Mount Washington Alpine Resort is investing over $2 million on improvements to infrastructure, equipment, and service outlets for the upcoming winter season, in addition to the investment made this summer to bring back mountain biking.
According to Peter Gibson, Mount Washington’s General Manager, “These investments will improve the on-snow product and the quality of our guest experience from new groomers to a new restaurant to new rental skis.”
For the benefit of slope conditions, the resort confirmed the purchase of three snow cats from Prinoth, a leading manufacturer of snow grooming machines. George Trousdell, Director of Operations, indicated the resort will add one winch cat and two conventional cats to the existing fleet of five groomers to significantly improve the on-snow experience in both the alpine and Nordic areas.
Trousdell has also been busy studying proposals from three snowmaking equipment manufacturers and developing plans.“There are a number of options, and since we are committed to designing and installing a state of the art system which achieves maximum production and energy efficiency in this particularly difficult climate, we want to make sure we put the right snow guns in the right places,” explained Trousdell.
“For this season, we will continue our test by installing 10 more snow guns, which will be enough to cover the tubing hill area and our basic beginner terrain. We will learn a lot from this new technology, and we will be able to expand on the overall system next summer.”
Besides the snow guns, the biggest physical change that guests will notice in the base area is a new restaurant where the retail store used to be and a new retail experience where the coffee shop was last year.
Tim Defert, Director of Hospitality, led the renovation of the space which will include 80 new restaurant seats to improve service on busy weekends and holidays. Defert noted, “The menu has been developed around a bakery in the morning and bistro in the afternoon concept. With great food and big picture windows facing the mountain and Strathcona Park, I’m sure it will become a favourite place to meet and hang out.”
Mount Washington also announced it has partnered with Rossignol to bring an industry leading retail concept to the mountain. A larger, more innovative ski shop will move into the east end of the Alpine Lodge and the space will undergo a complete renovation.
Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations, said the store will have a contemporary feel in its expanded space. Along with the traditional ski and snowboard gear from Rossignol and other suppliers, the General Store has been integrated into the new location as a small French themed market. The Petit Market will sell grocery items as well as beer and wine.
To round out the retail experience, Mount Washington and Rossignol will present a new Rossignol Demo Centre near the base of the Eagle Chairlift. Sharpe said the design of the centre will be reminiscent of a high-end new car showroom where guests will be able to learn about the technology behind skis, boards and boots.
To put all that new knowledge to use, a fleet of 30 demo skis and 10 demo boards will be available so guests will have the opportunity to take the gear out for a test drive. Boot fitting and repair services for all types of gear will also be offered in the Rossignol Demo Centre.
In conjunction with the expanded retail and demo program, the resort is introducing two Rossignol Experience Centres, one in the Alpine Lodge, home of the alpine ski school and rental fleet, and the other at Raven Lodge, which is the centre of Nordic activities.
In addition to explanatory graphics and displays, both the alpine and Nordic rental shops will receive an influx of new equipment, including over 500 new pairs of skis, 100 new snowboards and 500 new pairs of boots, all from the resort’s ski and snowboard equipment partner, Rossignol. Guests can expect to get the best gear available when renting which means a better experience on the snow, whether on the cross-country trails or on the alpine ski runs.
Gibson indicated two other initiatives round out the investment for this coming winter, a new point of sale software system to meet the new standards for customer information security and a new logo which will be introduced as part of this year’s season pass ad campaign to reflect the progress the resort is making towards improving the guest experience in every facet of its operation.
To complete the new products offered by Mount Washington this year, the resort announced season passes are now on sale with early season pricing until Oct. 10. After an absence last year, the resort has reintroduced its midweek season pass and will return a popular product to the lineup, the six-pack of tickets which can be shared among family or friends.
More information on how to become a season’s pass member is available on www.mountwashington.ca. Purchases can be made online, over the phone, or by visiting the Season Pass office at the mountain.