Pump House Fire | Bromley Statement

Put a bow on it, for now. Watch the whole saga, compressed into about 3 minutes.

Update, January 19. We're a 2 pump operation! We're now where our original plans had us to finish out this season. We'll have plenty of firepower with 2 pumps and 2 motors to finally open up the East Side snowmaking trails, plus continue to touch up the rest of the mountain and blow some more snow in the Terrain Park. Snowmaking will shut down for a few days this afternoon due to rising temperatures, but they'll be back at it ASAP.

Update, January 18. The second motor has returned home, and our crew is working to dial it in. They've had some complications, but are confident that we'll be a two pump operation very soon. We're currently blowing snow with one pump in the base area, and over on Peril and Panic! 

Update, January 14, 4pm. We're back! Fine tuning successfully dialed in, our snowmaking team fired up at halfway pump, Chase it, and Lower East Meadow. It was a beautiful afternoon show, sunset and snowguns. We plan to keep at it through Tuesday, when the second motor is due to return.

Watch the first blast...

Update, January 14. While we fully hoped to arrive to snowguns firing this morning, our guests on-site this weekend can see that isn't the case. The refurbished pump is not performing as it should. Technicians from AEM are back on site today to continue troubleshooting, and we'll update as soon as we know more, or, fingers crossed, as soon as we're blowing snow.

That 4th groomer, graciously still on loan from Pisten Bully, really came in handy last night, as our grooming team put in double time on all open trails, churning the rain and freeze into a smooth, edgeable surface.

Update, January 10. At about 10am this morning, two pumps and one motor returned to a very nicely rebuilt home sweet home from their stay at the machine-spa (Associated Electro-Mechanics). We were scheduled to receive two motors today, but one is still testing with a vibration. AEM is addressing the rattle with the intent of getting motor number two back on site next week. By end of day Friday (1/12) we expect to have the motor we did receive wired to its starter, all the mechanicals (valves and welding) put together, and gauges and transmitters installed. AEM will dial in "performance parameters" to fine tune ideal operating pressures from the pump and motor on Saturday (1/13). On Sunday, if all goes well, we'll make snow!

Pictured: Chris Nevitt & Josh DeKalb placing the pump. More photos on Facebook.

One motor and one pump allow us to move 650 gallons of water up the mountain per minute, enough to operate 15-30 snowguns (quantity depends on location and type). Pre-fire, our capacity was 3000 gallons per minute. While we're certainly not at full power, some is 100% better than none. We hope you agree.

Following the forecast? You know that our current weather is warm, and we're due for it to get warmer and wetter through Saturday. What does that mean for snowmaking and terrain over the weekend? We're prepping hoses and guns on Sunset Pass, Upper Twister and the steep pitch on Corkscrew to make snow in key spots during non-operating hours once temps drop on Saturday night/Sunday morning. We've also got hoses in place on Panic (and Peril - Peril opened on 100% natural cover, and needs more coverage) to work on terrain expansion during the day while you're skiing and riding. Remember, we also added an additional Pisten Bully groomer to our fleet immediately after the fire, and expect our grooming team to make full use of it following Friday and Saturday's rain. What we can't address with snowmaking, we will certainly cover with the snow cats. Thanks for reading, and thanks for skiing and riding Bromley. Have a great weekend.

Update, January 5. Pump house is rebuilt. Electrical and heating work is in progress. Pumps and starters are set to come in next week.


Update, December 28. Construction is going smoothly. We currently have 4 walls and half a roof up, with plans to have the building fully enclosed by Friday. After the building is enclosed we will move on to installing heat, valves, motors, and finally pumps. We are still on track to resume snowmaking the week of January 8, weather permitting.

December 22. The pump house construction is underway!

