Opening Day!
Berkshire East Mountain Resort Opening Day: Sunday, December 11, 2016.
After a few nights of snowmaking that were good, but not great before Thanksgiving, and a few nights of snowmaking that were not quite good after Thanksgiving, winter will finally arrive Thursday, at 5pm. Tonight, the cold air will move and not leave through roughly the winter solstice. The cold snap will let the guns and crews work to their full potential, which will get the mountain open up and running quickly.
Before I get deeper into this post, I’d like to add that after having writers block from the better part of 5 years, I’m back. I was gone because I was been busy. Writers block happens slowly, first the Berkshire Blog withered with the rise of social media, then my new life happened, two kids, a new house, new commute, new projects at work, and an increasingly complicated enterprise kept me busy and somewhere along the way I lost my voice.
I’d like to think that version 2.0 of the blog will be a little more evolved because I have evolved, but the fact is, I’m certain it will contain the same grammatical errors, misspelled words and colloquializations of the first version, so forgive me in advance.  What did change, is its raison d’être. Where goal of the original blog was to convey my excitement about my experience at Berkshire East, the ski area, version 2.0 will be a little more unfocused, because instead of working like nuts through a singular season, with singular focus, we are now Berkshire East the farm, Berkshire East the bike park, Berkshire East the wedding facility… The past half decade has seen new life come to the place, and that new life has given me a new voice…
Similar to version 1,  you can expect in blog round 2, are posts about my experience running a multi season recreation business, which trust me, can be a lot like is a reality TV show. You will see weather posts, weather alerts, stories about skiing, riding, projects and more. There may even be a guest blogger or two! The posts will follow no schedule, and will be my simple attempt at exchanging my experience with you. I am also going to take a stab at some multimedia and this space may evolve into hosting the occasional video and interview.
So back at it…
We are currently making snow on 19 trails, though it is hard to say which combination will be open for opening day (I’m hopeful for all of them). We’ve made some major changes to the snowmaking system, which in turn has altered our typical snowmaking plan. Right now, we need a good 36 hours of snowmaking to open, and we will have enough snow for you at some point on Saturday. You’ll see, but we will open with some innovative routes down the mountain.
Snow is many things, but at its core its a resource management issue and all the typical operations issues crop up — bottlenecks, shortages, etc and whatever system work you do something unanticipated occurs. So far, the major unanticipated consequence has been the change in the opening week snow making plan due to new excess water capacities on certain trails, which is a good thing…
This year, the major snow making work occurred in the pump rooms. We installed Variable Frequency Drives. VFD’s deliver variable frequency power to the motors, which deliver variable RPM’s to the pumps based on demand from the guns, thus optimizing our production and consumption. Additionally, we increased our snow making capacity up Competition, which will reduce the time to open this critical slope.
A major point of emphasis in version 2.0 of this blog, is the relationship between the wind turbine, solar field and the skiing at Berkshire East. In 2009 and 2010,  when the turbine was being conceived, we received a lot of critical questions, such as “why not focus on efficiency?” Or “why not improve _______?” We built the renewable energy because by creating the physical hedge against the longterm price of power, it allowed Berkshire East to subsequently focus on efficiency and improve many other aspects of the skiing experience, and fueled all of the summer growth.
For this years improvements, we have partnered with National Grid to use their efficiency program to provide rebates on equipment installation. The efficiency improvements we’ve made will save significant electricity consumption, and we, as stewards of a great skiing experience, will plough those savings back into better conditions and facilities for you.
Looking ahead, we have some great weather coming our direction.

In the next 72 hours, we have round the clock snow making. In this period we will see the coldest temps of the season. These temps will give way to snow, which is always a good thing, and I’ve seen 3″-6″ of new accumulation forecasted Sunday night – Tuesday in the form of two small back to back systems, . This snow will be followed by an even colder cold snap that will see our rejuvenated snow making system through the following weekend. We may even be met at the following weekend by an additional snowfall. This pattern should see all of us through the winter solstice, at which point the temps should advance to a more typical December temperature pattern. In the meantime, we will have worked hard and made a lot of snow.

On Friday, December 16, 2016 we will open for the season proper, 7 days a week, which is nice.

I figure I’ve been away from the blog for about 1500 days. Ive just written 903, which means I’m a little over half a word a day for the past half decade. I think I’ll end it here…
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