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May 28. 2014 9:54PM

Wildcat resort gets $2m snow-making upgrade

PINKHAM NOTCH — Less than a month since announcing the construction of the “longest single-span zip line in the contiguous United States” at Attitash Mountain, the company that owns that resort and two others in New Hampshire on Wednesday said it is also making a major investment in the snow-making system at Wildcat Mountain.

Peak Resorts of Wildwood, Mo., which owns and operates Attitash, Wildcat and the Crotched Mountain ski areas, announced that Wildcat is on the receiving end of a $2 million capital improvement project that will include more than nine miles of snowmaking pipe and some 150 new, high output/high efficiency snow guns from manufacturers HKD and Snow Logic.

The new snow-making system will be in place for the start of the 2014-2015 season.

Known as the “King of Spring” for what in 2013-2014 was its eighth consecutive season of being the last ski resort in New Hampshire to offer lift service for spring-time skiing and snowboarding, Wildcat, according to officials at Peak Resorts, did extensive testing last winter, under a variety of conditions, before purchasing the new snow-making equipment.

Brendan Ryan, who is Peak Resorts’ Northeast project manager, said the equipment will save Wildcat money, while ensuring better snow.

“Today’s snow-making technology is so impressive, we estimate Wildcat will burn roughly 40,000 less gallons of diesel fuel annually as a result of this upgrade,” said Ryan. “All of the components of this project will ultimately lead to using less power and burning less fuel while producing more, high-quality snow.”

In April, Peak Resorts unveiled plans for two major zip line spans at Attitash. One of them — the Flying Bear — will be nearly a mile-long and carry riders as high as 400 feet off the ground.

The zip lines are the latest attraction addition at Attitash which in 1976 opened its first, the Alpine Slide, and subsequently added 12 more. The resort boasts the Mount Washington Valley’s longest mountain coaster and New Hampshire’s first free-fall Airbag Jump.

Yesterday, Thomas Prindle, who is the director of marketing at both Attitash and Wildcat, said the zip line project at the former “is moving along as planned.” The effort has experienced no setbacks, he added, and is “still on target for an opening date in early August.”

jkoziol@unionleader.com


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