NEWRY, Maine ??вЂќ When skiers and riders return to Sunday River for the 2005-2006 winter season, they will find numerous changes. Over the summer and fall months, nearly $2 million in capital improvements were completed, most in the base facilities and many focused on an enhanced guest experience.
The investments encompass the two Grand Resort Hotels, the South Ridge, Barker and North Peak Base lodges and the Snow Cap Inn, as well as general base areas, and range from new carpeting and space restructures to exterior makeovers. Four new state of the art grooming machines were also purchased.
The sum of all the improvements reflect the resort’s commitment to giving the resort a fresh look following a $70 million, 15-year period of expansion beginning in 1985, which focused primarily on building the resort’s infrastructure??вЂќincluding its powerful snowmaking system.
Last year, resort officials laid out a plan to upgrade many of the sprawling ski area’s base facilities and along the way, make changes to improve the guest experience. The first phase of the plan began with the implementation of new signage keeping with the theme of the new branding and better directs guests. That new image is best defined as modern rustic, according to Vice-President of Brand Management Jim Costello.
At South Ridge, Sunday River Sports has nearly doubled in size and will offer an expanded selection of hard goods and apparel. Other renovations at the two Grand Hotels provide increased convenience for guests. For example, the retail shop at the Grand Summit is now be located off the entrance lobby rather that its former location on the second floor. The ski check is now on the second floor near the slopeside access. The Jordan Grand will receive numerous improvements to its public spaces, including the lobby, pool area, and health club and Sliders restaurant.
And one of the more exciting additions to the resort this season is the Shipyard Brew Haus. The new restaurant replaces the former Saturday’s Italian at White Cap Lodge and will be operated by Maine-based Shipyard Brewing Co.
Of course, the resort continues to focus on its one of its strongest assets, its reputation for great snowmaking and grooming. Two new winch cats will allow groomers to spend more time on each of the resort’s steeper trails each night, and two new state of the art grooming machines add to four new machines added to the large fleet last season. The resort previously had one winch cat.