It’s snowing at Arizona Snowbowl! As the first big early-season snowstorm moves through the region, Snowbowl staff members are watching with great anticipation and preparing for the projected First Day, White Friday, Nov. 29.
“This storm is reported to be full of moisture and has the ability to dump a substantial amount of snow on the San Francisco Peaks,” said Marketing Director Jason Stratton. “By Monday we’ll know just how much snow the ski resort received and be able to demonstrate the kind of quality product that can be produced from natural snow coupled with our state-of-the-art snowmaking system.”
With the colder temperatures, expert snowmakers have been making snow at Snowbowl. The 30 fully automated and computer controlled SMI Super Polecats are of the same snowmaking system that is being used in Sochi for the Winter Olympics.
“Every one of the 138 snowmaking stations on the mountain has its own weather station and microprocessor that relays the weather data to the main pumphouse control room, which sends the correct volume of water to each station and results in the best snow,” said Snowbowl General Manager J.R. Murray. “We feel we have the best possible combination working for us for an amazing First Day, and snowmaking can maintain quality conditions through the holiday season.”
The machines can make enough snow over night to cover a one-mile stretch of Route 66, all four lanes, with 12 inches of snow. “Cold temperatures and low humidity above 9,000-feet are ideal snowmaking conditions, making Arizona Snowbowl one of the best places in the country to make snow,” said Murray.
While it’s too early to determine how much of the mountain will be available for skiing on White Friday, the first trails to open will be served by the Hart Prairie and Sunset chairlifts and Little Spruce conveyor, followed by the Agassiz chairlift as conditions allow. The Sunset Terrain Park will offer rails and boxes on the first day. All trails with snowmaking machines (60 percent of the ski area) are expected to be open by mid-December, with the goal of having all the terrain open by Christmas.
“With snowmaking, businesses, organizations, schools and families are making plans to visit Flagstaff this winter to enjoy our beautiful Alpine outdoors and spend time in our thriving ski town,” said Snowbowl Marketing Coordinator Ksenia Hartl, who is helping groups make their reservations now for the 2013-‘14 season. Hartl can be reached at 779-1951, x117.
Also, with the anticipation of the 2013-’14 ski season, season pass sales are at an all time high. And,
Arizona Snowbowl has been named “Best Play-In-The-Snow Destination” by AZCentral.com Travel Editor Critic’s Pick for 2013.
In celebration of the first year that Snowbowl can count on December skiing and riding, the ski resort is offering Buy One, Get One Free early season lift tickets good through Dec. 20. Tickets are available online at arizonasnowbowl.com.
“The impact of snowmaking was showcased in the 2012-‘13 season when natural snowfall was down 25 percent, yet skier visits were up 40 percent,” said Murray. “Snowmaking also ensures the success of special events such as the Dew Downtown, races, and everyday enjoyment of the Sunset Terrain Park.”
Trails that have snowmaking in progress or that have new machine-made snow on them are closed to the public.