A generous donor offered a $125,000 match opportunity in December, 2017 resulting in a blizzard of donations! In just 22 days, more than 260 people made gifts to the campaign ranging from $10 to $15,000. We secured the match with over $168,000 donated by the deadline. As of January 30, 2018, we're more than halfway to our goal, with a total of $3,357,138 pledged to the Preserve Our Paradise Campaign! A huge thanks to everyone for their contributions to this effort. Of course, we've still got a lot of work to reach our ambitious campaign goal of $6,500,000, and your donation is gratefully appreciated!
Over the past year, campaign donations allowed the Cooperative to purchase several new snow guns. The additional capacity allows mountain operations to make snow more efficiently. Multiple guns reduce the time needed to move guns between locations and allow us to seize the moments when the temps are right to make snow. Snow was blown in the base area and on the practice slope prior to opening for the 2017-18 season, creating depths and coverage not seen in previous years. These infusions of capital help make our modest snowmaking system more effective and efficient, creating better skiing surfaces and help us to better withstand the fluctuations in winter weather.
New Mountain Mower
In July 2017, the Cooperative purchased a lightly-used Aebi mountain mower that will be funded by the campaign. The new tractor replaces three Rapid hand-operated mowers that are no longer operational, and a rented tractor that was expensive to operate and had some significant liabilities. The new tractor will reduce operating costs and allow us to mow when conditions are most favorable. Unlike the rented tractor, the new mower does not leave ruts that lead to erosion and is much gentler on our terrain, helping our trails to be skied with limited natural snow.
Snowmaking Electrical System
In the fall of 2016, the campaign demonstrated the ability to complete a project under budget and in an aggressive timeframe with the completion of Phase One of our snowmaking system replacement. After safety concerns with the existing snowmaking electrical system came to light earlier in the year, the system was replaced one year ahead of schedule. Ground was broken in early October, work was finished by late November, and the system was fired up shortly afterwards to help Mad River Glen open on December 10, 2016, the earliest opening day in many years. Replacement of the snowmaking pipes and pump are scheduled to begin in 2018.
New Pistenbulley Groomer
In December 2015, the Cooperative made its first major campaign-related purchase – a PistenBulley 400 grooming machine. The "new to us" groomer replaced a PistenBulley groomer that was two decades old and was becoming increasingly expensive to operate. Mad River Glen's second groomer is scheduled to be replaced later in the campaign.
New Double Patrol/Warming Hut
A new patrol/warming hut at the top of the Double Chair was completed in November, 2015. The campaign funded purchase of the construction materials for the hut, which was expanded to allow use as a warming hut for the Ski School. The building was constructed entirely with donated labor by forty volunteers, primarily from the Ski Patrol. The project shows how the spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy can come together, demonstrating a new way forward for Mad River Glen.