It’s shaping up to be a busy offseason for Sugarloaf. The Maine ski resort announced yesterday their new capital projects for this coming offseason. The additions include a new t-bar, employee housing, and snowmaking improvements. They also discussed when construction on the new West Mountain terrain pod will begin.
New Lift: Carrabassett Valley Academy is partnering with Sugarloaf to construct a new high-speed t-bar lift in between the Competition Hill and Narrow Gauge trails. The t-bar is going to be “1200 feet in length and rise 380 vertical feet, beginning just above Peavey Crosscut.” They are planning on widening the Competition Hill trail, and new snowmaking will be added, including fully automated fan guns. New Employee Housing: Sugarloaf is located in rural Maine, so finding workers and housing for them is hard to come by. The resort announced in the press release the purchase of the Herbert Grand Hotel, which will house up to forty seasonal employees starting this fall. The hotel features 26 rooms, communal areas, and a restaurant. Here’s what Sugarloaf GM Karl Strand had to say about the acquisition:
“The Herbert is a beautiful building with a storied past, and we’re excited to be stewards of this historically significant property. Housing for seasonal staff has become a critical need for our community, and this investment is an important step in meeting that need. We’re continuing to work with our community partners on additional solutions to meet the long-term housing needs of the community.”
On the downside, the hotel may be haunted. West Mountain Expansion: One of the big aspects of Sugarloafs 2030 plan is the terrain expansion on West Mountain. The expansion is currently going through the permitting process, with construction beginning late this year or in early 2023. The expansion would feature 450 acres of new terrain, along with around 200 new slopeside ski-in/ski-out residences. The lift that will be constructed in the pod won’t be exactly new, as it served as Big Sky beforehand as the Swift Current Quad. Doppelmayr is adding a “new drive, motor, electrical systems, and haul rope” to the lift, which will travel 6000 feet and 1500 vertical feet. The travel time will be around six minutes, and its top terminal is going to be near Bullwinkle’s Restaurant. The lift will be installed in the summer of 2023, meaning that it’s likely the new pod will open for the 2023-24 season. Snowmaking Upgrades: A new booster pump house will be added, along with brand new high-efficiency snow guns. The pump house will be located near the Bullwinkle’s Restuarant, and 107 new high-efficiency HKD snowguns will help the resort open earlier and close later in the season. Image Credits: Sugarloaf, Carrabassett Valley Academy, Herbert Grand Hotel