Snowmaker earns honor
Ski Corp.'s Scott Livingston receives award from Colorado group
April 20, 2009
Scott Livingston has earned the title of snowmaker of the year, after four years of nominations.
Livingston received the award from Colorado Ski Country USA at its 29th Annual Snowmaking and Slope Maintenance Conference and Trade Show, which was held April 6 to 8 in Grand Junction. Livingston has worked for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. since 1996, becoming a snowmaking controller in 1998.
He said he thinks his positive demeanor pushed him into the winner’s circle this year.
“Probably attitude, I would hope, attitude and sticking with it,” Livingston said. “It seems like they’re interested in people who want to stay in snowmaking as a career, and I definitely don’t have any plans to change any time soon.”
Livingston grew up in Wyoming and in Colorado Springs. He earned a degree in computer mapping from the University of Wyoming. Livingston had finished his first summer with the U.S. Forest Service in Wyoming when some friends decided to move to Steamboat Springs. He wanted to learn to snowboard, so he came along.
Livingston started as a parking attendant for Ski Corp.
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“We always heard the snowmakers on the radio, and they were always intense and sounded like they were having a good time, so I wanted to be a snowmaker,” he said.
Livingston interviewed for a gunner job. When Ski Corp. found out he had a computer degree, he was invited to be a snow controller. Now, he clicks a mouse to coordinate pumps and compressors.
“It’s really mentally challenging and fun trying to keep all the pressures even,” he said. “It’s kind of like being the producer of a movie, getting the guys to the right places at the right time and trying to be as efficient as possible.”
The Steamboat Ski Area had four controllers last season, he said. Livingston described the work as “quite scientific.”
“When they’re out there adding water to guns, you want to keep the pressure as even as possible, because otherwise the snow will be either too wet or too dry,” he said.
Ski Corp. spokesman Mike Lane called Livingston “a shining star in the snowmaking area of the resort.”
“Those guys do a tremendous amount of work producing an extremely high quality product that’s often overlooked by many,” Lane said.
At the meeting, Colorado Ski Country USA also honored Geoff Bostwick from Echo Mountain as the terrain master and Cheri Sanders, of Winter Park, as the slope groomer of the year. The group also presented a lifetime achievement award to Peter Alford, who has built and designed Colorado resorts for decades.
Livingston said he was pleased to be among the honorees.
“I love our town, love our mountain, and I’m proud to be part of the whole community and the ski area,” he said. “I’m proud to be part of the whole thing.”