Resort mechanic Stephen McIntosh unloads the newest edition to Panorama’s high tech grooming fleet. Picture shows snowcat being prepared to get its tracks and blade installed.

Panorama ready to celebrate 50th anniversary

With just over a month left before opening day at Panorama Mountain Village, Panorama staff have been hard at work over the off season.

With just over a month left before opening day at Panorama Mountain Village, Panorama staff have been hard at work over the off season to make the ski resort’s 50th anniversary season a memorable one.

“I think we’re in really good shape, we’ve done a lot of work throughout the summer and it’s going to be a very exciting season for skiers and snowboarders up on the mountain here at Panorama,” said Panorama marketing co-ordinator Jamie Hurschler. “We can’t wait to welcome everybody back to the mountain.”

While nothing has been finalized yet in terms of new events, Panorama will be celebrating its history all winter long with a variety of family-friendly events and festivals. Among them, last year’s four themed festivals — the Snowflake Festival, Mardi Gras, Stampede and the Spring Carnival —will all make their return after a highly successful debut last year. The resort has also started Throwback Thursdays through its social media channels, whereby  past and present guests and staff are encouraged to contribute old photos and memories of some of their favourite times on the mountain.

“We feel it’s important to pay homage to the resort’s founders and the rich ski culture that has made Panorama Mountain Village what it is today — a destination like no other,” said Rick Jensen, president and CEO of Panorama, in a release.

For ski and snowboard enthusiasts, this winter brings several exciting new developments on the mountain. A brand-new Prinoth high-tech grooming machine has been added to Panorama’s fleet of snowcats, and some new fan gun snowmaking machines should help riders get more time on the mountain than ever before.

“The fan guns are amazing,” Hurschler said. “They can operate at marginal temperature, so when it’s right around 0 (degrees Celsius), they can operate and still make good quality snow. As well… our snowmaking team can actually turn them on and off from their iPhone, right from the parking lot or from home.”

The guns are also each equipped with built-in weather monitoring systems, which allow snowmakers to easily monitor and turn the machines on or off on an as-needed basis.

“What this allows us to do, is when we have those marginal conditions, we can start up those guns without having to send snowmakers up the mountain,” Hurschler explained. “This allows us to start up and shut down very quickly, and it extends that snowmaking period. We can start as soon as it gets cold, and bang, from an iPhone we can turn on these snowguns, and as soon as it gets too warm we can turn off those snowguns right away. It really maximizes snowmaking time.”

For the second year in a row, the mountain has also received a major makeover, as Panorama crews have been busy glading roughly 280 acres of terrain. Nearly a quarter of Taynton Bowl has been gladed, and the Sun Bowl has had several new swathes cut through the treeline to open up the area for skiers and snowboarders.

“Panorama is known for meticulous grooming and excellent corduroy conditions on our groomed runs, and this is another way that we’re showing our commitment to having well-maintained trails,” Hurschler said.

Panorama’s opening day takes place on Friday, December 14.

For more information, visit their website at www.panoramaresort.com.

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