Following the opening of the new mountain biking trails as well as the new quad bungee trampoline this summer, Mount Washington is undertaking improvements to infrastructure as well as new maintenance equipment for the upcoming winter season.
“Probably the biggest and best will be the purchase of three new snow cats which will take us to the next level in terms of our grooming which is really important to our skiers and boarders,” said Don Sharpe, director of business operations.
The resort has purchased one winch cat and two conventional cats to add to the already existing fleet of five groomers.
Sharpe said that the new machines will allow grooming of steeper less accessible terrain, which will improve the guest experience in both the alpine and nordic areas.
Another equipment addition this season will be 10 snow guns.
George Trousdell, Director of Operations has been looking at which options will achieve maximum production as well as energy efficiency in this unique climate.
“For this season, we will continue our test by installing ten more snow guns which will be enough to cover the tubing area and our basic beginner terrain,” Trousdell said in a press release. “We will learn a lot from this new technology and we will be able to expand on the overall system next summer.”
At the base of the hill there will also be significant changes, in the place of the retail store there will be a new restaurant and a retail store will be located where the coffee shop used to be.
“The menu has been developed around a bakery in the morning and bistro in the afternoon concept,” said Tim Defert, director of hospitality in a press release. “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.”
To round out the retail experience the resort has partnered with Rossignol to bring in a larger, more innovative ski shop, a French themed market general store and a demo centre.
The ski shop will be located at the east end of Alpine Lodge and promises to have a very contemporary feel.
The Petit Market will sell grocery items as well as beer and wine.
The Rossignol Demo Centre will be near the base of the Eagle Chairlift. The design will be reminiscent of a high-end new car showroom. Guests will be able to learn about the technology behind skis, boards and boots as well as test out one of 30 sets of demo skis or 10 demo boards. The demo centre will offer all types of gear for sale as well as repair services.
In conjunction with the retail and demo program, the resort is introducing two Rossignol Experience Centres. At the Alpine Lodge guests will be able to sign up for alpine ski school and rent the equipment that they need and at the Raven Lodge guests will be able to find everything for nordic activities.
Both rental shops are receiving an influx of new equipment, over 500 new pairs of skis and 100 new snowboards, all from 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 of the alpine ski runs. All of these changes come one year after a new ownership group took over the resort. Sharpe said the group has spent the last six months nailing down where best to make improvements.
“It’s all part of repositioning ourselves growing into a new era,” he said.