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Sunday River to install first Chondola in Northeast US

Sunday River resort in Maine will install the region’s first so-called ‘Chondola’ lift this summer as part of a $14m spend on upgrades for next winter. The lift is the first major new installation since the resort became a member of Boyne Resorts following the demise of former owners, the American Skiing Company, less than a year ago.

The $7.2 million hybrid lift is one of four in North America; the closet just north of the border in Bromont, Quebec; and will transport skiers, snowboarders and summer guests from the South Ridge Base Area to the summit of North Peak, a location from which six of Sunday River’s eight peaks are directly accessible. The Chondola will play an integral role in the expansion of four season Resort amenities and allow for foot passenger access to the mid-mountain Peak Lodge.
A Chondola is a high-speed detachable six-person chairlift that carries gondola cabins at regular intervals. The lift is being manufactured by Doppelmayr CTEC and is slated to be open to the public in the winter of 2008-2009, pending state approvals. A trip previously requiring two lift rides by skier and snowboarders will be reduced to one.
“This innovative lift system is an initial step in delivering on a vision for Sunday River,” said Dana Bullen, Sunday River general manager.

We’re looking forward to bringing this level of refinement to all experiences at the resort. We’ve spent nearly a year crafting the finer details of Sunday River’s future. The installation of the Chondola signals the transition from the envisioning phase into the planning and implementation phase. This is much more than a ski lift, it will transform how Sunday River interacts with guests in all four seasons. The transformation will be seen at all levels of the Resort in coming years. This is just the beginning.”

In addition to the new lift, new trails will be cut from the summit of North Peak. $1.7 million will also spent to upgrade snowmaking equipment including new Boyne Low-E fan guns as the resort continues in the quest to double the amount of snow that can be made at one time, while reducing energy usage.
$1.4 million will be invested in resort condos and hotels including new Boyne Beds.
Preliminary planning to offer 12-hour skiing on North Peak and South Ridge continues and could be available as soon as next season pending local approvals. Any 12-hour skiing will be serviced by the Chondola and would incorporate the mid-mountain Peak Lodge.
“We’re extremely pleased with the pace of this process,” said Dana Bullen, Sunday River general manager. “Starting now, Sunday River is clearly New England’s resort on the move. The next few years will solidify that in a big way.”

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