Sunday River announces $4.7 million in upgrades


NEWRY — Sunday River Ski Resort announced plans to invest $4.7 million in snow-making equipment, a new trail, new chairlift and slope-side condominium complex.

Beginners can look forward to a new trail, Bear Paw, on Locke Mountain. The trail was created in partnership with Gould Academy in Bethel to keep traffic off Monday Mourning, the trail used for training and competitive events.

The new trail will be accessible via three lifts and will contain the latest in snow-making technology.

Speaking of snow-making, that’s getting a boost too.

An additional 17 hydrants and over 8,000 feet of snow-making pipe will join the 80 miles of pipe, 2,220 hydrants and more than 2,000 snow guns.

“A typical snow-making team of 30 men and women split three shifts a day to ready on-mountain hydrants and snow guns for upward of 8,100 gallons of water per minute. Snow-makers manually turn on and off each snow gun allowing an on-site compressor house to push 54,000 cubic feet of air per minute into the water to make snow when temperatures allow,” according to a Sunday River news release.

The new, automated hydrants on the Bear Paw trail will allow snow-makers to turn their snow guns off remotely from a computer.

The new technology, the resort said, will allow the mountain to open earlier and stay open until May 1.

Additionally, the Dream Maker Lodge will make its debut in the spring of 2019. The projected 29-unit slope-side condominium will be off the Dream Maker trail, and will contain one- and two-bedroom units, with shared amenities, including lockers, an outdoor hot tub and elevator.

Finally, Spruce Peak will get a new chairlift manufactured by Doppelmayr USA, Inc.

The $2.2 million fixed grip chairlift will carry three passengers, and will sit in the same location as the resort’s original Spruce Peak Triple chairlift. A conveyor system will help load passengers onto each of the 145 chairs, able to carry up to 1,480 guests per hour, and the newer technology will get them there faster. The previously 11-minute ride is now eight minutes.

The last new chairlift installed at Sunday River was the “chondola” in 2008.

Sunday River, the third largest ski resort in New England, boasts 870 acres of skiable terrain, including 135 trails. The four-season resort has eight mountain peaks.

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