NEWRY, Maine — Following a one-day special opening on Halloween to lead the eastern half of the country, Sunday River in Maine will be the first ski area in the Northeast to open for the 2007-2008 season. The Locke Mountain Triple will open for skiers and riders on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 11:30 a.m.
Snowmaking operations are underway on T2, Sunday Punch, Cascades, Jungle Road and others. Regular operating hours will be in effect starting on Friday when the mountain will open at 9 a.m. Fellow Boyne USA Resort Sugarloaf will join Sunday River in welcoming skiers and riders on Friday ??вЂњ the first full day of operation at both Maine resorts. The Sunday River season opening is two weeks ahead of last year’s opening date of Nov. 21.
Open terrain will be for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders only with downloading on the Locke Mountain Triple. The Resort plans to offer top to bottom terrain as soon as Friday. The Sunday River terrain parks crew will be installing a small terrain park on the upper half of the mountain.
“This gives us a great jump start on the Thanksgiving Holiday,” said Dana Bullen, Sunday River General Manager. “The next few nights are looking very favorable for snowmaking. We’ll be working to build our base depths on open terrain with an eye towards getting additional trails open. Early season is a time when Sunday River’s snowmaking advantages really show.”
Early season lift tickets will be $35 for adults and young adults and $25 for juniors and seniors. Skiers and riders who bring 3 cans of food on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11 will receive a $20 lift ticket as part of the Tin Mountain Round-Up to support local food banks.
Snowmaking operations are underway on trails including T2, Cascades, Sunday Punch and Jim’s Whim. Open terrain on Thursday will consist of the length of T2 with uploading and downloading at the midstation of the Locke Mountain Triple.
Sunday River employed a blend of technologies to offer the earliest skiing in the Northeast. Fan Guns were used at the base to allow more compressed air to reach the top of the mountain, tower mounted low energy guns were used to give the snowflakes more time to freeze during descent and land based traditional guns were used in hard to hit areas and steep pitches.
The early start is thanks in large part to the nearly $1 million spent this summer to upgrade the Resort’s already expansive snowmaking system. The investment was part of a $4.8 million resort wide upgrade that was the largest in a decade. The T2 trail was outfitted with tower guns over the summer to help it offer early season high elevation terrain.
Season passes valid at Sunday River and Sugarloaf are available starting at $349. The passes offer discounts at other Boyne USA Resorts including Loon Mountain in New Hampshire and Big Sky in Montana. The coming season will be Sunday River’s first as a member of the Boyne USA Resorts family.