Sunday River ski area announces 10-year improvement plan

20111223.Newry, Maine Photo by Fred Field LOID 5.0.691874748 The lighted portion of this informational sign showed the current lift status. There were 8 operational lifts and 7 idled due to closed trails for lack of snow Friday morning 12/23 at Sunday River in Newry, Maine. Biz story Fred Field LOID, File

Maine’s Sunday River intends to replace and upgrade six ski lifts, build a mountain observation tower and a mountain roller coaster, and add housing as part of a 10-year plan, the resort said.

Some of the steps outlined Wednesday, like building the North Peak multi-story observation tower and renovating the 6,000-square-foot ballroom at Grand Summit Hotel, could start in the next year.

The plan also includes upgrading and replacing six of the resort’s 18 ski lifts, including Jordan Bowl, Barker Mountain and White Cap.

Boyne Resorts, Sunday River’s owner, isn’t ready to talk about specifics of the ski lifts or the total cost, spokeswoman Karolyn Castaldo told the Sun Journal.


The plan includes new radio-frequency identification ticketing that will allows skiers to buy a season pass or reload lift tickets onto a card, and skip the ticket purchase lines and go straight from the parking lot to the lift.

To enhance the summer experience, the resort plans to install a mountain coaster that would travel from the top of the North Peak down to South Ridge in a seated cart.

Maine has held steady the past few winters with about 1.3 million skier visits a year, said Greg Sweetser, executive director of the Ski Maine Association. He hopes to see growth with Saddleback Mountain reopening next year.


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