“When Boyne Resorts acquired Shawnee Peak, several requests related to changing the resort’s name were received by the resort and our corporate office. We value all input and feedback received from our stakeholders, and acknowledged their direct messages, stating a name change could be considered in the future.” -Julie Ard, Boyne’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Programs.
Shawnee Peak in Bridgeton, Maine was bought by Boyne Resorts last fall, and much is planned for the ski resort. According to the Storm Skiing Journal, such plans could include lift replacements, terrain expansions, snowmaking upgrades, a base lodge overhaul, and more. But could a name change happen as well? According to the Portland Press Herald, Boyne Resorts has heard from multiple locals that they would like Shawnee Peak to be renamed to the name of its first fifty years of operation: Pleasant Mountain.
There are a few reasons why Boyne Resorts is considering a name change. For one, the original name of the ski resort was Pleasant Mountain, which has a nostalgic feel for many who frequent the mountain. The name changed in 1988 when the Shawnee Mountain Corporation purchased the slope. This corporation owned the Shawnee Mountain Ski Area in Pennsylvania, and wanted to change the Maine ski area’s name “to have a more cohesive name.” There were a few problems with this though: For one, the mountain’s notorious name was thrown out the window overnight. Secondly, the Shawnee tribe, which the Maine ski area was named after, had zero historical presence in Maine. They existed in Pennsylvania and Ohio, which is how Shawnee Mountain got its name. So while originally this seems to be a case of political correctness, it’s really more of a case of course correction and nostalgia.
On the other hand, removing a name that’s been in place for thirty-four years is a tough sell. Two generations have skied the mountain with its name as Shawnee Peak, as the phrase “Sneaking to the Peak” has become a popular tagline among locals. If this is the case, renaming it Pleasant Peak could work as well in order to keep one of their popular nicknames alive. Rebrands are also timely and expensive, and not always worth it. Glen Warren, a travel agent, said that a changed name risks recognition among prior guests, making returning customers less likely. Who will win out? It’s uncertain, but Pleasant Mountain, or Pleasant Peak, does have a nice ring to it. Image Credits: Shawnee Peak