Running a ski area, a year-round job

MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — “You don’t mess with Mother Nature.” The people at Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort do, making snow when she isn’t.

But operating a ski area is a year-round job, not only when it’s cold enough for snow.

“People always ask me what we do in the summer,” said Tom Loring, director of the training center at Powder Ridge. “Well, we spend most of the summer getting everything ready for three months.”

They have to make sure everything is ready for when it’s time to make snow.

“We have to make sure all the valves for all the hydrants all around the hill are in the right positions,” Loring said. “We have to have hoses set up, have all the guns set up.”

Once it’s time to make the snow, the job doesn’t get any easier.

“Our snow-makers go out and check the guns in rounds to adjust where the snow is falling and combat the wind,” Loring said. “That’s constant attention while we’re making snow. We don’t just get to turn it on and take a nap.”

After the snow is on the ground, there’s more to do.

“Even with the snow sticks 50 to 60 yards apart, we can’t lay down an even layer, so we have to push that out,” Loring said. “The big Snow Cats are basically snow bulldozers, and on the back they have a tiller. It chops up the snow and ice into a nice fine powder, and then we flatten it out.”

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