The BOYNE name is synonymous with outstanding snow, and at The Highlands, we're proud to be a vital part of that legacy. Since the 1950s, we have maintained our commitment to snowmaking and to the constant refinement of both our equipment and our techniques. As years passed, our demands outpaced the industry, leading us to become snowmaking innovators in the mid-1970s, when we filed our first snowmaking patents.
Through our consistent dedication and investment - and with intensified efforts over the course of the past three years - BOYNE now has the largest, most efficient snowmaking system in the Midwest. At The Highlands, that difference is clear. The addition of proprietary Boyne Low-E fan guns has helped us to better mimic natural snow, securing our place as one of the region's top winter vacation destinations, with Michigan's best skiing and snowboarding conditions, all season long.
A Superior Winter Vacation Destination
The Highlands has become well known for being one of Michigan's most popular winter vacation destinations. Our snowmaking ability is one of the many reasons why. Snowmaking essentially consists of pulling water from a reservoir or water source, pumping it onto the mountain and combining it with compressed air to convert as much water into frozen snow crystals as possible. The frozen particles settle to the ground and any water droplets that do not freeze, drain through the surface.
So what makes BOYNE snowmaking unique? The difference is in design modifications made to the newest snowmaking guns in our fleet - hence the unveiling of the Boyne Low-E fan gun. The Boyne Low-E gun is more efficient than ever at converting water into snow crystals - especially at marginal temperatures (above 25 degrees). This greatly improves snow quality and lessens icy build-up while boosting energy and water efficiencies more than any previous technology. Over 250 of these new guns are making snow this winter at The Highlands, representing a significant percentage of the terrain coverage and resulting in the ability to stay one of Michigan's top choice for family winter vacation - whether Mother Nature provides the snow or we do.
The core of the Boyne Low-E fan gun includes a new seeder and manifold design that when combined with the augmented barrel shape, leads to improved mixing of the seed with water from the spray nozzles. Thus, we can create a lighter, low moisture snow that dramatically enhances surface conditions. The magical transformation of water to snow requires all processes to work in conjunction.
With the Boyne Low-E fan gun, compressed air is injected with a very small amount of water in an inner ring at the center of the gun. This compressed air/water mixture then freezes as it's propelled by the fan and nucleates with water from the outside nozzles creating crystals. The extended and tapered nose cone adds about 18 inches to the overall length and improves expansion cooling as the air leaves the gun. The greater the expansion cooling, the more water freezes. The unique shape and additional length raises velocity and distributes snow further allowing more hang time for powdery snow. However, the true secret weapon in this snow gun is the exclusive Boyne designed water bath technology that is capable of yielding higher production output while achieving lower energy consumption. The combination of each of these modifications has created a one-of-a-kind fan gun only found at Boyne's North American resorts - making this winter vacation destination an obvious choice.
The composition of the proprietary Boyne Low-E fan gun is courtesy of BOYNE's snowmaking masterminds and our long-time friends from the world's leading snow gun manufacturer, SMI of Midland, Michigan. Each new Low-E fan gun is built on resort grounds and previous models are reclaimed and converted with the necessary upgrades.
Snowmaking at BOYNE continues to be one of the many reasons we are Michigan's top winter vacation destinations. Our snowmaking abilities make it possible to keep skiing and snowboarding conditions ideal so guests can utilize every minute on our beautiful Michigan resort.