NORTH CREEK 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.