PERISHER BLUE, AUSTRALIA - May 13, 2008 - Perisher Blue reached a milestone overnight with the first operation of the resort's new automated snowmaking system in Perisher Valley.
After months of tireless hard work and an investment of $9.75 million over the summer months, ten snow guns went into action at around midnight, one full week ahead of last season's snowmaking debut. Temperatures hit a low of -6.9°C at the base of the Forester Quad Express overnight providing perfect conditions for the new Techno Alpin snow guns to be put through their paces.
Locals in the area have already noted the lack of noise produced by the new automated guns, which are programmed to make snow when the temperature and humidity are optimal for snowmaking. This also has the added benefit of increasing the energy efficiency of Perisher Blue's operations, a key target of the resort's Environmental Management System (EMS).
The official commencement of snowmaking for 2008 signifies the completion of stage two of Perisher Blue's snowmaking expansion. The $9.75 million spend has delivered a new sustainable water supply, an upgraded pump station and 34 new automated snow guns in addition to the resort's 154 existing snow guns. This will provide 3.5 hectares of new snowmaking area linking Perisher's Mid Station of the Forester Quad Express through Yabby Flat and Goats Gully to Front Valley.
Stage three of the resort's snowmaking expansion is planned to include the automation of the remainder of Front Valley snowmaking and the expansion of automated snowmaking through Happy Valley and up Towers Run on Mt Perisher.
According to Peter Brulisauer, Chief Executive Officer of Perisher Blue, "These are exciting times, with the completion of substantial resort improvements that will significantly enhance the reliability and quality of our product for our guests. We look forward to a great season in 2008 and beyond."
Now that snowmaking has officially started at Perisher Blue, it is expected that the guns will be fired up at every opportunity through to August. With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting snow later this week and more cold air conducive to snowmaking next week, the resort should be looking white and ready for skiing and snowboarding from the start of the season on 7 June 2008.
For more information about Perisher Blue, see http://www.perisherblue.com.au/winter/index.php.