On the job with…The Rock Snow Park team

On the Job with...

1. A snowcat, which moves real and man-made snow around to where it needs to be on the hill. Credit: Lila Aryan Photography

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:12 pm

Before the skiers and the tubers arrive at the Rock Snow Park, there is work to be done.

Every day, a team preps the hills with enough snow – usually 2 to 3 feet – using one of company’s 16 computer-controlled snowmaking machines.

The snow is made naturally using water and high pressure air, said Rick Schmitz, who took over snow park operations with his two brothers at The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin in July 2017.

Schmitz Bros. LLC has owned and operated Little Switzerland in Slinger since 2012. The company bought the Rock Snow Park from Mike Zimmerman, who had transformed the former Crystal Ridge Ski Hill.

When the brothers took over the Rock Snow Park, they invested about $700,000 in snowmaking operations and other changes to attract more families to the park.

Making snow is not cheap. Doing so costs about $2,000 a night, Schmitz said. The investment in the park has paid off. Every weekend, thousands of people visit the park for skiing and tubing.

“This is the only true Alpine ski area in Milwaukee County,” Schmitz said.

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