New restaurant and snowmaking equipment among additions coming this winter.
In just a few months the white daisies blowing in the wind outside the alpine lodge at Mount Washington could be replaced by mounds of white snow, but if they are not resort officials say ten snowmaking guns are being installed on the lower mountain just in case.
“We’re looking at ten wands coming in. They’re not like the big guns we had last year, they’re just like a big magic wand about ten feet long and we’re looking at putting them into the tube park and the beginner area and we want to test the technology out” said resort General Manager Peter Gibson.
Officials would like to be making snow here in mid-November and in future years cover more of the mountain so opening dates and holidays like Christmas can be guaranteed.
Part of ownership’s $2million expenditure this fall will be on three new snow cat grooming machines which will keep the fleet of groomers at eight.
There are changes coming inside the lodge as well with a new restaurant being built where the former retail store was located.
“And really the feeling is going to be sort of a ‘Starbucky’ upscale, comfortable sort of place to come sit. It will also now house our in-house bakery” said Tim Defert, Director of Hospitality.
New large windows are being installed so patrons can sit inside and see to the top of the mountain. The ticket booth will eventually be moved to improve the view.
“Sort of the first step in the re-making of the interior of the lodge” added Defert.
A large wrap-around deck will be built outside the front of the restaurant next year.
The resort is also partnering with well known brand Rossignol in areas that will include new top of the line ski equipment rentals.
Visitors to the mountain today say the changes are good news.
“Absolutely but I still think it needs to keep a rustic feel like a mountain feel, right and but anything new is good” said one visitor.
“Well we’re always changing so sort of have to keep up with the times but again we can’t forget where it’s come from and keep that little bit of flavour in there” said another visitor.
“The mountain is changing and we’re growing and people are going to be very pleased with what they see” said Gibson.