group ran into Brian Sudadolc, Sr. Dir. Of Mountain Operations. He was loading a gondola in his Vail Resorts dress greys.
Park City makes a great showcase for TechnoAlpin. The West side alone has more than 80 TechnoAlpin fan guns. We got a look at TF10’s, both tower and carriage mounts, T40’s, ARM guns and a slew of M18’s that have been spinning away happily for many years. The West side also has a compliment of Rubis EVO ultra-low energy stick guns. On the “City” side, more TechnoAlpin Fans and a very sanitary installation of V3 TechnoAlpin lance guns, all fully automatic.
The West side of Park City has 3 different pump stations. All these stations and the compressors are controlled by one computer running under ATASSplus 2016, the very latest version of TechnoAlpin’s snowmaking software. Our host Lew Stringer showed off his Maintenance Module which alerts him of which guns need what kind of maintenance, provides drawings and instructions on how that service is to be done and even gives him a place to order required spare parts. He also has the newest Weather Forecasting module where the software polls real time weather data from the guns and then uses that data to constantly correct the weather forecast models, which come to him through the software as well. It’s proving deadly accurate. It is not new to this version but it also has graphics that show Lew what his system has produced in terms of snow depth. Its color coded so that he and his crew can decide when they have built enough safe volume to be able to pull off. The other side of the equation is to control overproduction. With two days to go in his season; we’d have to say; “perfect”.
It was interesting watching the Sun Valley team, who has one of the biggest fully automated systems in the US at 550 air/water stick guns, compare notes with the Park City crew. Shared information is the tide that floats all boats and these Showcases certainly can raise everyone’s game. One of the things both of the auto resorts agreed on was the importance of meticulous installation of the hydrant vaults. It ensures that the automation you paid for delivers years of trouble free service.
Everyone agreed that this Showcase was an excellent educational opportunity and the skiing was fabulous as well. Sun Valley says they want to host next season. We can’t wait.