This winter we will see Phase II of a $7.5 million investment plan to completion. This project has progressed the entire resort to the Next Level with renovations, upgrades, and innovations to snowmaking, terrain, lifts, the Base Lodge, and ticketing experience. This winter Waterville Valley will be Progressing to the Next Level and we want you here with us progressing to yours, whether it’s skiing or riding the mountain from top to bottom for the first time, learning to ski the bumps and trees, or landing a trick you’ve been working on. Read on for all of the new updates we have coming your way for the 2018/19 season...
›› Resort-Wide Snowmaking Upgrades
This summer our crew has been busy laying down 33,000 feet of new snowmaking pipe and installing our new high efficiency tower and fan guns which were specially designed to fit our needs here at Waterville Valley through a partnership with the France based MND Group.
This winter we will have 500 new snow guns, 400 of which will have already been installed prior to the beginning of the season, and we have relocated 80 guns which will allow for better snowmaking in new positions on the mountain. With a new filtration and automation system, snow will be made faster and more efficiently, saving us on average 2,780,825 kilowatts of energy (that’s enough to power 4,521 New Hampshire homes for one month!). The filtration system has been installed on the main intake in the pumphouse to reduce organics in our water which will ultimately increase production of snow at a higher quality. The new snow guns have smaller orifices, and the new system creates a smaller snow particle which will help eliminate the risk of clogs.
Also new to the snowmaking department is a special automation system that has the ability to control the new fan guns, monitor weather remotely, and make automatic changes to ensure the best snow quality and a more consistent snow surface. This system is hooked up directly to the pumps and compressors to better control the snowmaking at Waterville Valley.
From a visual standpoint, guests will also barely notice that the guns are there. The black coloring will allow them to fade into the natural environment which will help preserve the beauty of the National Forest.
›› Upgrades to Our Grooming Fleet
New this winter to our grooming fleet is a Prinoth Bison X Winch Cat and a Prinoth 500. These two new cats will build and maintain Waterville Valley’s competitive venue to the highest level. The winch cat is a highly specialized cat that will allow for more efficient and faster grooming on our steeper terrain. The Prinoth 500 grooms 33% wider than the traditional cat, which will allow for us to lay down more corduroy every night after lifts close. With the addition of these two new cats, we will be able to produce the highest quality of corduroy, more efficiently creating a better skiing and riding experience.
›› Completed Green Peak Expansion
Over the past few years we’ve been working on the Green Peak Expansion and this winter we will see our crew’s hard work pay off. This is the first major expansion at Waterville Valley in over 30 years. This winter the entirety of Green Peak is officially ready for skiing and riding, now all we need is some snow! This is a project we take a lot of pride in since all work was done in house, with the help of local contractors who assisted with the moving and installation of the Green Peak Triple, and initial site work. Last winter we were able to open 7 of 10 new trails, but for the 2018/19 season we will be unveiling the final three trails that have not yet been skied, including Wayne Wong Way, which features the steepest pitch at the resort. We will also be making snow on all ten of the new trails as long as Mother Nature cooperates for us.
›› New High Country T-Bar Lift
Last winter construction began on the new High Country T-Bar and the old 1966 double chair spun for its final season. This summer we have been hard at work installing the new T-Bar and it will be ready to bring skiers and riders to the summit this winter. The design is low to the ground which means it’s less susceptible to wind, and a twice as fast ascent time will allow for more skiing and riding on High Country. With more convenient access to the lower terminal from the unload of other lifts, the flow from base to summit will also be improved.
The experience up on High Country will be much different this winter. The old double went right down the middle of the trail which took away from the openness of the terrain. With the new T-Bar, High Country now has slightly more skiable acreage and it will ski like an open, high altitude bowl creating a unique experience, similar to what one would find in the west or European Alps.
›› Base Lodge Renovation
Last year we began Phase II of our projects and this winter we will see those to completion, with a 12,000 square foot renovation project to the Base Lodge. Last season guests saw the first phase of this multi-year process which made for better flow from car to snow, but this winter is all about the views and elbow room.
Upon entry, the first thing guests will notice is higher ceilings, a more spacious feel, and better access to the slope. We installed a wall of glass windows facing the slope which allows for more natural light and we regraded the slope outside of the lodge giving better views of the mountain. We’ve opened up more room for seating, with 3,000 square feet of expansion which will give you more elbow room during the lunch time rush. We’ve also added direct access from the second floor to the slope making getting on the lifts faster and easier.
The third floor, previously home to Buckets, is getting a complete face lift that will reflect our freestyle skiing heritage along with a new name, The Freestyle Lounge. We have removed the old, underutilized deck which stood 12 feet off the ground with the support of a steel structure. The new and improved third floor will feature the best view of the mountain. The expansion will also allow for additional seating on the third floor, creating a more pleasurable dining experience along with more opportunities for lounging while you enjoy your favorite brew or hot cocoa post skiing and riding.
›› Gateless RFID
Last winter we debuted the new Gateless RFID, developed at Waterville Valley Resort by the Affinity Team, led by Chris Bradford. The new technology eliminated barcode scanning and gate readers, creating more skiing and riding with more direct lift access and less waiting in lines. For this winter we have made updates to the technology by improving readability, eliminating the RFID card deposit, and introducing the Direct-to-Lift (DTL) Reloadable Card. Season pass holders and frequent skier card users will also have the option to upgrade to a helmet sticker. Skiers and riders at Waterville Valley Resort will continue to experience the forefront of innovations to lift access and ticketing this season.
›› Sport Thoma
In addition to the Base Lodge remodel, Sport Thoma will be extending their services which will allow them to process a higher volume of repairs and tunes on any given day. Sport Thoma is the go to spot for the latest skiing and adventure gear, tuning, and rental shop located at the base of Waterville Valley, right next to the Base Lodge.
›› World Class Events
Waterville Valley Resort has a history of commitment to world-class events and athletes. In 1969 Waterville Valley formed the first freestyle instruction program, making the resort the birthplace of freestyle skiing. The following year resort founder, Tom Corcoran, and editor of Skiing Magazine, Doug Pfeiffer, organized the first National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing on the Sunnyside trails. For the 2018/19 season we will continue our legacy of bringing world-class events to the slopes of Waterville Valley starting with the returning Toyota Revolution Tour January 13-18th and the World Pro Ski Tour February 8th & 9th. This spring we will be bring back the U.S. Freestyle Championships on Lower Bobby’s March 13-18th. For our last major event of the season we will host our first elite level race since we hosted the World Cup in 1991, by bringing the nation’s top ski racers to Waterville Valley with the U.S. Alpine National Championships on March 23-26. Directly following we will also host the U.S. Junior National Championships March 27th-29th.
MEDIA CONTACT ›› STACIE SULLIVAN ›› SSULLIVAN@WATERVILLE.COM