Maker of ski-grooming machinery moves to Concord

Prinoth’s biggest groomers can cost a half-million dollars  while smaller machines for grooming local trails run into the low six figures.

Prinoth’s biggest groomers can cost a half-million dollars while smaller machines for grooming local trails run into the low six figures. GEOFF FORESTERMonitor staff

By DAVID BROOKS

Monitor staff

Published: 12-03-2023 9:15 AM

Batting cages and artificial turf have been replaced by 25,000-pound machines and mechanical parts by the thousands in Concord as a major provider of snow groomers has moved here.

Prinoth, an Italian manufacturer of snow-grooming machines that lists virtually every ski mountain in the state as a customer, moved this summer into the site formerly used by Concord Sports Center, after 18 years in Gilmanton. The space on Whitney Road near Exit 17 is used for parts, service and sales.

“We basically doubled our space. It’s a convenient location right off the highway,” said Mark Palmateer, eastern regional manager for Prinoth, of the move into 23,000 square feet in an industrial building. Another advantage: It already had rails installed to hold a 5-ton overhead crane, useful for pulling engines and other parts from the massive snow machines during repairs or installations.

Prinoth will host the annual industry kickoff for the New Hampshire ski season on Monday at an industry event sponsored by the state Division of Travel & Tourism Development and Ski NH. A number of ski areas will have tables to discuss their plans. The Ski 603 Winter Kickoff starts at 5:30, with an open house and tours starting at 3 p.m.

Prinoth is a well-known name in the business of machines that push around snow by the ton at ski areas, on cross-country trails and for snowmobile clubs. Founded by a racing driver named Ernesto Prinoth in 1951, it is headquartered on the edge of the Alps in northern Italy. Most of the machines sold in North America are made in Quebec.

The Concord office handles ski areas throughout the east, from Ohio to Maine to Tennessee, with sales or service contracts with ski areas including Pats Peak, Crotched Mountain, Ragged Mountain and Tenney Mountain. It has 10 to 12 full-time positions and another half dozen or so remote employees.

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Prinoth’s biggest groomers can cost a half-million dollars if they come with such add-ons as a winch to stabilize them on the steepest runs, while smaller machines for grooming local trails run into the low six figures. Their life span depends on usage – “a big mountain can run it 2,000 hours a year, a small mountain maybe 600,” Palmateer said, but they can easily last a decade, he added.

Another advantage of the Concord location, near the new Concord Crossing development, is the large parking lot. At times this fall, in preparation for ski season, the company had as many as 30 of the snow-grooming machines on site. A half-dozen are still being prepped for the winter.

The company shares its Concord space with sister company DemaLenko, a maker of snow-making machinery.