After announcing the Sunday River 2030 plan for sustainable growth and development in February 2020, Sunday River Resort has many exciting capital improvements for winter 2021/22, just in time for ski season. These improvements range from on-mountain infrastructure and sustainability initiatives to new experiences and ways to save on lift tickets.
Continuing the resort’s commitment to providing the most dependable snow in New England, Sunday River installed 9.5 miles of new snowmaking pipe on White Cap, Locke Mountain, and Merrill Hill, and added two new fan guns in Barker Basin and South Ridge, and 131 new tower guns on the Road Runner, Jibe, Heats On, Cascades, Lights Out, Sensation, Cyclone, and State Fair trails. Working with Efficiency Maine, Sunday River also received grants for energy-efficient snowmaking equipment for Merrill Hill. Upgrades to increase automation in the snowmaking process are also underway, which will assist the resort’s dedicated team in prioritizing efficiency.
Real Estate Developments
Last summer, Sunday River announced two new ski-in/ski-out real estate opportunities: Merrill Hill and Dream Maker Lodge.
Merrill Hill is a one-of-a-kind development featuring mountaintop home sites with chairlift access. This summer, the resort installed a new fixed-grip Doppelmayr triple chairlift, four trails, and snowmaking as part of the development. The terrain and chairlift will open on select dates later this winter and will open for regular operations in winter 2022-23. The resort anticipates buyers beginning construction on their homes this winter; remaining lots are available through the Sunday River Real Estate office.
Dream Maker Lodge offers 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom slopeside condominiums on the resort’s North Peak, featuring architecture by Massachusetts-based Rob Bramhall Architects and interior design by Vermont’s Christine Burdick Design. Construction work is expected to begin this year, with anticipated completion during the 2022-23 season. Units are available through Sunday River Real Estate.
Betty the Yeti’s Story Comes to Life
Betty the Yeti, one of the resort’s two beloved mascots, stars in a new picture book. Written by Heidi Bullen and illustrated by Claudia Diller, Betty the Yeti tells the story of how this female yeti came to Sunday River to learn to ski, meets her best friend Eddy the Yeti, and pursues entrepreneurship by opening a shop: Betty’s Treats and Treasures. Not only will Betty’s book be available to purchase at all of Sunday River’s shopping locations, but the resort will also open Betty’s Treats and Treasures store with candy and gifts next to the South Ridge Lodge. The shop’s grand opening is scheduled for mid-December.
Forever Project Sustainability
Last winter, Sunday River and its parent company, Boyne Resorts, announced the Forever Project: a commitment to a goal of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. As a first step, Boyne Resorts is working with CMS Enterprises, a CMS Energy subsidiary, to purchase renewable energy credits that entirely offset electric energy consumption at all Boyne Resorts and facilities throughout North America. As a result, the Sunday River will achieve 100% renewable energy for the 2021/22 winter season by sourcing a global purchase of renewable energy credits. The resort will hire a sustainability coordinator to lead additional efforts.
Savings & Convenience for Skiers & Snowboarders
Guests choosing to stay at Sunday River’s Grand Summit Hotel, Jordan Hotel, and Snow Cap Inn can instantly save 10 percent on lift tickets for two days or more during their lodging reservation through the resort’s new Stay & Save Discount. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and are only valid for guests staying in resort lodging properties.
Sunday River has also improved its Easy Change lift ticket policy for pre-purchased, date-specific lift tickets. If a guest cannot come to ski on the day they intended, Easy Change allows them to receive a voucher credit from their purchase towards another ticket when requested at least 48 hours in advance of their scheduled arrival. Credits must be used by the end of the season.
The resort will be moving to cashless payment only in mid-October and has added a resort charge function to its RFID season passes as well.
Sunday River is setting the stage for future infrastructure upgrades with small- and large-scale maintenance projects in nearly every hotel and base lodge ahead of the winter season. One major project to come this winter is the renovation of the Grand Ballroom at the Grand Summit Hotel, the resort’s largest meeting space, used for conferences, meetings, and weddings throughout the year.
While the resort has not set an opening date for winter 2021/22, Sunday River is usually among the first resorts in the country to open for skiing and snowboarding each year, typically on or around Halloween. However, winter planning is in full force, with season passes, ticket packs, lift tickets, and lodging available to book.