Long-term experience: Arnold Holl is one of the pioneers with SNOWsat. The Managing Director of the Jungholz ski lift company decided to buy the system 5 years ago. Based on his experiences over the last few years, he knows how essential SNOWsat has become for ropeway operators.
PistenBully News: You’ve been working with SNOWsat for more than 5 years and have now decided to go for a full system “update”. What do you think are the most significant advantages of SNOWsat?
Arnold Holl: SNOWsat has become a powerful tool for us in the preparation of outstanding slopes. We use it to decide when to move the snow-making systems. It means we can start this process much earlier than before and can optimise snow production. This results in the slopes being opened for skiing much faster.
PistenBully News: Keyword “snow management”: what makes it so attractive for you?
Arnold Holl: SNOWsat has become an indispensable tool for planning our work – when it’s used correctly – with regard to the various decisions we have to make about snow production and grooming. Instead of multiple discussions, the actual status is printed out, laid on the table and both snow production managers and vehicle operators know exactly what needs to be done. This time saving on discussion along equates to up to 4 hours a week for us.
PistenBully News: Does SNOWsat make snow production easier in your opinion?
Arnold Holl: Yes, because the snow production managers and machine operators know exactly what snow cover is available and under their machines. Indeed, the biggest cost saving we see from using SNOWsat is in snow production.
PistenBully News: Can you tell us what that means in practical terms in your everyday work?
Arnold Holl: While before SNOWsat we would have groomed until the ground ice (if there was any) appeared, we can now start repairing the slope from a very low snow covering of less than 30 cm. The snow is transported from places where it is in abundance to places where it is scarce. As a result, we have hardly had any icy or dirty areas in the last 5 years in the ski area covered by snow production. Our customers have also confirmed this for us. High visitors numbers – even during the week – are the result.
PistenBully News: Have you really been able to keep the resort open longer?
Arnold Holl: Since using the SNOWsat system we have been able to open the resort an average of approx. 1 week earlier over the last 5 years.
PistenBully News: Are you producing less snow? And why?
Arnold Holl: We are producing less snow, because we know our ski resort will be measured with a certain snow depth at the end of January that will last to the end of the season. This strategy has paid off over the last few years and reinforced our decision to cease snow production for the rest of the season.
PistenBully News: How do you and especially your snow managers, slope managers and drivers find SNOWsat?
Arnold Holl: Snow managers and slope managers see the SNOWsat system as an important tool that they would not give up. The employees have facts at hand that they can use to justify what they’re doing to managers and customers alike. They’re no longer basing their decisions on thin air. The system has been perfected and is less prone to glitches. None of our employees see it as a manager’s control tool.
PistenBully News: Have the costs of snow grooming gone down?
Arnold Holl: Costs have gone down above all for snow production. Since Eco-SnowDrive training from Christian Zimmermann, we have been grooming very slowly and only in the “green” zone. This extends pure grooming time slightly, but you save this back through reduced diesel consumption. Outstanding slopes with lots of visitors are the end result, which does not translate directly into a cost reduction, but does lead to increased revenue thanks to the higher number of visitors.
PistenBully News: Keyword “cost control”: is that a significant criterion for you – and if yes, how do you apply it?
Arnold Holl: The decision on when to stop snow production is only possible thanks to the SNOWsat system, as there are no emotions involved here. An actual status report is generated, which is used to help the decision-makers determine when to stop making snow. In our ski resort this has led to a cost saving of up to 20 % on snow production in comparison to previous winters.
PistenBully News: Mr Holl thank you so much for talking to us!