Apr 13, 2022

Employee housing, new t-bar, snowmaking upgrades top list of 2022 Sugarloaf investments

Resort purchases Herbert Hotel in Kingfield to expand housing options for seasonal staff; partners with CVA on new surface lift.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, MAINESugarloaf has announced details on a number of new capital investments planned for summer 2022, including the purchase of the Herbert Grand Hotel in Kingfield, which will provide expanded housing opportunities for Sugarloaf staff members beginning in the 2022/23 winter season. 

In addition, Sugarloaf will partner with CVA to install a new t-bar for race training and competitions, will invest in substantial snowmaking upgrades that will increase snowmaking capacity by roughly 75%, and will continue work on its West Mountain development, with initial construction expected to begin in late 2022 or early 2023.

“All of these projects address important need areas for Sugarloaf and our community,” Sugarloaf General Manager Karl Strand said. “We are eager to get started and excited about the direction we’re headed in.”

Herbert Hotel Purchase

The Herbert Grand Hotel is a historic hotel located in downtown Kingfield, featuring 26 guest rooms, communal areas, and a small restaurant. Sugarloaf entered into a purchase and sale agreement on the property in February 2022, and closed on the sale on April 11.

Sugarloaf expects the Herbert to provide housing opportunities for as many as 40 seasonal staff over the course of the winter operating season. 

“The Herbert is a beautiful building with a storied past, and we’re excited to be stewards of this historically significant property,” Strand said. “Housing for seasonal staff has become a critical need for our community, and this investment is an important step in meeting that need. We’re continuing to work with our community partners on additional solutions to meet the long-term housing needs of the community.”

Following the completion of the purchase, the Herbert will be closed during summer 2022 for upgrades to guest rooms and other areas, before reopening the fall.

New Competition Surface Lift

Sugarloaf and Carrabassett Valley Academy are partnering to install a new, high-speed surface lift (t-bar) between the Competition Hill and Narrow Gauge trails, which will service alpine racers during training and competitions. 

The new lift will be 1200 feet in length and rise 380 vertical feet, beginning just above Peavey Crosscut. The installation of the new lift will be coupled with trail widening on Competition Hill and snowmaking upgrades that will include fully automated snow guns.

These upgrades will create an ideal training environment for competitive alpine racers, providing more time on snow by eliminating the need for athletes to ski all the way to the base of the mountain after each training run.

Competitive ski racing is part of our DNA at Sugarloaf, and this project will only further Sugarloaf’s standing as the premier alpine ski racing destination in the East,” Strand said. “We are grateful for our partnership with CVA, which makes this project possible.”

Snowmaking Upgrades
Sugarloaf’s snowmaking system will see significant upgrades again this summer, with the construction of a new booster pump house on West Mountain, as well as the addition of new high-efficiency snow guns.

The new booster pump house will be located near Bullwinkle’s restaurant on West Mountain, and will increase water pressure to snowguns across the mountain. The new pump house, combined with the addition of 107 new high efficiency HKD snowguns will increase the number of guns the resort can run simultaneously under optimal conditions from roughly 130 to nearly 230. This will allow the resort to cover and open more terrain earlier in the season.

Sugarloaf has made significant investments over the past ten years to greatly improve the efficiency of its snowmaking system, and has upgraded nearly its entire fleet of snowguns with high-efficiency HKD Impulse tower guns, which can make more snow with less energy than traditional ground guns.

West Mountain Expansion
Work will continue this summer on the highly anticipated West Mountain Expansion, which will see the development of roughly 450 acres on West Mountain with a new lift, new alpine trails with snowmaking, and roughly 200 new slopeside, ski-in/ski-out residences.

The project is currently in the permitting phase, with initial construction expected to begin in late 2022 or early 2023.

The new chairlift is a high-speed detachable quad and is expected to be installed in summer 2023. The lift, formerly the Swift Current Quad from Big Sky Resort, will be completely retrofitted and rebuilt by Doppelmayr this summer, and will feature a new drive, motor, electrical systems, and haul rope when it is installed at Sugarloaf. It will span 6000 feet and rise 1500 vertical feet from a base near West Mountain Road up to its unload terminal near Bullwinkle’s restaurant. The lift will travel at 1000 feet per minute, completing the trip from bottom to top in roughly 6 minutes.

For additional information on the West Mountain Expansion, please visit  www.sugarloaf2030.com. 

Media Contact

Ethan Austin | Director of Marketing & Communications

About Sugarloaf – Located in Carrabassett Valley, ME, Sugarloaf is one of the largest ski areas in the East, and is home to the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing and riding in the East. Sugarloaf is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions. Follow: www.sugarloaf.com, www.facebook.com/sugarloaf, and http://twitter.com/sugarloafmaine.