Costs of Snowmaking

The first thing to consider when estimating the cost of snowmaking is how much power is needed. Power consumption is a major environmental issue and one of a ski resort's largest costs. It can be difficult to predict, which makes coming up with an accurate estimate difficult. If you consider your location, the amount of snowfall in your area, and local weather patterns over time, you'll be able to come up with a reasonable estimate of how much electricity you will need during each season—and therefore how much each season will cost. One solution is through advanced snow-making technology. By making use of new technology like low-energy pumps and valves, ski resorts can reduce their energy usage by up to 50% and save thousands of dollars in the process. A ski resort can spend anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per inch of artificial snow on a given day. And that's not including the manpower cost: a single ski lift can cost up to $100 per hour to operate, and in some cases, more than one lift may be necessary to keep up with demand during peak times. Although these expenses are high, there are ways to reduce costs. For example, if a resort has access to its own hydropower source, they can make use of that resource instead of buying coal or oil at market rates. That way they do not have to pay for those resources at all—just their own labor and other operating costs. Another factor that affects the price of snowmaking is labor costs. Ski resorts are large facilities that require many people for maintenance and upkeep, including seasonal workers who come in during peak times like Christmas and New Year’s Eve (and sometimes even earlier).

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