Update, December 21. The old pump house building has been torn down and cleaned up. Our mountain ops crew worked through Tuesday’s nasty weather, unbolting thousands of bolts to get it all out of the way so that the motors and pumps could be removed, via crane, and shipped to Associated Electro-Mechanics (AEM), where they’ve been inspected and tested. We’ve received word that the pumps are in decent condition, as they remained submerged under several feet of water during the fire. Happily, the rotors in two of our motors are salvageable as well, and AEM will completely rewind them over the next week. We’ve also sourced some backup replacement motors from other locations, and these are at AEM undergoing tests to determine compatibility with our system and needs, just in case we need the contingency on the contingency plan!

We’ve got a super warm and fuzzy feeling all over from the immediate, fast and helpful offers of assistance industry-wide. These include AEM and the BOC’s Brian Langille for sourcing starters. Killington, Peak Resorts, Stowe, Okemo, Cranmore, Jiminy Peak and hopefully not too many others we forgot to list have all been nothing short of spectacular, reaching out with offers to help, of equipment, and words of encouragement. Thank you also to Slavko Stancic, the original project engineer who worked with Bill Cairns to create the original pump house in 1993, who is back on the scene, delaying retirement to get us up and running again. Thanks to the Peru Fire Department and to Mountain Guard Insurance. Brian and Tyler Fairbank, we’re grateful to be able to count on your support! And especially to our own Bromley crews, Rick Goddard and Mountain Operations, and Chris Nevitt and his snowmakers.

Oscar-worthy acceptance speech credits aside, Tuesday’s activities also included an on-site meeting with all key project players, including our Mountain Ops team, Slavco, AEM, Royal Electric and our local Sparky Electric to outline the rebuild plan.

Building supplies have been delivered and construction has begun; we plan to have a weather tight pump house structure in place a week from Friday (12/29). Electrical work will follow, then two pumps reinstalled. The next step is to get the system talking to us – Slavco’ll step in with our IT guys and make that happen. When all that goes EXACTLY as planned, we will begin snowmaking, weather permitting, the week of January 8. It’s a super short timeline, but we wouldn’t even consider it if we didn’t have full confidence in the crews behind the plan. 

Update, December 20. Update to the short term recovery plan: while we continue to solidify the snowmaking solution, Bill Cairns has secured a 4th Pisten Bully groomer (a sweet red 600) to add to our fleet, a demo that'll be ours for the foreseeable future. She's already in service, and the results are good. Snow surface remains a priority, and should we need to resurface quickly, efficiently, and well - we've added 33% more top notch equipment to do so!

December 17, 2017. Peru , VT – To our loyal guests, homeowners and local community, this statement will address the fire in Bromley’s Primary Pump House that occurred during the night of December 16 and early morning December 17. It began with an electrical fault, and local fire departments responded. We are grateful no one was injured in the incident.

Snowmaking and terrain status as of today: Bromley enjoys 178 acres of skiable terrain total, with snowmaking coverage on 135. We’re currently skiing and riding on 99 acres, 74 of which have snowmaking capability. Prior to shutting down last night, Team Snowmageddon pumped 50 million gallons up the mountain so far this season, leaving another 20 acres of additional terrain ready to be groomed and added to the trail count. Blue Ribbon and Yodeler will provide East Side access, and Plaza and Lord’s Prayer will provide slope side access for Bromley Village guests. By the end of the week we expect to be at 30 trails, spanning 118 open acres (66% open), with 93 of our snowmaking acres covered (almost 70%).

What this means for Bromley right now: snowmaking is currently on hold, as Primary Pump functioned to push water up the mountain. We are actively working to source parts to put a temporary fix in place, allowing us to resume snowmaking as soon as possible.

The long range plan now includes an opportunity for renovating a 20 year old system – it was state of the art when installed in the early 1990’s, but certainly has room for improvement today. We’ll release details on the long range plan once clean up is complete, salvageable parts identified, and a new shopping list finalized.

What does this mean for your holiday plans? Mother Nature has provided us with great natural snow so far this season (over 2 feet), plus enough cold hours in November and December to achieve the snowmaking coverage outlined above. Our Snowsports School, Kids Center and all other Mountain Operations will continue as usual. Updates on the snowmaking pump system rebuild will be delivered as available.

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