Sunday River Announces Two New Chairlifts & Terrain Expansion

Sunday River Announces Two New Chairlifts & Terrain Expansion

Ski News

Sunday River Announces Two New Chairlifts & Terrain Expansion


Sunday River Resort’s nickname is Someday Bigger for a reason. Yesterday, the Maine ski resort announced two new Doppelmayr chairlifts, along with a terrain expansion for the coming seasons. Surprisingly, the announcements drew a mixed reaction among Sunday River fans.

Their first announcement came on Thursday morning, which announced a new chairlift on Merrill Hill. The new chairlift will be a Doppelmayr fixed-grip triple and will be the second lift over on Merrill Hill. A terrain expansion, along with further real estate development on Merrill Hill is part of these plans, although it’s not clear when these trails will open.

This led to some negative comments from the public about Sunday River’s priorities. They were concerned as to why they weren’t replacing Barker Mountain Express, and how could they prioritize real estate development over older chairlifts that need to be replaced.

Here are some of the most interesting comments from concerned users on Facebook:

  • “Terrain for all (who can afford to live there) to enjoy. It’s all about the RE. Whitecap, Barker, Locke, and Aurora all need upgrading before a lift that will service 20-30 homes that will barely be used.”
  • “How about replace lifts that don’t get shut down with 15-20mph winds.”
  • “And Barker too.. right?? 😬
Sunday River clearly succumbed to the pressure of social media commenters. A couple of hours later, Sunday River quelled those criticisms and announced the second new chairlift. The Barker 6 will replace the current Barker Mountain Express, and the new chairlift is going to be a beast.

The new Doppelmayr D-Line chairlift will have red-tinted bubble covers, heated seats, individual head & footrests, and improved resistance to wind. The ride will be 4.68 minutes long and have an uphill capacity of 3250 riders per hour. When it opens, the Barker 6 will become the fastest six-pack chairlift in North America.

The old lift saw frequent mechanical breakdowns, leading to a negative relationship among the Sunday River faithful. First opened in 1987, the high-speed quad is clearly due for a replacement. Many wanted to see this lift replaced before the Jordan Express, but wind issues forced Sunday River to convert Jordan into an eight-pack bubble chairlift.

As part of Sunday River’s 2030 plan, many more lift replacements are planned in the coming years, with the Tempest lift likely being their next priority. They plan to add a loading carpet to the chairlift, and/or replace it with a newer chairlift.

After all these years, here is the unofficial reaction of Sunday River skiers to Barker finally being replaced:

Image/Video Credits: Sunday River Resort, Paramount

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