Why did HKD Snowmakers strike this deal with Sno.matic?
Charles Santry: Scott Barthold and I have worked together
since 1995. Over that time, we’ve done a fair amount of controls
work in our various projects and we’ve done a lot of automation
work together. There has been a tremendous interest in au-tomation
in the industry the last four or five years. Working
together with Snow.matic more closely will allow us to better
serve our customers in the marketplace. That was the main
driver behind the deal.
How will the acquisition of iSno software improve HKD’s
position in the snowmaking industry?
CS: We have a group of 12 sales people who are out in the field,
working directly with our customers. By working more closely
with the iSno team, we hope to be even more responsive in
taking care of those customers’ controls and automation
needs. We have a direct link to our customers, know what they
need and now we’ll be able to directly convey these needs back
to the team designing software. The ultimate goal is to help
our customers more fully utilise their snowmaking systems.
sary, is critical. The iSno software facilitates better utilisation
of the snowmaking system. Our platform is server-based and
can be accessed over the internet or on a smartphone. iSno
software is compatible with most mobile devices.
What makes iSno unique?
CS: There are several choices out there. Many of the control
packages on the market are manufacturer-specific. In other
words, they relate very specifically to a particular type or
brand of snowmaking technology. What’s unique and beneficial
about iSno, and what Scott Barthold and his team at iSno
have done well, is they’ve been able to incorporate the tech-nologies
of various different suppliers and put them all under
one package which is the iSno platform. It really has a very
broad reach in terms of the types of technologies that it can
control. Additionally, by collaborating with the various sup-pliers
of snow depth technology, we have recently developed
the ability to incorporate live trail snow depths into the iSno
How popular is the iSno system?
CS: There’s a broad spectrum of resorts that are using the
technology right now, from top corporate owners in the
North American ski industry to smaller entrepreneurial owner-operated
ski areas. It’s widely used.
Why is automation important in the snowmaking industry?
CS: What we’re seeing in the industry, both here in North
America and overseas, is that it’s becoming more difficult to
find labor to come in and operate snowmaking systems day
and night, so you have to be as efficient as you can with the
crew that you currently have at your ski area. Many resorts
have a very competent team in place, but they are under
pressure to do more with their snowmaking systems than
they ever have had to do in the past due to a number of factors.
There’s more pressure to get open earlier, there’s more pres-sure
to be able to resurface after Mother Nature throws a few
We feel innovation is critical
because the industry is
constantly changing and we
need to be able to evolve
How does the iSno platform work?
CS: The iSno platform is a control software package that provides
a visual representation of the mountain and a user interface
for the controller of a snowmaking system to start, stop and
monitor the various pieces of equipment – pumps, compressors,
snowguns – that are running to support the snowmaking
system. Being able to have all this operational information
consolidated in one platform for the controller to monitor
throughout the day or night, and make changes when neces-
14 April/May 2019 | snowopsmag.com