Skico testing lube product
The Aspen Skiing Co.’s getting all lubed up to save money. In order to boost energy efficiency, the Skico has partnered with Anderol Inc., an environmentally focused specialty lubricants provider. The lubricant is being used in a trial basis on four lifts at Aspen Highlands and Snowmass. Its basic purpose is to minimize friction while operating the lifts, which will reduce the amount of energy consumed. If the trial proves successful – results should be known April or May – the synthetic lubricant will be used on most of the lifts at all four mountains. The Skico estimates that if the lubricant works as planned it could save between 7 percent to 9 percent on energy costs, or close to $50,000 per year. Jim Ward, the director of purchasing for the Skico, said he will study data from the Loge Peak and Exhibition lifts at Highlands, and the Elk Camp and Two Creeks lifts at Snowmass – the four lifts that are currently running on the synthetic lubricant – once the season ends. Comparing energy consumption data to years past, Ward will then know how efficient the lubricant is and whether its use will be extended next season. Ward added that if it’s proven effective in saving the Skico money, “We would certainly convert all of the quad lifts and the gondola [to the lubricant].”Those larger lifts represent about 60 percent of energy usage, he said. He said if it really works well, the lubricant also may be used on smaller lifts. While the lubricant is expensive, the amount of money it could save far outweighs the cost, Ward said. Auden Schendler, the Skico’s director of environmental affairs, said the energy consumed by lifts is a major cost, and that Anderol could be a saving grace. Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Under bluebird skies with 160 acres under their boots, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders took to Aspen Mountain for opening day Wednesday.