By David Schissler
(February 2014) People love Mount Sunapee. You will, too. The area consistently provides a top quality experience for the whole family. When I moved back east from Evergreen, CO some years ago Sunapee gained my respect and loyalty by providing the superior snow surface I had become used to. Sunapee has been aggressively upgrading its snowmaking system with new guns that require less compressed air, allowing the mountain to make twice as much snow as they could only 5 years ago. Sunapee can now make snow top to bottom on the main mountain and the Sunbowl at the same time. The result is more cover and better conditions for you. Couple that with groomed corduroy from side to side, top to bottom, and you have one of the premier snow experiences not just in New England but in the entire northeast.
Marketing Director Bruce McCloy told me Sno Engineering, a long respected ski area consulting firm, recently studied the area’s balance between the total number of seats on the lifts, seats in the lodges, parking spaces, and the amount of skiable acres. The study determined Sunapee’s skiable acreage is large enough to handle more skiers than its lifts can deliver. The result is less crowded trails. I was there on a very busy weekend and while lift mazes were full, lines moved quickly. You’ll get in all the skiing you can handle without dodging other skiers and riders. The study may lead to a new addition to the Spruce Lodge very soon. Planning is in the works to remove part of the lodge’s front and lobby area and expand the building on the left side looking up the mountain. The new space will provide much needed additional seating and enjoy a view of the terrain park, Big Air tubing park, and the Eggbeater racing trail.
Speaking of Big Air tubing; don’t miss it! It’s not something you can do just anywhere and you’ll love it. It involves a tube, a 50 yard slope, a 15 foot jump, a giant 50×50 air bag and you. You get the picture. The tube goes fast enough for a quick thrill (helmets are required), especially when it starts spinning around as you approach the jump. You’re never quite sure whether you’re about to be launched frontward, backward or sideways until it happens. The next thing you know you’re flying through the air headed for a soft landing in the biggest pillow you’ve ever seen! If you’re bold you can even pull some tricks. It will definitely give you a new appreciation for the slope-stylers you see on TV. One run is $6. Three runs are $15. Here’s a video clip of the action CLICK HERE.
Technologically speaking, the north side of Mount Sunapee and the immediate surrounding area is in a “shadow” that blocks wireless signals. In order to change that Mount Sunapee’s general manager, Jay Gamble, told me the mountain spent $30,000 last summer on an in-building and outdoor fiber optic wifi system to ensure connectivity for its customers. The free password is posted at the ticket window. The system seamlessly connects you to your own service provider.
While skiing at Mount Sunapee I recommend staying at the New London Inn. It’s a full-service inn about 20 minutes from the mountain. The experience is well worth the short drive. Originally built as a coach stop in 1792 the inn has 23 nicely appointed rooms with no two the same. Some have gas fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, and antique four-post beds. The 80 seat Coach House restaurant is elegant, as is the fine dining menu. There’s also a tavern, meeting rooms, and the lobby doubles as an art gallery. Owners Dan Wolf and his wife Beverly live on a working farm nearby and provide the kitchen with the very freshest ingredients grown with their own TLC. For reservations or more info visit: www.thenewlondoninn.com
Here’s a tip for you. If you buy your lift tickets online make sure you buy it directly from Mount Sunapee. No one has a better price than the mountain itself.