NEWRY – Only one of 60 abutters of a proposed Sunday River Ski Resort night-skiing project attended Wednesday night’s Planning Board meeting.

Mary Galligan of the Cascades Condos Association board sought answers to several questions from planners and resort engineer Joseph Aloisio Jr.

Of 72 condo owners, Galligan said she was representing more than 40 who are winter residents and do not rent their units.

Through Galligan, they wanted to know the duration of night skiing, if planners could ensure those hours are adhered to, days when night skiing would be offered, the height of light towers, parking matters, and if the board would convene a public hearing.

The project entails placing tower lights along Escapade, Dreammaker and Broadway ski trails between South Ridge Base Lodge and North Peak Lodge.

Aloisio, who recused himself as board chairman to act as the resort’s agent, said the proposal is for 12-hour skiing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Originally, when presented to planners last summer, the resort wanted to extend night skiing to 11 p.m., Aloisio said.

Planners considered Wednesday night’s proposal a separate project from last summer’s, which was withdrawn in October due to lack of time to ready the project before the ski season.

“It really isn’t practical,” Aloisio said of the 11 p.m. time, “because it gets cold then and people wouldn’t want to be skiing then.”

“This is a more reasonable plan,” Galligan said.

Standing beside a map of the project, Aloisio said that night skiing will also allow the resort to offer different ticket options like afternoon, night and full-day tickets.

Planner Brooks Morton said the board could conditionally request that the resort stick to those set hours rather than change them in the future.

Regarding days of operation, Aloisio said night skiing would be available on weekends, specifically, Fridays and Saturdays. However, he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of lighted skiing being held on other days to allow for race training.

Light towers will stand 30 to 40 feet high.

“We will try to keep them below the crown of trees. These new lights are designed to focus energy on lighting the trails. There’s no need to be lighting the woods,” Aloisio said.

He didn’t foresee parking to be an issue. Galligan was worried that night skiers would park at the condominium complex, which is at the base of Lift No. 7 and its lift station.

Aloisio said all parking would be at South Ridge.

He also doesn’t anticipate full lots.

Morton asked if the resort had sent letters to all abutters. Aloisio said they will be going out shortly.

Planner David Walker said that should people want an idea about what to expect, there is a light operating now atop North Peak from sunset to early morning.

Regarding the public hearing, acting board Chairman Pat Roma said they hadn’t decided yet.

“Once we deem the application complete, then we can decide,” Morton said. “With the interest showed in it last time, that’s probably advisable.”


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