NEWRY – Despite rain delays, work continues on Sunday River Ski Resort’s $7.2 million gondola/chairlift at the South Ridge base area.

The project, the first of its kind in New England, is expected to be completed in time for Christmas vacation.

It is part of owner Boyne Resorts’ $14 million seasonal investment at Sunday River and will become the center of summer operations serving hikers and mountain bikers.

The “chondola” will also allow North Peak lodge to be open for weddings and special events.

Manufactured by an Austrian company, the chondola is a high-speed lift with enclosed gondola cabins that can be substituted for chairs.

It carries six-person chairs and eight-person gondola cars.

When complete, it will take skiers, snowboarders and summer visitors from the South Ridge base area to the summit of North Peak. From there, six of Sunday River’s eight peaks are accessible.

The chondola will offer one seven-minute trip, in place of 20-minute trips on two lifts.

On Wednesday, sections of the lift towers and chondola parts began to arrive by truck, while excavation crews dug holes for tower bases. Helicopters will be used to lift the towers into place.

Sunday River marketing director Nick Lambert said Wednesday that parts were being arranged in a parking lot staging area.

“Judging by the size of everything, this structure is going to be big,” he said.

For those who want to track progress, Lambert posts updates and photographs on Sunday River’s Chondolog blog at

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