Despite location and climate — Vermont skiers and snowboarders enjoy the largest average annual snowfall of any ski area in Eastern North America — the owners of Jay Peak Resort recognized that their business had to expand beyond winter mountain sports. Their previous success had depended on consistent, snowy winters for profitable seasonal sales of lift tickets, season passes, ski lessons, equipment rental and lodging. But vulnerability to inclement weather made Jay Peak's traditional business model (and that of many winter resorts) a risky proposition. Unpredictable snow conditions could adversely affect their revenue streams. If the weather didn’t cooperate, then local and visiting skiers and snowboarders would stay home.
A severe drop in the attendance of families, tourists and winter sports enthusiasts could threaten the continued viability of Jay Peak as a winter vacation destination. The owners of Jay Peak, led by Bill Stenger, needed new revenue sources to generate steady, reliable growth.
To that end, they decided to decrease their dependence on winter attendance numbers by transforming Jay Peak into an all-season, all weather resort.
In 2010, Jay Peak Resort underwent a comprehensive renovation and expansion of its facilities, representing a $240 million investment. In addition to a new indoor ice arena, golf course, hotel, restaurant, spa and conference center, the crown jewel of the revitalized Jay Peak is its new 50,000 square foot (4,648 m2) Pump House Indoor Waterpark, featuring an all-weather retractable roof designed, manufactured and installed by OpenAire.
'Working in partnership with architect Black River Design and general contractor DEW Construction Corp., OpenAire built and installed a retractable roof to transform what had originally been planned as an outdoor pool into a stunning indoor waterpark. Within a span of 18 months, OpenAire met aggressive client timelines through continuous work throughout the winter months, until the project’s completion.
"The retractable roof added tremendous usability and appeal to the overall facility. It created an enclosed, indoor resort that’s the perfect complement to a ski vacation, and a great place to play all year round. It has made a huge difference to off-season tourism in the area."
The resulting large-span structure is breathtaking, extending 140 feet (42.67 m) across. The enclosure measures 140 feet (42.67 m) by 280 feet (85.34 m) and rises 43 feet (13.10 m) high at the sidewalls, with a structural load-bearing capacity of 80 lbs per square foot to handle snowfall and precipitation. The soaring water-park roof features a curved cupola at its apex that houses a 55 feet (16.76 m) high, all-aluminum slide tower designed and built by OpenAire, to support a looping and zigzagging Aqualoop slide. For even more fun and excitement, the park houses a FlowRider surf wave, water basketball court, children's area and lazy river. At its operational peak, the Jay Peak Resort Pump House Waterpark can host up to 900 water enthusiasts in its 50,000 square foot (4,648 m2) space, roughly the size of a football field.