The ruling is in and Mount Sunapee is one step closer to offering its skiers more terrain. According to the Union Leader, the Executive Council ruled in favor of the New Hampshire resort’s expansion with Democrat, Van Ostern being the sole person opposed to the plan reports.
The controversial development would extend the boundary of the ski area into what officials are calling “West Bowl.” All in all, the expansion amounts to nearly 56 added acres of skiable terrain, which is approximately a 25% increase for the ski area.
However, the proposed expansion is rubbing some people the wrong way.
For one, opposing councilman Ostern says the move upsets the balance between public access and private gain. The Friends of Mount Sunapee, a local conservation group, agrees with that summation and hinted that they may challenge the decision in court with the help of a local chapter of the Sierra Club.
“The short-sighted expansion plan is a violation of public trust, facilitates the cutting of an exemplary natural forest to allow for residential sprawl, and will not create the meaningful employment opportunities our community desperately needs,” – Friends Of Mount Sunapee
The members of the approved plan said that the move has been properly vetted and includes significant environmental protections moving forward. When all is said and done, the development will cost nearly $15 million and give skiers and snowboarders access to four new trails. On the expansion website, enhancemountsunapee.com, backers of the development say that environmental stewardship is a top priority.
“Additionally, we must continue our responsibility to the State of New Hampshire and the public we serve to be good environmental stewards of the land we lease” – Enhance Mount Sunapee
Whatever the case, the plan has made a successful step forward but will have to tread carefully as to stay out of court and keep their focus on improving one of New Hampshire’s most beloved ski hills.
Proposed Developments To Mount Sunapee
- Install a 5,100’ high-speed express quad chair lift.
- Install a moving carpet/ beginner lift.
- Construct ~75 acres of new terrain with four (4) top-to-bottom ski trails.
- Construct a new base area facility with limited guest services.
- Construct a new parking lot.
- Install utilities and infrastructure (power, water, roads).
Find the entire Union Leader article here: Council approves Mt. Sunapee expansion