SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif.–March 30, 2000–The Glacier of Anaheim, LLC Thursday announced that Houston-based Enron Energy has signed an agreement to be an equity partner and Official Energy Sponsor of America’s first indoor action sports venue.
The multi-million dollar deal includes engineering and construction of the facility’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure and a guaranty of its performance.
“We’ve been working on this relationship for a long time,” said Brad Kinney, Glacier CEO. “With all of its environments and controlled climates, the Glacier houses an incredibly complex energy system. We’re pleased that Enron is officially on the team.
“As the world’s largest energy company, they bring the best possible engineering resources, expertise, and credibility to the project — not to mention `real’ snow that would make Mother Nature jealous.”
In addition to designing, engineering, and constructing the overall system, Enron Energy will operate and maintain the Glacier’s central plant and snowmaking system. The facility houses many separate climate controlled zones: the 3.5 acres snow area called the “Boardroom”, the surf and skate park, the ice rink and the food court area and tenant spaces.
The Boardroom is maintained at a constant 30-degree temperature with low humidity. This environment is critical to maintaining quality snow conditions.
“In the mountains, the weather is constantly changing,” said Michael Gerard, Glacier officer and 22-year ski industry veteran.
“Freezing and thawing, inversions, humidity and temperature changes are among the myriad of challenges faced by ski resort operators trying to create and maintain a quality snow product. By harnessing the variables, we’re able to produce a much more consistent product for the athletes.”
“Controlling the environment makes all the difference in the world for competitions,” said Jon Sommers, professional snowboarder and three-time national halfpipe champion. “As time goes on, the level of riding gets better and the tricks become more difficult. Inconsistent conditions make it impossible for us to ride our best. This `arena-snowboarding’ approach will take the sport to new heights.”
The skateboard and inline skate park was designed by industry-acclaimed Tim Payne and features in-ground pools and street skating features. The surfing park houses six Wave Loch Flowrider(R) wave pools. Four smaller waves are located inside the facility and two twelve-foot competition waves are outside.
“The challenge here was the humidity created by the churning water,” said Kinney. “Because of this, we had to separate the skate and surf parks with a glass wall. We also added large roll-up doors to let fresh air circulate through the space.”
The water temperature in the surf park can be maintained at any temperature because excess heat from the snowmaking chilling towers can be converted through heat exchangers.
The NHL-sized ice rink is surrounded by food court and retail tenants. “We’re creating an ice rink experience inside a mall-like setting,” added Kinney. “Unlike other ice skating facilities, we need to keep the air temperature warm and the humidity low. Enron is guaranteeing the climate.”
“Imagine the best weather and conditions imaginable for these sports,” said Allen Butcher, Enron General Manager. “We have engineered the environment for snow that’s comparable to the best mid-winter experience in Mammoth. We’re pleased to be a part of the project and we enthusiastically embrace the challenge.”
In addition to the Energy management, Enron has also signed a $1 million Official Energy Sponsorship with the Glacier project. “This is a showcase effort for Enron,” added Butcher. “We want to be a part of cutting edge projects, like the Glacier, that make the world a better place to live.
“Also, we can use the facility as an educational tool to promote energy conservation and its affect on a creating a greener earth for future generations.”
The $130 million project will be located adjacent to Edison International Field of Anaheim, just a few blocks from the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim and Disneyland Park. The Anaheim train station is located steps away from the Glacier’s front door and serves as a direct transportation link to cities throughout Southern California.
Enron Energy, based in Houston, is the world’s largest energy company.