CES Dade City: Every Day Is a Snow Day at Snowcat Ridge
In Florida, Dade City is about to have a lot more snow in its future forecast — but only on a 60-foot-tall, 400-foot-long snow-tubing hill at Snowcat Ridge.
“At first, I thought it was crazy,” said Brandon Hershey, the branch manager for CES Dade City. “An outdoor snow park in Dade City? It’s basically the North Pole in Florida.”
A water park is a pretty common sighting in Florida. But a snow park? No one’s ever done that before.
No one’s ever built a snow park in Florida. Snowcat Ridge is the first one ever, and it couldn’t be in a better spot.
“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.”
Going big at Snowcat Ridge.
Mark Bremer, the creative director for Snowcat Ridge, says it’s all about making the impossible possible. When you see it for yourself, you can’t help but agree. This winter wonderland popped up out of nowhere, almost literally.
What was once a flat field soon transformed into a snow-covered mountain. The snow-tube run is so large, in fact, that multiple groups of people can ride single, tandem, or family-sized tubes down the slopes.
It features fun for the whole family, with a snow dome that has a child-sized snow hill for the younger kids and a magical lighting show each night.
“CES Dade City is proud to be helping on this project,” Hershey said. “It’s a unique attraction for Dade City, and it’s just going to be a lot of fun once they open in November.”
Florida’s winter season hasn’t called for much snow before, but it will now. Snowcat Ridge will draw a lot of power to keep the snow-tubing hill, arctic igloo, and Alpine Village frosty — and CES Dade City is responsible for supplying the gear that’s making it all 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. Then, you also have to account for powering the lights, concession stands, and the other facilities on top of it.”
If you haven’t seen a 6,000-amp switchgear, you’re not alone. Even Hershey hadn’t worked with switchgear this size before.
“It’s massive,” he said. “The hardest part was getting it off the truck.”
How hard could it be? Turns out, very. CES Dade City had to unload each switchboard cabinet by itself, which weighed 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.”
No magic, just real snow.
For Snowcat Ridge, going bigger — and realer — is always better. The snow hill is longer than a football field and is 100% real snow made on-site. Even with their seasonal hours, managing that electrical load is going to require some serious heavy-duty strength. CES Dade City was happy and proud to supply it.
“This was our first project with them,” Hershey said. “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.”
Snowcat Ridge appreciated the service so much, they had CES Dade City out there three or four times a week. From delivering material to checking on the progress, Hershey was more than happy to help.
“It was crucial we expedited the biggest parts, like the switchgear,” Hershey said. “It’s only a seasonal park, and 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.”
For CES Dade City, it feels like they’ve just climbed a mountain of their own.
“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.”
Now all that’s left for CES Dade City is to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year — their first-ever snow day at Snowcat Ridge.
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