CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Sugarloaf brings more summer amenities to the mountain resort with Thursday’s opening of its new Outpost, a summer adventure center, and the state’s first off-road Segway tours.

“We’re providing more things for people to do when they are here,” Ethan Austin, communications manager, said Thursday. “The Outpost is a new central home for these summertime activities, including zip line tours, scenic lift rides, the Segway tours, kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals and the staff to help.”

In partnership with Segway Inc., which created the battery-powered means of transportation using personal balance on the two-wheel vehicles, Sugarloaf becomes Maine’s first authorized Segway x2 off-road tour operator, he said in a release.

Austin quickly attested to the fun available on these machines.

“I was very surprised … blown away … how fun they are, how fast they can go and even up steep hills,” he said. “It’s totally different.”

A couple of tours are available at Sugarloaf, including one along Snowbrook Trail and one going toward the Outdoor Center. They can’t climb the mountain, but do maneuver across dirt roads, grass, trails and some hills, he said.

“The Segway x2 features higher ground clearance and large, more aggressive tires than standard Segway models, allowing travel over rugged, off-road terrain,” he said in the release. “Each Segway x2 can travel an estimated 12 miles on a single charge.”

A number of resorts across the country are adding similar summer opportunities,  which prompted some Sugarloaf staff to travel to Loon Mountain Ski Resort in New Hampshire to check on their program.

While the Segway may not be a huge draw to bring people to the mountain in the summer, it does provide more things to do for those who come here to golf, attend conferences and weddings or use a timeshare, he said.

This is a great opportunity for us to offer a new and different experience for our guests,” Brad Larsen, Sugarloaf vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release. “The partnership with Segway makes the startup cost for this program very reasonable, and as Maine’s only authorized Segway tour operator, the experience will truly be unique to Sugarloaf.”

Tours are offered in 10-, 20- and 90-minute segments. The 10-minute tour provides a basic introduction to use of the Segway, the 20-minute tour gives more advanced instruction on the machine and the 90-minute tour includes coaching and an extensive off-road tour on Sugarloaf’s trail network.

The tours begin at the Outpost, located next to Mountainside Real Estate in Sugarloaf Village. It opened Thursday and will continue with hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday throughout the summer.

The Outpost offers a couple other new things, such as kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals, Austin said.

“These paddle boards are a new fad,” he said. “They are like a gigantic surf board with a long paddle. We provide necessary items to help transport these for use on Flagstaff Lake.”

Advanced reservations are recommended for Segway tours, zip line tours and canoe and kayak rentals. These are available by calling 1-800-THE-LOAF.

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