Justification for Alpina Sherpa snowmachine investment


Still wondering what the justification was for purchasing the $40,000 Alpina Sherpa snowmachine? It is made in Italy and there is only one distributor in N. America who is located in Vermont. Between the purchase price, shipping, and whenever repairs are required it seems like it was an inappropriate purchase during a time when UAF is facing budget shortfalls. Even if there wasn’t a budget crunch, the purchase would be inappropriate when any other snowmachine that can be purchased for 1/5th of the price would work just fine for grooming UAF’s ski trails.

What was the total cost in acquiring the Alpina Sherpa, purchase price, shipping, etc.?

Also how was this purchased justified and who approved it?


The Sherpa snowmachine was purchased about three years ago for $42,000. The purchase was approved after much discussion at several approval levels within Facilities Services, as well as justification within UAF Procurement and Contract Services.

The machine allows us to pull heavier grooming equipment to provide the type of skiing surface our trail users requested. We have had in the past and do now have a couple other snowmachines for grooming. They overheat, and user groups report that the machines create poor quality trails.

Now that we have the new machine, the UAF Ski Team, UAF Nordic Ski Club, other local ski clubs and our general trail users all are very positive about our skiing conditions. We consulted many people about the purchase before making the sizable investment. After researching what was on the market, knowing the job we needed to do and looking at how long this machine should last us, we decided to make the investment.

— Darrin Edson, superintendent of operations, Facilities Services