Capital Improvements Underway at New Hampshire Ski Resorts

By AlpineZone News |
Aug 13 2012 - 10:12 AM

Millions of dollars spent to enhance skier experience

NORTH WOODSTOCK, NH, AUGUST 2012 – Each summer you can count on New Hampshire’s ski areas rolling up their sleeves and getting to work improving their resorts for the next winter season. This summer is no different with new lifts being installed, extensive snowmaking improvements underway, year-round attractions being added and many other additions.

Here’s a look at some of the enhancements that guests will enjoy in the Granite State this winter:

Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway -Over the summer Cranmore is replacing its historic East Double Chair with a triple chairlift. The lift will increase uphill capacity and add 300 feet of vertical drop to the resort’s southern slopes. The lift will also provide access to the summit of the mountain. Sixty new snow guns have been added to the resort’s arsenal, bringing the total of high-efficiency snow guns to 300. The Soaring Eagle Zipline installed this summer will operate all winter, joining the snowtubing park, mountain coaster and giant swing as alternative activities for winter guests.

Bretton Woods, Bretton Woods – This winter skiers and riders will find the addition of lift service to the Mount Stickney area of the resort. Bretton Woods recently added thirty acres of glades to the area that will now be serviced by a 2,000 foot Doppelmayr T-bar lift. The glades are also being expanded to include some steep drop-offs for adventurous experts as well as more wide-open glades for less-experienced skiers and riders. At the top of the lift a new 600-square-foot log cabin is being constructed. The cabin will feature an exterior stone fireplace as well as a porch for enjoying the sun on warmer days. Inside, a wood stove will warm skiers between runs. In the base lodge guests will be able to select custom clothing, gear and accessories electronically at the new Bogner virtual clothing store, which will then be mailed to their home address. The recently constructed Canopy Tour, Williwaw Racing Zip and indoor climbing wall will also be available to guests this winter.

Black Mountain, Jackson – More than $500,000 is being invested over the summer in snowmaking improvements including two new Ingersoll Rand Centac electric air compressors which will more than double the overall snowmaking capacity while reducing the area’s carbon footprint. Thirty-five low energy high-efficiency tower snow guns have been added to the primary race trail, Jackson Standard, as well as the Big Dipper, Maple Slalom and Black Beauty trails. A new beginners’ area is being completed with all-new snowmaking lines, hydrants and low energy, high-efficiency tower guns. Additionally, the new learning area will have a new dedicated surface lift. Improvements to the base lodge include an expanded ski school and ticketing area, a new day care and nursery area, fully renovated dining room areas, and expansion to Lostbo Pub, more than doubling its size. An all-new ticketing system will provide guests with a quick and efficient ticketing experience.

Ragged Mountain, Danbury – Over $1 million is being spent to upgrade Ragged’s snowmaking system. Among the upgrades are 100 new low energy, high-efficiency tower snow guns. Half of those guns will be part of an automated snowmaking system on Exhibition. This allows snowmakers to take advantage of shorter windows of snowmaking temperatures. There will also be five new fan guns on the mountain. The additional guns will benefit from a new pump that will increase the system’s capability by 25%.

Pats Peak, Henniker – Crews are completely renovating the arrival area; this winter, guests will be greeted by a warming area, brick walkway, stone walls, granite steps, and clock tower. On the hill a new Air Bag will allow skiers and riders in the F5 Terrain Park to learn new tricks while landing on the soft, inflated bag. A new novice trail is being added to the “backside” of the mountain eventually feeding skiers and riders onto the Breeze trail. This trail is the first step in a long-term expansion plan for the backside of the mountain. The first Women’s Burton Learn to Ride Center in New Hampshire will be located at Pats Peak with specialized rental equipment and women-specific teaching and learning programs. The snowmaking system is being enhanced with the addition of six new Snow Machine and HKD Turbo fan guns that are capable of producing snow at warmer temperatures and doing so in a more energy-efficient manner. The rental shop will offer an additional 100 pairs of new Dalbello boots, 300 pairs of new Elan skis, and 125 new Burton snowboards, bindings and boots. Base lodge improvements include a new backup generator, new carpet in the Valley Lodge and main entrance, and fresh paint for the exterior.

Waterville Valley, Waterville Valley – Younger skiers and riders will enjoy the new Adventure Trail, located off Valley Run featuring multiple routes through the woods with stops for bear caves, snow whales, a ski-thru sugar shack, hidden animal figures and more. A new learning park has been added on the Revelation trail offering special “kid-sized” features for developing skills. Snowmaking has been added to a cross country ski loop in Town Square to ensure XC skiing terrain is available.

Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch – Cannon is spending a half-million dollars on snowmaking improvements this summer. Among the additions are dedicated snowmaking on Paulie’s Folly trail. New air and water lines are being installed on Upper Cannon and fan gun power pedestals are being added on Lower Cannon. A new twenty-foot automated, portable tower fan gun, one of the first of its kind in North America, is being added as well. Several trail enhancements are underway including removal of a tree island on the Tossup trail allowing for more snowmaking and a bigger terrain park. A new Prinoth Bison X terrain park groomer has been purchased to shape and smooth out all the snow.

Granite Gorge, Keene – Improvements continue at Granite Gorge. This winter guests can enjoy a new lodge with a Great Room and the Bus Stop Grill. The Lookout Lounge features a full bar and grill. On the exterior new mahogany decks are in place. The terrain park is now top-to-bottom on the Monadnock Trail with snowmaking and lighting. The well-known Granite Gorge Bag Jump is being replaced by a bigger and better version. Those looking for a non-skiing activity can enjoy the new Cosmic Tubing Park.

Mount Sunapee, Newbury – Mount Sunapee has purchased another 14 HKD high-efficiency snow guns, bringing the total of guns purchased over the past five years to 72. These guns make up to twice as much snow while using 75% less compressed air. There will be a new Airbag that will be open to the public in the terrain park, allowing skiers and riders to get practice jumping or learning new tricks. Newly-added year-round attractions that winter guests can enjoy include the Canopy Zip-Line Tour, a 2 1/2 hour guided tour with eight zip lines, three rappels and a rope bridge.

Gunstock Mountain Resort, Gilford – Over the summer upgrades have been made to the snowmaking system including replacing pipes and other improvements that will allow for more efficient operations. Ticketing and transaction systems are being updated to improve the customer interaction experience. The recently constructed ZipTour will be available to guests throughout the winter offering eight different zip-lines including the longest zip-lines in the continental United States.

Dartmouth Skiway, Lyme Center -Over the summer a new Pisten Bully Winch Snowcat was added to the grooming fleet. Other improvements include new snowmaking on the Post-Doc trail along with a new snowmaking compressor. A new haul rope is being installed on the Holt’s Ledge double chair, new Volkl skis are being added to the rental fleet, and all-new trail signage and redesignated trail ratings are being completed.

McIntyre Ski Area, Manchester – McIntyre will be adding an all-new terrain park for this winter.

Windblown XC, New Ipswich – Over the summer Windblown’s logging operation added another thirty acres of glade skiing through selective cutting.

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 For statewide media relations assistance, visit the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism’s media room at or contact Mr. Tai Freligh at 603-271-2343, option #2.