NORTH WOODSTOCK, NH, AUGUST 2014 -New Hampshire ski areas continue to move forward after enjoying the sixth best ski season on record in New Hampshire. This summer brought a lengthy list of capital improvements and news from across the state with new lifts being installed, new trails and glades being cut, extensive snowmaking improvements, and many other additions.
Here’s a look at some of the enhancements that guests can look forward to:
Ragged Mountain, Danbury – This summer Ragged Mountain is replacing the historic Spear Triple chairlift with a new Doppelmayr High Speed Detachable Quad Chair. The new chair will enable skiers and riders to enjoy high-speed access to both of Ragged’s peaks. The Elmwood Lodge is being improved. Hungry skiers and riders will benefit from a complete revamp in the Pub upstairs as well as a new wood-fired pizza restaurant. Improvements at Ragged Mountain this year will exceed $5 million in total.
Mount Sunapee, Newbury – A Poma of America High-Speed Quad Chairlift in Sunapee’s Sunbowl area will replace the fixed-grip four-person lift that previously serviced that area. This lift will cut the ride time to the summit for skiers and riders by more than half to just over 4 minutes. The Sunbowl Express Quad will trigger a series of lift and trail improvements over the next several years at Mount Sunapee which include replacing the North Peak triple chair with a fixed-grip quad chair, installing a triple chair from the base of the Sunbowl to the summit of North Peak plus additional trails and snowmaking.
Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway – The first phase of Kearsarge Brook Condominiums at Cranmore is expected to begin this fall. Building One will house 18 condominium units at the base of the South Slope and completion of this project is expected by Summer of 2015. Adding to the overall snow experience, Cranmore is adding a new Prinoth Bison groomer to their snow grooming fleet, and a new snowmaking river pump and new computer software will help to maximize the efficiency of the snowmaking system. The Cranmore rental fleet has also grown for the coming ski season, and they will also have an expanded demo center on weekends and holidays.
Pats Peak, Henniker – Last winter Pats Peak unveiled Cascade Basin which included a new triple chairlift and four new ski trails, guests this winter will find an additional two new trails as well as a new glade added to the area. These new trails will have 100% snowmaking coverage to continue to provide quality snow surfaces. Other upgrades include the installation of seven additional SMI snowmaking fan guns, twenty additional energy-efficient HKD Snowmaking Guns, new ski and snowboard rental equipment, wireless high-speed internet access for guests, new LED lighting in the base area, and new carpeting in the rental shop.
Granite Gorge, Keene – Granite Gorge skiers will be welcomed by a new, paved, two lane entrance directly off Route 9, the entrance enhances safety and access to the Gorge’s parking lots. New fan guns are being added to the snowmaking arsenal to ensure optimal snow conditions. A new Alpine Glades area named “Evans Glades” has been added off of the Paradise Trail. Cross country skiers will have over one kilometer of new terrain to enjoy thanks to extension of the Frado ski trail (in honor of John Frado, cross country trail pioneer and former head of Cross Country Ski Areas Association). Race timing and fencing was extended to the top of the Main Street Race Trail with 100% snowmaking coverage, allowing for a complete race venue.
Cannon Mountain, Franconia – Cannon is spending nearly $2 million in improvements for 2014-2015, including roughly $1 million towards Phase I of the Mittersill improvement project which involves trail work and expansion and a new snowmaking compressor that will add 28% more snowmaking capacity. Cannon will also spend an additional $500,000 in other snowmaking upgrades, snowmaking lines and new high efficiency snowguns, $250,000 on general infrastructure improvements, and $300,000 for a new 2015 Prinoth Bison grooming machine.
Black Mountain, Jackson – The iconic platter pull at Black Mountain is being upgraded for this winter, with $25,000 in improvements that include a new electric motor, safety circuits and switches, a new computer drive system and electronic cabling. The mountain’s primary pump station is also being completely rebuilt, with a $75,000 rebuild of the primary snowmaking pump and motor, and installation of new control valves and electronic control system.
Loon Mountain Resort – Since 2010, Loon has invested $3 million to boost the efficiency and firepower of its snowmaking system, and improvements will continue this winter with the installation of 50 additional semi-automated HKD KLIK snowmaking hydrants on Upper Picked Rock and Lower Bear Claw – two of Loon’s vital early-season snowmaking trails. Loon installed 100 KLIK hydrants on the mountain last winter, which helped Loon open top-to-bottom on November 8th last year – the earliest top-to-bottom opening in the resort’s history. The added hydrants this year will allow Loon to open even more terrain more quickly in the early season, as well as deliver better snow all season long. Loon is also expanding the Burton Lil’ Stash, the resort’s newest terrain park for kids. This gladed terrain park will get a new series of rollicking berms that ride like a mini banked slalom in the woods. Kids will also discover fun new animal carvings to go along with existing carvings of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Additionally, Loon is excited to announce the launch of their newly-designed website, LoonMtn.com. Visitors will find a completely redesigned responsive website, with a new interface that makes it easier than ever to find information about snow conditions, events, and more.
Gunstock – To make the guest experience more comfortable, Gunstock is investing $825,000 in customer-focused improvements this year. Improvements include new seating in the main cafeteria and Powder Keg Restaurant (which goes along with remodeling of the restaurant); a variety of upgrades to the Adventure Park, including new docks, paddleboats, new Aerial Treetop Adventures features and the beginning of a summer tubing park; numerous snowmaking and lift enhancements; and a new rental fleet for the 2014/15 ski season.
Waterville Valley Resort – Waterville Valley Resort and WVBBTS / Snowsports Educational Foundation are investing more than $250,000 this year in a joint project that will yield significant upgrades in snowmaking. Seven new, high efficiency, fully automatic fan guns will be added to the resort’s system, freeing up other existing snowmaking equipment to be used on other parts of the mountain and allowing for greater and higher quality coverage from top to bottom. It also prepares the Resort for snowmaking that will have to be allocated for the Green Peak Expansion project. Additionally, the Nordic system and tubing hill will be able to receive extra snow to make sure they stay in top shape all season long.
Great Glen Trails – Great Glen Trails will introduce new beginner terrain focused on increasing the fun factor of learning with customized snow elements and simple terrain features. Great Glen Trails style of “terrain-based learning” will help to promote faster learning in a non-intimidating environment.
McIntyre Ski Area – Improvements at McIntyre this year include placement of lights on an additional trail for more night skiing and continued tubing area improvements. The ski area’s snowmaking capacity will increase due to the replacement of their main snowmaking line and valve station, and chairlift upgrades will include a cable replacement.
Bretton Woods – The replacement of old pipe and 35 new, high efficiency HKD SV 10 towers for the 2014-15 season represents an investment of over $300,000 this year. Combined with over $2 million invested over the past 3 years, Bretton Woods will continue the tradition of aggressive, early season snowmaking across 300 acres. The ski area has also invested $15,000 in improvements to the Hobbits children’s learn to ski and ride program, and an additional $100,000 in new rental equipment through its partnership with Dalbello.
Ski NH is the statewide association representing 33 alpine and cross country resorts and more than 200 lodging and guest service properties in New Hampshire. For more information on ski areas, lodging packages, and updated winter events at Ski NH resorts, call Ski NH at (800) 88-SKI-NH (800-887-5464) or visit the Ski NH website at www.SkiNH.com. For statewide media relations assistance, visit the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism’s media room at http://visitnh.gov/media.
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