Sugarloaf, the largest ski area in the East, located in Carrabassett Valley, ME, kicked off their 2012/2013 winter season Friday, November 10. The opening came a whole week ahead of schedule, making it the earliest opening day at Sugarloaf since 2007. Sugarloaf credits the early opening to favorable temps and newly purchased snowmaking technology.
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Sugarloaf, the largest ski area in the East, kicked off its 62nd season this morning, opening a full week ahead of schedule. Today’s opening marks the earliest opening day at Sugarloaf since 2007.
Thanks to favorable temperatures and a new fleet of state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, Sugarloaf's snowmakers have been able to take advantage of a sustained window of below freezing temperatures this week to blanket several trails in fresh snow. The crew utilized $1 million worth of new low-energy HKD snowguns, purchased during the offseason.
"The benefits of this new snowmaking technology are already obvious," said Rich Wilkinson, Sugarloaf Vice President of Mountain Operations. "These new guns are so much better during these early season, marginal temperature windows that it's really night and day compared to previous seasons."
Skiing and riding on opening day was available on the Boardwalk and Lower Winter's Way trails, with lift service available on the Double Runner East lift. Sugarloaf will remain open on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am-3:50pm, before closing on Monday for the midweek period. Lift tickets are currently just $25 for all ages.
If weather and conditions cooperate, Sugarloaf will reopen for daily operations on Friday, November 16.
The early opening was made possible by a $1 million offseason investment in 300 new low-energy snowguns, produced by Snow Economics Inc. / HKD Snowmakers. The new guns are able to produce the same amount of snow as traditional, older equipment, while using up to 90 percent less compressed air, and produce greater quantities of snow at marginal temperatures (20-30 degrees).
The offseason investment was part of Sugarloaf's ten-year development plan, called Sugarloaf 2020, which the resort unveiled in 2010. The 2020 vision includes plans for new lifts, improved snowmaking infrastructure, and a massive, 650 acre expansion onto neighboring Burnt Mountain, making Sugarloaf the largest ski area east of the Rocky Mountains. For complete on the Sugarloaf 2020 plan, please visit www.sugarloaf2020.com.
For more information on snowmaking and conditions, visit www.sugarloaf.com.