CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — Favorable weather, expansive open terrain and a nighttime concert by rock legends Litte Feat all contributed to give Sugarloaf its busiest Martin Luther King Jr Weekend in nearly seven years this past weekend.
Skiers and riders were out en masse on Saturday and Sunday, and Sugarloaf recorded its highest lodging occupancy for MLK Jr Weekend since 2003. Sugarloaf-operated lodging units were at 93 percent occupancy for Saturday through Sunday, and 85 percent for Saturday through Monday.
Individual paid skier days were similarly strong, with skier visits for Saturday and Sunday nearly double the total from the same two-day period last year, and more than triple the total from 2008.
“It’s great to see these numbers and it’s certainly encouraging for us as we prepare for the rest of the season,” Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller said. “It’s been a while since we had some good weather on Martin Luther King Jr Weekend, and it’s good to see these numbers back to and even surpassing the levels they were at a few years ago. I don’t know if it’s a sign that the economy is on the mend or not, but it’s encouraging for us.”
The strong numbers can be attributed at least in part to favorable weather over the weekend. Sugarloaf enjoyed temperatures in the mid 20s to low 30s with only moderate winds on Saturday and Sunday, and received 3 inches of fresh snow on Monday.
In addition Sugarloaf sold more than 900 tickets to a weekend concert by music legends Little Feat, who kicked off the 2010 Bud Light Concert Series on Saturday night. This year’s concert series will also feature Rusted Root on February 6, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on March 13, and Rustic Overtones on March 27.
Also benefitting from the strong skier numbers over the weekend was the American Red Cross. Sugarloaf, along with its sister Boyne Resorts, donated one dollar from every lift ticket sold at the resort on Saturday to benefit the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti, in the wake of the recent earthquake. Complete donation numbers from all Boyne Resorts will be available on Wednesday.