Gore Mountain Ski Center is installing 100 new snow guns along their Interconnect trails, and the outcome will be a lengthened skiing season with more open trails, as well as more skiers having the opportunity to ski from Gore to the North Creek Ski Bowl and downtown north Creek, which will undoubtedly draw more people into the mountain town's boutiques, eateries and accommodations. Photo provided
Gore Mountain Ski Center is poised to take a major investment that is expected to not only enhance family skiing opportunities, but increase the use of the North Creek Ski Bowl and boost the economy of merchants and lodging accommodations downtown.
Gore executives are planning to install no less than 100 new high-efficiency snow guns, primarily on the ski trails on the “Interconnect” route between Gore Mountain’s primary slopes and the North Creek Ski Bowl, Gore manager Mike Pratt said Nov. 24.
Permanently installed, the guns are expected to extend skiing over the Interconnect trails for weeks at both the beginning and the end of each skiing season, as well as enhance the skiing all season long, Pratt said.
“Gore has experienced fantastic growth since the 1990s, and the key to this was tapping the Hudson River’s water for snowmaking,” he said. “This next project will help maximize that resource.”
Pratt and marketing manager Emily Stanton said that with the Interconnect trails bringing skiers from the slopes to the family-oriented Ski Bowl and directly to downtown North Creek, the snow gun installations should add a significant amount of business for the taverns, boutiques, restaurants and lodging venues in the historic ski town.
“Our impact on North Creek businesses is very dramatic and very real,” Pratt said, noting that 160+ businesses now advertise with them, seeking the patronage of Gore’s many thousands of skiers annually. “Maximizing this impact is our goal.”
Last year, the Interconnect trails opened Jan. 1 following heavy snows right after Christmas. Two years earlier, they opened at the end of January. Pratt said that he envisions that with the new equipment, the Interconnect trails can be open for Christmas most every year.
Pratt said the new snow guns that Gore has been purchasing are tubes that are 10 to 20 feet tall, and use far less electricity than the traditional models with huge mobile fan-driven guns, which were moved from one spot to another on the trails. Gore presently has 400-plus snow guns total for all their slopes.
The cost of purchasing and installing the 100 new snow guns is set at $380,000, with $25,000 of that sum paid with Warren County bed tax receipts. Core members of the county Occupancy Tax Committee met about two weeks ago and endorsed Pratt’s request of $25,000 in full. The project’s cost is to be offset by a $190,000 rebate from National Grid for using energy-efficient equipment Pratt said. The net cost to the state’s Olympic Regional Development Authority is $165,000, according to Gore’s bed tax application, which notes that Gore has about 500 employees, and the new equipment provides the ski center with a crucial competitive advantage. It also states that four new internationally-sanctioned ski events are planned, and they are expected to attract skiing enthusiasts from all over the eastern U.S.
The full Occupancy Tax committee is to meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 3 to give final review to all pending requests for bed tax receipts.
Johnsburg Supervisor Ron Vanselow praised the project and said the county’s anticipated contribution of $25,000 was a good investment.
“This project should substanitally increase the use of the Interconnect and bring more skiers downtown,” Vanselow said.