Denver, CO — EcoGroomer, Inc., a Colorado based resort services company, announces their exclusive partnership with Aztec SAS of Grenoble, France to deliver the first winch groomer equipped with a synthetic rope cable system for North American ski resorts. The new grooming machine is safer, lighter and better than anything currently available on the market.
The innovative winch groomer, called the Graphit, is already in operation at many major resorts in the Alps, as well as both in Japan and Russia. The first US resorts to experience the benefits of these new machines will be in Colorado with other resorts throughout the US and Canada to follow. EcoGroomer is currently accepting pre-orders and deposits from customers in select markets.
Daniel Osborne, CEO of EcoGroomer, Inc. states: "The Graphit is the first in a series of new snow grooming innovations that we will be rolling out over the next few years. This winch cat is a great first product for us to introduce to the North American market while our extra-wide EcoGroomer snow processing units go through further development and testing in France. The enhanced safety and visibility of the synthetic rope technology utilized on the Graphit will provide real long term benefits to resort operators who are looking to reduce the risk of serious injury posed by dangerous and nearly invisible steel cables currently used on other winch groomers. The lighter weight of the Graphit also makes it more versatile and uses less fuel to operate than comparably powered machines in this class".
About Winch Grooming:
Winch groomers are specialized snow grooming machines that employ the added pulling power of an on board hydraulic winch to aid in the climbing and pushing power of the machines. Typically used to groom very steep slopes (most commonly referred to as Advanced or Expert runs) winch groomers make up 15%-20% of the grooming fleets at most major resorts in the US (up to 30% of all groomers in Europe). Winch groomers' unique ability to push snow uphill and simultaneously groom steeper slopes helps preserve the snow pack and satisfies the demand for steeper groomed terrain.
Dangers of winch grooming: Historically, winch groomers have been a major risk factor for ski resort operators and the public. Currently, all other winch grooming machines use a thin steel cable that is nearly invisible since the machines operate primarily at night. Serious injuries and deaths have resulted from human contact with the high tension cable or from the thin cable violently snapping. The synthetic rope cable on the Graphit is ten times lighter than a steel cable of comparable strength, while also being much thicker and more visible (bright orange in color) when compared to steel cables used on all other winch grooming machines. The results in the Graphit are a much safer, lighter and better winch groomer.
About Aztec SAS:
Founded in 2009 by Xavier Jean, former COO of the French division of one of the two main snow grooming equipment manufacturers worldwide and located in Grenoble France, Aztec designs, manufactures and sells high performance snow grooming machines. As part of an exclusive agreement with EcoGroomer Inc., Aztec now is the sole provider of EcoGroomer brand snow grooming equipment for the European and Japanese markets.
The EcoGroomer is a bold and much needed solution to an urgent need in the ski industry to reduce the high costs associated with nightly snow grooming. This technology provides a tremendous productivity improvement by adding two additional Snow Processing Units (SPU's) to a standard snow cat resulting in a 200% increase of surface area coverage by a single operator. Overall fuel efficiency will be improved by more than 35% and total grooming expense will be reduced significantly with this revolutionary new technology. The first EcoGroomer units will be available for purchase in 2014. EcoGroomer, Inc. is also now the exclusive North American import partner of Aztec SAS for their range of high performance snow grooming machines. A long term strategic partnership was formalized between the two companies for mutual sales support and product development in March of this year.