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Last Winter Happened
The secret to Sunday River’s success starts with commitment followed by making snow
Newry, Maine (Winter 2012/2013)—Last winter’s unseasonably warm temperatures with rain, Hurricane Irene, and an overall lack of natural snow did not stop Sunday River Resort from celebrating its second best financial year on record. The secret to its success? Commitment.
“Snowmaking is certainly the difference between a bad season and a good season, which is exactly what we saw last winter,” Dana Bullen, Resort President and General Manager for Sunday River, says. “Anyone can make snow. Last year’s success came down to us choosing to make snow when other resorts couldn’t or wouldn’t.”
Although Sunday River saw only 100 inches of natural snowfall —65 inches fewer than its yearly snowfall average—between the months of October 2011 and April 2012, its ability to make snow allowed the resort to open as usual in October and close in mid-April.
In fact, snowmaking is the reason Sunday River has been the first resort, or among the first resorts on the East Coast, to open year-after-year. Two seasons ago, Sunday River was the first resort in the country to open and last year the resort celebrated a fifth year of being able to open on or before Halloween.
This dedication to snowmaking also proved to be the difference between hosting major events and training clinics or telling potential visitors to stay home.
To illustrate, last December, Sunday River was the only resort in New England with enough open terrain to host several training clinics and competitive events. As a result, schools and academies from around North America, including Gould Academy, Bates College, Mont St-Sauveur, the National Ski Academy, Green Mountain Valley School, Waterville Valley, Boyne Racing, and Mont Tremblant, all came to Sunday River to train. By spring, the resort was still making snow and hosting such events as its annual Dumont Cup and the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Championships.
Looking ahead to the 2012/2013 season, Sunday River will continue to build upon its reputation for having the most dependable snow in New England with a $1 million capital investment in snowmaking equipment and infrastructure. This moves the resort one step closer to its five-year goal of doubling its water capacity and pump capability and adding 500 new Boyne low-energy fan guns.
For more information on Sunday River, visit www.sundayriver.com.
About Sunday River’s Snowmaking—Since joining the Boyne Resorts Family back in 2007, Sunday River has benefited from over $30 million in capital investments. Thanks to this support, Sunday River now boasts the largest and most technically advanced snowmaking system in the East, including over 1,900 state-of-the-art snow and fan guns—enough to cover over 85 percent of the resort’s terrain as well as leave every trail set up all winter long.