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Sunday River 2019/2020

#1
Sunday River opens for the season Saturday November 9th at 8am. They will operate on Sunday as well, shut down for most of the week, and then reopen next Friday.

Thought it was a good suggestion from @marzNC to have a specific thread for Sunday River this year, especially with diva east being there. I’ll try to keep updating on weather, conditions, events etc. as the season gets going and hope other SR skiers will join in as well!!!

Can’t wait for day 1 tomorrow!! @MsWax have you decided which day you’re going this weekend? I believe @lisamamot will be there too. How about you @elemmac? Oh my gosh I’m so darn excited to get to have Sunday River as my home mountain again after a couple of years away!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
Sounds like Sunday River got a few trails open for this weekend just to make a little news. With cheap day tickets, perhaps a few people without season passes stopped by. Actual operations start on Nov. 15.

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 10.54.34 PM.png
 
#7
The conditions were great for opening day!! I’m not sure if it was more pass holders or day tickets, but there were A LOT of skiers out there. Well, the lines were long, but the trails were uncrowded. They loaded both the bottom and mid-station of the same lift, every other chair, and apparently a ton of people went top to bottom and got stuck in very long lines at the bottom. @lisamamot and I were lucky to get some intel from @elemmac to stay up high and so we dealt with much shorter lines lapping the top of the mountain.

Today we’ll have some groomed runs, looking forward to seeing how that skis this morning!
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#8
The conditions were great for opening day!! I’m not sure if it was more pass holders or day tickets, but there were A LOT of skiers out there. Well, the lines were long, but the trails were uncrowded. They loaded both the bottom and mid-station of the same lift, every other chair, and apparently a ton of people went top to bottom and got stuck in very long lines at the bottom. @lisamamot and I were lucky to get some intel from @elemmac to stay up high and so we dealt with much shorter lines lapping the top of the mountain.

Today we’ll have some groomed runs, looking forward to seeing how that skis this morning!
So happy you got out there! But yes, I'm jealous.
 

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
My first opening day with the koozie to prove it :bounce:

@MissySki, agreed, huge thanks to @elemmac for the heads up not to do a top to bottom run on day one!

Lovely made powder on day one, groomed out for day two, and it is looking like a bit of natural snow is coming in Mon-Tues all while keeping temps low this week for more snow making magic.

Until next weekend!
 
#12
Those pictures are soooo crazy @elemmac , I'm still so appreciative that you saved us from that! :becky:

Here are some more pics from opening day (had to wait until I was at a desktop to compress size):

Opening Day 1 compressed.jpg
The base area at Barker when we first got in line ~7:30am

Opening Day 2.jpg @lisamamot (right) and I proudly showing off our opening day koozies in a swirl of freshly blown snow. :beer:

Opening Day 3 compressed.jpg
The top of the Locke Mountain Triple chair. It was a beautiful clear day, you can just make out the white cap of Mount Washington behind the trees on the right (unfortunately, pictures never do it justice..).

@MsWax did you make it out?
 

MsWax

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
We made it out on Saturday, but definitely waited in that crazy long line! The 6-year-old only did 2 runs...the lower mountain was pretty icy after noon, and with the ungroomed conditions he was working to remember how the skiing thing works. The older kids did a few more runs. It was great to be on the mountain, and we're hoping to get back there when the whole mountain is open!
 
#14
Here’s a great episode of The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast, featuring Boyne Resorts CEO Stephen Kircher. It’s not just on Sunday River, but the resort is discussed a bit obviously. I’d recommend east coast skiers checking out the podcast in general, I’ve really been enjoying the focus on ski resorts and the industry on our side of the country! It’s new, so this is only the 6th episode, they come out weekly.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podca...rnal-and-podcast/id1483400860?i=1000457439830
 

knolan12

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
I know it's literally impossible to predict this, but any thoughts on past experiences if the weekend before Christmas would have a decent amount of trails open? I've been creeping their Instagram and it looks like they're hard at work making snow so my guess is that we'd be good. Just looking to be able to spread out from other skiiers vs being crammed on the same few trails haha

Also, there's a good deal on their site at Snow Cap for $99/night that weekend. I read here that the Cyber Monday sale is really good, should I wait till then to book anything in case it gets any cheaper?
 
