Enterprise bosses are investing in a new piste grooming vehicle for the beleaguered Cairngorm Mountain resort.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has earmarked £220,000 for a Kassbohrer Pistenbully to aid in the spreading of artificial snow.
The investment comes as the main route to the slopes – the funicular railway – remains out of action.
The new piste grooming vehicle will replaces 20-year-old machine, and is more powerful and will deliver better fuel efficiency.
The investment comes on the back of a £1 million cash injection into a snow factory machine and cannons just under 12 months ago and is part of wider moves to improve the overall attractiveness of the resort whilst reducing its carbon footprint.
The machine will be owned by HIE and leased back to the resort’s operational company, Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited (CMSL), whose staff will use it to keep slopes groomed with a mix of artificial snow from the resorts snow factory machine and natural snow.
Susan Smith, interim chief executive at CMSL, said: “We are delighted that HIE is making this investment. This new vehicle will ensure the best possible conditions on the slopes for skiers and snowboarders while reducing our carbon footprint and running costs.”
Further investment will see the Day Lodge cafe and bar refurbished with the power supply upgraded to allow the snow cannons to operate from a mains electricity feed as opposed to diesel.
James Gibbs, HIE area manager, said: “There is real momentum at Cairngorm, with the whole CMSL team working hard to continually improve facilities and customer service.
“The purchase of a new piste grooming vehicle is another progressive step for the resort and we look forward to hearing how it is improving conditions on the slopes.”
Later this week, CMSL will be releasing the final details of its winter operation plan which the firm have said will be designed to keep Cairngorm open on as many days as possible whilst the funicular remains out of service.