Cost: 750,000 EUR
Snow Production: 210m3 Snow / day
Running Costs: ~£500 / day (when in use)
Payback Time: 4 years
Placed at the Sheiling - halfway up Coire Cas - this machine will be able to generate snow to complete the car park run and tow path. This is a step change over Snow Guns because it can generate snow in positive temperatures, the snow is dryer and denser, and therefore more resistant to melting.
The snowfactory allows us to guarantee some skiing throughout the winter, provides an alternative to the highly exposed plateau beginners area on bad weather days, and increases the capacity of the funicular as it does not have to make mid station stops. At a later date we would hope to put a second Snow Factory into Coire na Ciste as part of the development plans there.
How did we work out the payback time? Over the period 2007 – 2014 the number of skier days per season can be approximated by 33,129 + 701.23 additional days for every day it was possible to ski to the carpark. The average number of skier days over that period was 85,809. 1st Dec – 30th April is 150 days (excluding Christmas), 33,129 + (701.23 * 150) = 138,314 skier days. We were going to get 85,809 of those anyway, so the benefit is 52,505 skier days. Assume a spend of £25 a skier day and you get an average benefit of £1,312,617. Still with us? Great! Now for every £1 the mountain takes in it costs £0.75 in power, staffing, etc. so we get a £306k gross profit. Take off electricity @ £500/day and maintainance at £10,000 a year and we get a benefit of £253,354 every year.