Sunday River Ski Resort defies odds, claims opening day bragging rights

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 22, 2010 11:50 am

Checkmate, Mother Nature. Sunday River wins.

Thanks to 19 hours of nonstop snowmaking, Sunday River Ski Resort, located in Newry, Maine, became the first resort in the country to open as of 3:30 p.m. EST, with skiable terrain including its T2 trail accessed by the Locke Mountain triple, skiing from the top of the mountain to its midstation.

This marks the fourth year in a row that Sunday River can boast being the first resort on the East Coast to open and the first time ever the resort can claim to do so on a country-wide scale.

“It goes to show the magnitude of our snowmaking system and level of commitment towards making this happen,” Brent Larson, VP of Mountain Operations for Sunday River, says. “We started snowmaking last night, worked nonstop and we’re skiing today, which is pretty incredible.”

Starting at 9 last night, Sunday River turned on 74 snowguns and kept them blazing throughout this afternoon. At sunrise, a handful of skiers and riders waited patiently at the base of the Locke Mountain triple chairlift until the resort officially announced it would open.

Sunday River first tested its snowmaking system with a top-to-bottom quality control check back on Sunday, October 10, 2010. The resort used 80 guns to test for water pressure consistencies across Locke Mountain. Since then, a series of unfavorable weather events kept the resort from making snow up until last night.

Photo: Sunday River performed a quality control test a few weeks ago, ensuring they were ready to blow snow at a moment’s notice – Credit: Sunday River

“We hope to keep going with as much snowmaking as possible over the next couple of days,” says Larson. “We still have a ways to go before we’re top to bottom, but given how quickly we were able to pull together the top portion of T2, it won’t be long now.”

Sunday River will remain open until 4:45 this evening.

Skiers and riders unable to make it up this afternoon will also have this weekend to take in conditions. Sunday River will continue to make snow as weather permits.

Lift tickets are $25 and can be purchased out of the Barker Base Lodge adjacent to the Locke Mountain triple chairlift. The Locke Mountain triple chairlift will open at 8 a.m. with last chair at 3:30 p.m.