After blasting 74 snow guns for 19 hours straight, Maine’s Sunday River Ski Resort opened at 3:30 pm EST on October 22. Sunday River beat out perennial favorites Arapahoe Basin and Loveland to claim “first” by lifting the ropes on its T2 trail from the top of the mountain to its midstation.
Sunday River has been the first East Coast resort to open for the last four years, but never the first in the nation. While Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge opened October 2, its glacial status allows some wiggle room for the claim of first to open.
“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 nine 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.
“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.”