Wintergreen Resort has gone through turbulent times, and it almost shut down due in part to a bad ski season last year. This year it's under new ownership and equipped with a new multi-million dollar water tank to make more snow, and get more people out there on the slopes.
Wintergreen was facing a series of financial issues, many caused by the warm weather. The resort was then bought by the same family who owns Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Building the water tank is one of the biggest new projects under the new ownership.
The tank has been in construction since August. It costs nearly $6 million, holds 5 million gallons of water, and will allow the resort to make twice as much snow as they were able to last year. The pump station for the new water tank can produce 8,000 gallons of snow a minute, compared to 4,000 gallons a minute with the old system. There will also be new pump guns and snowmaking pipes throughout the resort.
This means that not only will slopes open earlier, but more slopes will be open throughout the ski season. The upgrades will allow the resort to make better snow that covers more terrain.
"If you don't have snow it's difficult to get skiers to come up here. This will allow us to have a lot more terrain online and open before the holiday season," said Curtis Sheets, the chief of fire and rescue for Wintergreen Resort. "Christmas to New Years there could be 10,000 people on the mountain at one time. It's pretty exciting."
The new water tank can also be used to provide raw water to the community. Once treated, it can be used in homes as drinking water.
Crews are working seven days a week to complete the construction of the water tank in time for the start of ski season that is expected to start on December 8th. Click here for more information about the new snowmaking system at Wintergreen Resort.
In the meantime, there are several events going on at Wintergreen this weekend for Thanksgiving. There will be a traditional feast, an illumination of the courtyard, holiday workshops and other fun events for families. Click here for more information about the weekend festivities.