Using light to disinfect surfaces is gaining ground at
North American ski resorts
By Philip Gotthelf, Ultra-Tech Lighting LLC
Every snow sports venue faces the same challenges
this season, and probably for many seasons to come.
How can COVID-19 be comprehensively and cost
To solve the problem, Mount Peter Ski Area management
– including the area’s owners, general manager Rebecca
Kullberg and executive manager Amy Cutler – evaluated
dozens of sanitizing technologies to determine what would
yield the best results at an affordable capital expenditure,
and in time for the 2020-21 season. The objective was to
protect indoor and outdoor gathering areas as well as
The first realization was that the solution should not be
worse than the problem. Chemical foggers and sprays have
many health issues that include allergic reactions, skin irrita-tion
like contact dermatitis and a propensity to freeze when
After reviewing “How To” videos for foggers and chemicals,
the processes appeared too time-consuming and difficult.
Ultraviolet (UV) sanitizing stood out as the most practical,
but industrial-strength units cost upwards of $100,000 and
were primarily designed for hospital settings. Less expensive
equipment did not have the power to effectively sterilize
environments within a short enough timeframe.
Kullberg discovered that Ultra-Tech™ Lighting, which had
already supplied Mt. Peter with Snow-Bright™ slope light
fixtures, carries a full line of sanitizing UV fixtures called
Sterile-Bright™. These were the most powerful full-spectrum
UV units Kullberg could find and are capable of sanitizing Mt.
Peter’s entire indoor venues in minutes rather than hours.
Equally important, fixtures can be permanently mounted
and activated with locked timer switches, eliminating the
need for workers to spray chemicals using foggers.
UV sanitizing works just as well outdoors, too. Therefore,
Sterile-Bright™ provided a complete and ideal solution.
For lifts, mounted Sterile-Bright™ units can sanitize an
unoccupied chair when it rounds the wheel at the top and
bottom of a hill. The installation can be fast and inexpensive,
only requiring standard 2 3/8-inch galvanized pipe at a
sufficient height to clear the chair while providing the
necessary amount of UV energy to deactivate any viruses or
bacteria on the chair and safety bar. The one challenge is to
ensure the UV light is not visible to avoid eye exposure. This
issue is addressed with banners that are lifted on both sides
of the chair path with sufficient room for clearance.
A single 400W Sterile-BrightTM model STRL-DD-400WUV
was installed in the main 2,337 square foot cafeteria which
can be sanitized with UV and ozone in about five to seven
minutes. This leaves plenty of time for customary cleaning.
One objective was to be able to rapidly sanitize during
the day by evacuating the room and deploying the UV light.
Although the process is scheduled for pre-opening and post-closing,
there could be a situation requiring midday treat-ment.
This “chandelier” UV fixture is the same as is featured
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ULTRA-TECH LIGHTING LLC
Installation at Mount Peter Ski Area
Rendering of units installed to sanitize chair lifts using UV light
snowopsmag.com | SnowOps 19