CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — New England skiers and snowboarders will be greeted with additional snowmaking firepower and a refined guest experience when visiting Sugarloaf, Maine thanks to a comprehensive investment plan in place for the coming summer. Since joining the Boyne Resorts family in August of 2007, Sugarloaf will have announced nearly $9 million dollars in capital improvements, with more than $5 million slated prior to the 2008/09 season, both on and off the mountain. The investments represent Sugarloaf’s largest capital improvement initiative in more than 10 years, dating back to the installation of the Whiffletree and Timberline chairlifts.
“Sugarloaf is the pinnacle of New England skiing. There’s great pride and enthusiasm with in the Sugarloaf community as we look toward the future. As we eye expansion plans for the coming years we’re laying the groundwork by strengthening our foundation, specifically the snow and the base area. These upgrades are the first steps towards a rejuvenated Sugarloaf, one where the experience matches the mountain in its excellence,” said John Diller, Sugarloaf general manager.
A significant portion of the $5 million will go directly towards the resort’s snowmaking system. Sugarloaf will be upgrading water intakes and expanding the number of pumps in the snowmaking system. These improvements will grow Sugarloaf’s water pumping capacity by nearly 25 percent.
In addition to increased pumping capacity, the resort will add an additional 20 Boyne Low-E (energy) fan and 50 HKD tower guns. The Low-E guns are more efficient, and fit well into Sugarloaf’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The sum of the snowmaking improvements will allow for better use of resources during late fall and early winter when expanding open terrain is the primary focus. Increased pumping capacity and additional fan and tower guns will result in more snowmaking during the short cold snaps of November and early December as well as when temperatures are in the high 20’s and low 30’s.
“These Boyne Fan Guns not only lay down a high quality snow in marginal temperatures while using less energy, they allow us to save on compressed air to be used elsewhere, which will boost our output considerably,” Diller said. “Our goal, which we began to implement last August under Boyne Resorts’ oversight, is to double our snowmaking capacity while decreasing the amount of energy used by half over the next several years. Part of that process includes the construction of additional water storage ponds, which we hope to bring online within the next few seasons.”
Resort-wide enhancements include expanded glade skiing areas, new mountain trail signage, and new lift and ski patrol cabins. Base lodge elements include facility refurbishments, locker room upgrades, new lighting and new carpet in the King Pine Room. Sugarloaf Sports and Fitness will see new hot tubs, refinished racquetball courts and new carpeting.
Looking beyond this summer’s investments, Sugarloaf is currently in the planning stages of an integrated lift replacement strategy that will increase uphill capacity, expand terrain and improve skier flow and high mountain access. “The goal of long range lift improvements is to get more terrain open on the mountain at an earlier date, take pressure off the SuperQuad, and create a more weather resistant access to our summit and snowfields,” Diller said.
Eastern sister resorts Loon Mountain and Sunday River are also in line for significant investment in the coming seasons. Property owners and customers of all three resorts have many newly released deals and customer loyalty programs to take advantage of including the newly launched New England Pass, frequent skier card programs, and Boyne Rewards programs.
“We are pleased with the resources and commitment that Boyne and CNL Income Properties are bringing to Sugarloaf,” Diller said. “We are poised to make great strides in raising the standard in customer service and product excellence in the four-season resort industry. It’s a very good time to be a Sugarloafer.”
About the Sugarloaf Resort ??вЂњ Located in Carrabassett Valley, ME, Sugarloaf is recognized as one of the top winter and golf resorts in the world and is home to the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing and riding in the East and one of Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. Sugarloaf is a member of the Boyne family of resorts and attractions.