The Columbus Dispatch

Snow Trails slides into season with improvemen­ts

- Mark Caudill

When patrons return to Snow Trails for the upcoming season, they will see a lot of improvemen­ts.

“There’s a lot we’ve been working on in the off-season,” marketing manager Nate Wolleson said. “We always reinvest in the resort.”

Here are just a few of the improvemen­ts and booking details families can look forward to this upcoming season:

• Constructi­on is underway on a 3,000-square-foot lodge located at the base of Competitio­n Slope, which will feature beautiful slope side views. The lodge will add additional indoor seating and restrooms to the resort, while accommodat­ing carry-in-food and space for racing program activities.

Skiers also can look forward to heated outdoor patio seating and a race timing and scoring room.

“Things like that make the experience all the more enjoyable even when people are not out on the slopes,” Wolleson said.

Upgrades to snowmaking mean more per hour

• Snow Trails continues to invest in its snowmaking capacity.

This year, a fifth water pump has been added to increase the total max snowmaking water flow to 5,500 gallons per minute.

“It increases our quality of snow and the quantity we can make in any given hour,” Wolleson said.

A cooling tower can reduce the water temperatur­e by 13 degrees. “Our five pumps make quick work of that and send it to our snow guns,” Wolleson

said.

For the first time, there are three SMI tower-mounted snow guns in the Crossover Trails, which will help in opening trails faster, as well as in recovery after warm-ups. An SMI super pole cat has been added to the alpine terrain park and another to the base area of the Rustler Trail.

Flash colors: Let there be light

• Glow tubers will enjoy an enhanced light experience this season with the addition of state-of-the-art lighting upgrades, which provide even greater animation timing and control of the brilliant flash colors. “Glow tubing’s amazing and now you take it to another level,” Wolleson said.

“Everything LED is more efficient and is a better-quality light.”

Gravel has been added on the run to help decelerate the speed of tubers in the finish area and prevent soggy conditions.

• Skiers will find 22 LED tower lights on the Alpine Lift and in the Beginners

Area. There are also upgraded LED tower lights on the Mt. Mansfield triple chairlift for Competitio­n Slope and Mt. Mansfield Slope.

Upgrades at lodge, deli, ski shop

• The ski lodge features remodeled women’s restrooms this season. Diners will enjoy even greater efficiency with improvemen­ts made to the Last Run Deli Kitchen. Finally, five additional radiant heaters have been added to the ski lodge deck.

• The ski shop has undergone an interior remodel and features new lighting and windows. Also, portions of the parking lot have been paved with asphalt and striped.

Wolleson is hoping to open for a 61st season in mid-december.

Ohio’s oldest ski resort traditiona­lly starts its first snowmaking campaign during Thanksgivi­ng weekend, based on opportune weather conditions.

“We watch for overnight temperatur­es to start trending cooler for a few nights,” Wolleson said.

Snow Trails can make snow at 29 degrees, compared to 27 degrees previously, Wolleson said.

Changes that were implemente­d last year will remain in place. For tubing, patrons must have advance reservatio­ns. There will be no walk-ups.

For the slopes, they must have advance bookings. Walk-ups are not available. That applies to both skiers and snowboarde­rs.

“We are seeing such an increase in outdoor recreation across the world,” Wolleson said. “With that high demand comes a few more limitation­s because of capacity.” mcaudill@gannett.com 419-521-7219

Twitter: @Mnjcaudill

 ?? SUBMITTED BY SNOW TRAILS ?? Five radiant heaters were added on Ski Lodge Deck, the women’s restrooms on the main floor and second floor of the ski Lodge have been remodeled, and the Last Run Deli kitchen has an expanded counter and cooler space, two ice makers and bin, plus a pizza prep table.
SUBMITTED BY SNOW TRAILS Five radiant heaters were added on Ski Lodge Deck, the women’s restrooms on the main floor and second floor of the ski Lodge have been remodeled, and the Last Run Deli kitchen has an expanded counter and cooler space, two ice makers and bin, plus a pizza prep table.

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