DADE CITY, FL — The sunshine state of Florida is known for its unique, family-friendly water parks. One thing you might not expect to come across is a snow park — until this now. City Electric Supply Dade City Is excited to share that it’s helped prepare the first-ever seasonal snow park in the state — Snowcat Ridge — which officially opened its doors to visitors in November 2020. “At first, I thought it was crazy,” said CES Dade City Branch Manager Brandon Hershey. “An outdoor snow park in Dade City? It’s basically the North Pole in Florida.”
And the individuals behind this genius idea are no strangers to parks. “The same people who built Treehoppers Aerial Adventure Park and Scream-A-Geddon are building Snowcat Ridge,” Hershey said. “A lot of people really love those parks, and now they’re adding a third one — made out of snow — right there.”
Snowcat Ridge opened briefly in November, and it’s safe to say it was a success — they sold out every single night. The snow park drew a lot of power to keep the snow-tubing hill, arctic igloo, and Alpine Village frosty. And CES Dade City is thrilled to be supplying all the gear that makes it possible.
“There’s a 6,000-amp switchgear installed to help keep the hill and the igloo refrigerated. With it being mainly outdoors, that’s going to draw most of the power since the hill is all ice and snow,” said Hershey. “Then, you also have to account for powering the lights, concession stands, and the other facilities on top of it.”
Hershey has never worked with a switchgear of that size. “It’s massive,” he said. “The hardest part was getting it off the truck.”
The branch team had to unload each switchboard cabinet by itself, weighing around 1,000 pounds apiece. “When we got it there, we asked ourselves how we were going to get it off the truck,” he laughed. “It’s a lot bigger than what I’ve worked on before, but we got it to Snowcat Ridge under their tight deadline and got it off the truck easily enough.”
Mark Bremer, the creative director for Snowcat Ridge, says it was all about making the impossible possible. And that’s exactly what happened — a flat field was transformed into a snow-covered mountain. The size of the snow tube run makes it possible for multiple groups of people to ride single, tandem or family-sized tubes down the slopes. The snow park even includes a snow dome that has a child-sized snow hill for the kiddos and a magical lighting show each night. The snow hill is longer than a football field with 100% real snow made on-site. And CES Dade City couldn’t be prouder to have helped manage the electrical load.
“It’s a unique attraction for Dade City, and it’s just a lot of fun,” said Hershey. “This was our first project with them. They reached out to us because they weren’t getting the level of service they needed from other electrical suppliers around Dade City. We quoted all the gear, and they bought directly from us — no middleman.”
And the branch has been doing what they do best — providing excellent service. CES Dade was on site three to four times a week to either deliver material or check on the progress — a level of service that did not go unnoticed by Snowcat Ridge.
“It was crucial we expedited the biggest parts, like the switchgear,” Hershey said. “It’s only a seasonal park, so when we started working with them in May, right when the pandemic started, we did everything we could to make sure they got what they needed on time and under their tight deadline to open in November 2020.”
It’s a project that the CES Dade City branch will never forget. “Not only is Snowcat Ridge just a unique attraction for Dade City, it’s also great for us to say that we worked on it,” Hershey said. “To have our name on it and to be able to tell people in our community that we helped bring real snow to Florida is really special.”
Snowcat Ridge recently wrapped up their 2020 run, but they will reopen for their 2021 season in November. So, stay tuned!
City Electric Supply (CES) is a family-owned electrical wholesale distributor headquartered in Dallas, Texas.