#16
I know it's literally impossible to predict this, but any thoughts on past experiences if the weekend before Christmas would have a decent amount of trails open? I've been creeping their Instagram and it looks like they're hard at work making snow so my guess is that we'd be good. Just looking to be able to spread out from other skiiers vs being crammed on the same few trails haha

Also, there's a good deal on their site at Snow Cap for $99/night that weekend. I read here that the Cyber Monday sale is really good, should I wait till then to book anything in case it gets any cheaper?
They do everything they can to get as much terrain open as possible by the holidays, so there will be a lot more open by then than now of course. They have also been dealing with some offline pumps early season due to a fire before the season started in the pump building. Apparently it’s difficult to get new pumps and parts on super short notice.. I’m hearing they are close to having everything sorted though and by Thanksgiving they should be full capacity in that regard (which is around double the power they’ve had early season), so more snow will blow! :becky: I can’t guarantee what the conditions will be because I’ve seen everything around Christmas from warm ups and slush to hard and fast, and everything in between but there will be a lot more open and there should be room to spread out more!

I’m not sure what the deals are right now and what they’ll turn into for cyber Monday, so I don’t want to steer you wrong!!
 
#18
Here’s a great episode of The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast, featuring Boyne Resorts CEO Stephen Kircher. It’s not just on Sunday River, but the resort is discussed a bit obviously. I’d recommend east coast skiers checking out the podcast in general, I’ve really been enjoying the focus on ski resorts and the industry on our side of the country! It’s new, so this is only the 6th episode, they come out weekly.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podca...rnal-and-podcast/id1483400860?i=1000457439830
I finally got a chance to listen to this on my commute this morning. I wanted to comment on it when it was fresh in my mind. A few points for conversation:

- Being a family owned business, I think they've done a pretty awesome job as a whole. I like that they're kind of doing their own thing, especially how he talks about each mountain keeping their individual feel and character.

- It was interesting how Kircher spun the Max Pass to IKON move. Definitely spun it as a really good move. As a New England Pass holder, I'd argue the opposite. You could previously add on the Max Pass for under $300. Now the IKON is at least doubling the cost of that (base pass, bought early season). So I can see how this may be a good thing for the company, and getting new people to their mountain, it's a step backwards for their regular customer base.

- They discussed Vail's moves into the New England market, as far as buying Peak Resorts. This was an interesting one...Kircher says that in other areas this was good for Boyne. (I think he specifically talked about Vancouver and Utah). I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes. Especially with Wildcat and Attitash being so close to Sunday River.

- I really liked how he talked about snowmaking being a priority in their business. I've always known that Sunday River has really prioritized snowmaking, but really good to know that this philosophy stems from the top down.

- Kircher discussed solidifying summer operations, and their expansion to own the Sunday River golf course. What I found interesting is that they actually stopped their mountain biking and zip line operations this past summer...so doesn't really seem like their putting their money where their mouth is on this one.

- Lastly I wanted to comment on his discussion of lift upgrades being their next large venture across their mountains. Personally, I'd rather ride a slow quad and decrease the downhill crowds than ride an 8 pack with no lines and double the amount about people on the trails. I get where he's coming from on this one, but his comment that "quads are going away", scares me a bit on what they'll be trying to implement. I'm trying to stay optimistic since Sunday River's lift system is definitely in need of some upgrades, but I don't think more 6 and 8 packs are the answer.
 
#19
- It was interesting how Kircher spun the Max Pass to IKON move. Definitely spun it as a really good move. As a New England Pass holder, I'd argue the opposite. You could previously add on the Max Pass for under $300. Now the IKON is at least doubling the cost of that (base pass, bought early season). So I can see how this may be a good thing for the company, and getting new people to their mountain, it's a step backwards for their regular customer base.
My takeaway is that Stephen was quick to make sure that after KSL/HCC bought Intrawest, Boyne and Powdr weren't left hanging to fend for themselves in terms of being part of a multi-regional pass. The MAX Pass evolved from the Intrawest Passport, with Boyne and Powdr joining in. The list for the final season of the MAX Pass was great for folks in the northeast but had little chance of continuing for long.

It felt like Boyne leveraged the fact that Alterra needed more locations in the northeast for Ikon. The initial deal was 5/7 days combined for Loon/SR/Sugarloaf. But before Fall 2018, Boyne got Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands added, and allowed the three New England resorts to be separated. Not sure the Alterra mgmt completely understood the importance of the midwest market early on, in spite of the fact that Vail Resorts went there in 2012.

The history of the Kircher family in the ski business is fascinating.
 

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