By David Schissler – When Boyne Resorts finalized the purchase of Loon Mountain Resort last year the question that first popped into the minds of Loon fans was “What new development may we expect?” We now have our answer. Loon has announced an ambitious 10-year plan that includes replacement of the Kancamagus HSQ (built in 1995) next summer with a first-in-the-east and only second in the nation (Big Sky’s Ramcharger was the first) 8 passenger, whisper quiet, tinted bubble chair with extra wide heated seats, individual footrests, and auto-locking restraining bars. This lift is fast. It will cover 18 feet per second (1,080 fpm), depositing riders at the top of the West Basin in less than 4.5 minutes. The current Kancamagus HSQ carries up to 2,800 riders per hour. The new Kancamagus 8 will be able to carry 3,500 riders per hour. Loon Mountain president and GM Jay Scambio said the new lift was “the Cadillac of what you can do”. “The Kancamagus 8 chairlift will be a leap into the future of skiing for our guests,”
“We are proud to be a part of a major step forward in the Eastern ski scene that puts Loon on a path toward achieving its goal of having one of the most advanced lift systems in the world.” said Doppelmayr USA president Mark Bee.
The Loon Mountain Resort web site states the details of the four governing tenants of the 10-year plan. They are:
ELEVATE THE SKI EXPERIENCE
Introducing new technology, terrain and lifts will be at the forefront of Flight Path: 2030. Modernizing each aspect will reshape the on-mountain experience for skiers and riders and propel Loon into the future. Loon will develop the most technologically advanced lift network in the East to increase uphill speed and achieve ultimate comfort. To improve the arrival experience and dining options across the resort, Loon’s base areas will be reimagined—starting with the West Basin and Governor Adams Lodge. The installation of semi-automated snowmaking technology will continue, setting the stage for Loon to introduce full automation by 2030.
EXCEL IN EVERY SEASON
The seasons change but Loon’s pursuit of excellence continues. Spring, summer and fall are enormous opportunities to offer authentic mountain experiences and investments in downhill mountain biking are key to this mission. Loon will expand its trail network to over 15 miles as well as introduce rental and lesson programs in the West Basin area. Beyond biking, implementing new attractions that embrace the outdoor spirit of the White Mountains and welcoming new event partners will broaden Loon’s appeal and help fulfill the vision.
CONNECT THE COMMUNITY
We are on this flight together. Loon endeavors to help facilitate the opportunity for Lincoln & Woodstock to become the most engaging mountain community in New England. Key investments will be made to expand resort activities to allow for increased access at all major portals. Loon’s team members will remain active in the community to promote and protect its values.
Being a steward of the environment is core to Loon. As we commit to growth, we must also demonstrate environmental responsibility. Seeking renewable energy sources and changing our processes to reduce our carbon footprint to Net Zero by 2030 is critical. Loon is committing to reducing single-use plastics, seeking out renewable energy sources, optimizing energy use and utilizing environmentally friendly building practices. As a resident of White Mountain National Forest and supporter of the Sustainable Slopes program, it is our duty to be a leader and ensure this land is protected for future generations.
As a winter resident and summer visitor to Lincoln, NH I’ve learned that as busy as the area is in winter with five ski resorts less than 30 minutes away, summer is even crazier. With hiking, fishing, zip lines, rock climbing, and numerous outdoor activities throughout the region it makes sense that Loon is also considering adding attractions such as a mountain coaster and a rock-climbing wall. According to their web site the resort has prioritized improvements for 2021-2025 including a “reimagined” West Basin, mountain biking expanding to the West Basin, upgrading the Seven Brothers chair, upgrading the Lincoln Express HSQ, expanding the Summit Café at the top of the gondola, and expanding the number of trails on North Peak.
The next phase of the plan will take place from 2026 to 2030 and include an upgraded gondola, a reimagined Pemigewasset Base Camp lodge at South Peak, a North Peak lift upgrade, the expansion of the Camp III lodge at the base of North Peak, and a fully automated snowmaking system. “Loon’s 10-year plan will have a positive impact on development throughout the Lincoln and Woodstock communities—as we travel together on our path to be New England’s premier mountain destination. We are committed to bringing the latest advancements to our guests—this lift is the next example of that, following our first-in-the-world dual-frequency RFID installation.” said Scambio. Loon also intends to go green. The plan includes the goal of having a “net-zero carbon footprint” by 2030.