In view of the changing climate situation and massive increases in energy prices, it is worth paying increased attention to the use of resources in technical snowmaking. ARENA Slope Management provides efficient solutions to reduce water and energy consumption by up to 20% in the long term. Not only do ski areas become more sustainable, full cost control and planning security also increase the quality of the slopes and ultimately the competitiveness in winter tourism.
The sustainable use of natural resources is not just a question of ecology, but also holds enormous savings potential from an economic perspective. With modern piste management, the highest piste quality can be achieved with reduced use of resources. Digital data plays an important role here. This is exactly where ARENA's data-driven slope management comes in, combining state-of-the-art data analysis with strategic foresight. With individual strategies for different scenarios, resource savings of up to 20% can be achieved. Given the current energy prices, ARENA's data-driven slope management is a real game changer.
“With ARENA piste management, we achieved a significant optimization of the use of resources while maintaining consistent quality.” said Andreas Innerhofer, Board Member of Gasteiner Bergbahnen AG
How does ARENA slope management work? ARENA views each ski area as a whole, as a system in which many small wheels interlock and influence each other. That's why it's not enough to optimize individual processes within the ski area, but rather several adjustments have to be made at the same time in order to achieve sustainable results. If you want to reduce the use of resources by a fifth, changes in data analysis, snowmaking strategy and team communication are necessary.
The optimization process begins with data analysis. For this purpose, two sources are initially used: the snow height measurement and the snowmaking data per snow point. An analysis of this data provides important key figures with which the amount of snow on the slopes and the necessary use of resources can be actively managed. In this way, valuable knowledge is gained, for example about the actual water-snow factor, the required snow volume and the respective target snow depths for each individual slope section. This always up-to-date information is clearly visible at any time in the digital control center, the “slope manager,” and can be accessed for each individual section of the slope.
“I expect ARENA Pistenmanagement to optimally support the work of my experienced team with digitally prepared data.” said Ing. Sigfried Rasser, CEO of Rauriser Hochalmbahn AG
However, the measurement results alone are of little use if the correct conclusions are not drawn from them. Based on the data obtained and analyzed, an individual master plan for the ski area can be created with the involvement of the entire slope team, which provides for different strategies for different scenarios. Depending on the weather situation and snow cover, the use of resources can be adjusted to actual needs. The unnecessary use of water and electricity is avoided and technical snow is only produced where it is actually needed. This creates maximum planning security and full cost control.
Seamless communication is essential for the successful implementation of the defined strategies. From the board of directors to the technical managers and operations managers to the drivers and snowmakers, the entire piste team is involved in this process. The defined goals, but also the steps to be taken, must be clearly communicated within the team. Only when everyone involved supports the measures taken can long-term change be brought about. The constant exchange with the ARENA team is also part of this communication strategy. Because the master plan is by no means static. With every expansion of the infrastructure in the ski area, strategies must be adapted and processes re-optimized.
“All the data that we have been collecting on the mountain for years is now being intelligently linked and analyzed. This will allow us to set up our snowmaking system even more efficiently in the future.”
Henrik Volpert, board member of Oberstdorfer Bergbahn AG & Nebelhornbahn-AG
In order to integrate ARENA's slope management into your own company, you first need the will to change and enough lead time. Since the data analysis is intended to cover longer periods of time and different situations, it makes sense to carry out the measurements over an entire season and start implementing the measures in the following winter. The data directly required for this are the results of the snow depth measurement and the snowmaking data per snow point. The ARENA experts are very present, especially in the entry phase, and are available to answer any questions and comments. The aim of their work is to familiarize the piste teams in the ski areas with the system so that they can carry out analyzes and adjustments themselves in the future. With transparent communication, a constant look at the current data and the correct derivations from it, the optimal use of resources in basic snowmaking is always guaranteed.
“By working with ARENA, we are creating the conditions for data-supported decision-making processes in operational snow operations.” said Dr. Josef Reiter, board member of Mayrhofner Bergbahn AG
Numerous Austrian ski areas have already successfully integrated ARENA piste management into their workflow or are currently in the familiarization phase. These companies have thus laid the foundation for their future competitiveness. Because economic efficiency and guaranteed snow will be even more essential success factors in winter tourism, given climate change and rising energy prices.