Enhanced Snowmaking, Redesigned Terrain Parks Top List of Improvements at Sugarloaf

By AlpineZone News |
Sep 23 2008 - 03:28 PM

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — When skiers and riders return to the slopes of Sugarloaf for the 2008-09 season, they will be greeted with more than $5 million in offseason improvements, including enhanced snowmaking capacity, redesigned terrain parks, and upgrades to on-mountain facilities. The offseason investment makes a total of more than $9 million in capital improvements since Sugarloaf joined the Boyne Resorts family in 2007.

Following considerable improvements to the resort’s snowmaking system in 2007, Sugarloaf added further upgrades this summer in order to produce more snow early in the season. The resort added a sixth water pump to its pumphouse, replaced all existing pumps with new, more efficient ones, and augmented its snowmaking fleet with 25 new Boyne proprietary energy efficient fan guns, which specialize in producing large quantities of snow at higher temperatures.

Sugarloaf has also added 50 new low energy HKD snowguns, as well as new high flow snowmaking pipe to the summit, which will improve snowmaking in the resort’s above-treeline area. All told, the improvements to Sugarloaf’s snowmaking system will increase the resort’s overall snowmaking capacity by an estimated 20 percent.

“The replacement of all of our pumps plus the addition of the new low energy technology pushes us closer to our goal of doubling our snowmaking capacity while simultaneously decreasing our energy consumption by 50 percent,” said John Diller, Sugarloaf’s General Manager. “We will be implementing additional steps in the coming seasons to achieve this goal, and this is a great leap toward that mark.”

Freestyle skiers and riders will find a new terrain park landscape at Sugarloaf this season, with a new advanced terrain park on Haywire, new beginner park on Whiffletree, newly designed Superpipe, as well as a new, permanent snowboardcross/skiercross course designed in part by Olympic snowboardcross champion Seth Wescott. The course, which will be called “Sidewinder,” will be located in the area formerly known as The Yard, and will feature live-timing, allowing guests to test their skills and weigh their times against each other and against Wescott.

The advanced terrain park features that were located in The Yard will now be found on Haywire, where new snowmaking equipment has been installed. Sugarloaf’s intermediate park will again be located in the Stomping Grounds, where crews widened sections and straightened corners to allow for more features and better traffic flow. Beginning park riders will find a new park this season as well, the “Skybound” park on Whiffletree, located in the former Turbo Tubing area.

Considerable earthwork was done to Sugarloaf’s Superpipe during the offseason as well, which will reduce the amount of snow needed to open the pipe by 50 percent or more.

Turbo Tubing will be located on the Landing for the 08/09 season, closer to the Base Area, which will feature several improvements of its own. The area known as “The Beach” will be flattened and resurfaced, and will feature a new bonfire pit, permanent awards podium, and new outdoor barbecue area, all to create a more festive and welcoming atmosphere around the Base Lodge.

Guests will be able to navigate the mountain with greater ease this season as well, with all new trail signage throughout the resort. Skiers and riders will also find improvements to Sugarloaf’s tree skiing areas, including three newly marked glades, as well as a new addition to Bullwinkles, Sugarloaf’s on mountain restaurant, which will feature additional cafeteria area seating and a new deck. Eight of Sugarloaf’s lifts will have new lift buildings, which will be energy efficient and will reduce the amount of energy required for heat by two-thirds or more.

“When we announced these investments at the end of last year, we said they would be the first steps toward a rejuvenated Sugarloaf,” Diller said. “Thanks to the commitment we’ve seen from Boyne in the past year, I think guests will find an enhanced Sugarloaf experience when they return this season, and will see that we are still very much committed to that goal.”

To learn more about Sugarloaf, visit www.sugarloaf.com or call 1-800-THE-LOAF.