The state’s alpine ski areas are ramping up for the season, many with additions that are worth checking out. Here are some changes that have been announced.
Pats Peak in Henniker has built a new post-and-beam lodge featuring enlarged bathrooms – which is a big deal when you’re bundled up in ski gear – plus ski-boot-friendly stairs. They have also added more energy-efficient snowmaking fan guns and towers to their 100 percent snowmaking coverage.
At Crotched Mountain in Francestown the big news remains its purchase this summer by Vail Resorts, which had the immediate effect of including the mountain in some of Vail’s nationwide ski passes. Crotched Mountain will honor the existing “Peak Pass” for ski mountains previously owned by Peak Resorts – which includes Wildcat and Attitash in New Hampshire.
Mount Sunapee Resort has upgraded snowmaking in its South Peak area, and added rental equipment for Ski School.
Ragged Mountain Resort in Danbury remodeled the Elmwood and Meetinghouse Lodges and renovated the New Hampshire Mountain Inn. It also has new gladed trails, a live-streaming camera and a new Rossignol rental fleet.
Gunstock Mountain Resort invested in high-efficiency snowmaking equipment including 47 new HKD Impulse snow guns and one TechnoAlpinTR8 Fan Gun. Gunstock Ski & Sport, formerly Mountainside Outfitters, has been remodeled and enlarged. Other improvements include an enhanced Terrain and Freestyle Park, trail signage and new base lodge furnishings.
Resort enhancements underway at Bretton Woods include New Hampshire’s first eight-passenger Gondola that travels at 1,200 feet per minute, which will debut for the 2019-20 ski season along with a 16,000-square-foot on-mountain dining-and-event venue, anticipated to open during the summer of 2020.
Cannon Mountain says it has spent $2.5 million on upgrades to the Mountain Station Tram building at the summit. Cannon also has new grooming equipment and 20 new snowguns and hydrants and pipe for the Tossup Terrain Park.
At Cranmore Mountain Resort, Phase II of Kearsarge Brook Condominiums broke ground on Aug. 20. This is the second phase of a $50 million development designed to create residences and expanded base facilities.
Loon Mountain Resort has expanded and remodeled its lodge facilities with the Summit Café remodel and the addition of the new Pemigewasset Base Camp. It is also introducing RFID ticketing to its resort this winter. Lift tickets, fly cards and season pass products will now be loaded onto reusable cards, which will be scanned remotely by electronic gates. Down the road, the White Mountain National Forest Schedule of Proposed Actions shows that Loon is proposing to replace the 20-year-old Kancamagus Quad at the Governor Adams base area with a high-speed, detachable, eight-person chairlift.
At Waterville Valley Resort, the Freestyle Lounge has an anticipated winter opening. Other base lodge improvements include a private event space and a family area. The resort is also looking at the future addition of a high-speed, detachable, six-person chairlift to replace the White Peaks Quad. u