NEWRY – When Gary Lajoie woke up Monday morning, he visited the Sunday River Ski Resort website to see if they would be continuing to make snow over the course of the week.

Instead, he was pleasantly surprised to see that they would be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, with one trail open for use.

“I just wanted to see if they would be making more snow, but when I saw that they were open, I just had to get out here,” Lajoie said as he put on his ski gear inside the Barker Base Lodge. “I don’t even care if I only get two runs in. It’s worth it to me.”

Sunday River Director of Communications Sarah Devlin said in a news release Monday morning that after a weekend of using snow guns, the resort was ready to open up access to its T2 trail.

Lajoie, who lives in Plymouth, N.H., said it took him just under two hours to get to Sunday River, but it was “absolutely worth it.”

“You wait all summer for ski season to start, so when early season skiing starts, you just can’t get enough of it,” Lajoie said with a smile.


The parking lot in front of the Barker Base Lodge was nearly full on Monday afternoon, packed with cars sporting license plates from as far away as Massachusetts, New York and Illinois.

Will Uttley, who lives in Boston, Mass., said he received an e-mail that the T2 trail would be open Monday morning and immediately made plans to make the trip to Maine.

“If I see an opportunity to go early, I’m there,” Uttley said.

Uttley said he found the conditions to be “surprisingly good” for this early in the season, and that he found it “completely wild” to be skiing already.

Devlin said Sunday River typically opens “around Halloween” every year, and that part of its opening day deal is that any skier or snowboarder who dressed up in a costume got a free lift ticket.

“Last year, we opened on Oct. 26, which was before Halloween, but this year, even though opening day fell after Halloween, we still did the costume deal,” Devlin said, adding with a laugh, “I think the weirdest costume I saw so far today was a banana. It’s not often that you see someone in a full-body open-faced banana suit skiing down the slope.”


When the trail was officially opened at 9 a.m., Devlin said that “people were whooping and shouting and hollering.”

“We have this commitment to our guests where we try to get people on the hill as quickly as possible,” Devlin said. “From what I’ve been hearing, the conditions this morning were the best opening day conditions we’ve had in awhile.”

Devlin added that the ski resort will be closed during weekdays until “around mid- November.”

“We’re going to be open on weekends, but we’ll be closed on weekdays until later in the month, when the conditions continue to improve and we make more snow,” Devlin said. “As soon as we can open more terrain, we will.”

Devlin said in the news release that Sunday River was able to create enough snow to open up the T2 trail thanks to our new high-capacity, energy-efficient snow guns, towers and other new equipment.

Dana Bullen, president of Sunday River, said, “As pioneers in snow-making, we continue to explore and upgrade to the newest, most efficient equipment on the market, and we are as committed to using that equipment as we are to our guests.”

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