Win's Word

Safety First

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today there was an unfortunate accident on a lift at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine. There were some erroneous reports that this accident happened at Sugarbush.         
The past two days following the recent nor'easter were challenging for most ski resorts in the Northeast. Here at Sugarbush, we clocked winds in excess of 70 mph at times.

The primary focus of our skilled lift mechanics is safety, and they have sole discretion when deciding if a lift can be operated. As the owner and president of Sugarbush Resort, I will never second-guess their decision.

Yesterday at Mt. Ellen we were only able to operate Sunny-D safely, while at Lincoln Peak we were able to operate the Gate House, Bravo, and Village lifts and our two beginner lifts for parts of the day. Today the wind shifted from the north and we were able to operate all of Mt. Ellen. But at Lincoln Peak, because at times the wind was blowing in excess of 60 mph, the lifts were not safe to operate for most of the day. We had our lift mechanics stationed at the top of the lifts watching the wind all day. Around midday they deemed that Bravo could open, which it did for the balance of the afternoon. They were able to open Gate House at 3:05 PM and guests had some wonderful, freshly groomed runs on Sleeper, Hot Shot and Slowpoke.

Happily, the winds are calming and tomorrow looks like a much better day, with temperatures in the 20's and light winds. We will be doing an extensive grooming plan tonight, so I think that cruisers like Spring Fling, Pushover, Sleeper, Jester, Murphy's, Birdland and Lower Organgrinder at Lincoln Peak and Rim Rum, Elbow, Which Way, and Cruiser at Mt. Ellen will be skiing great tomorrow morning.

For the more adventuresome, I would suggest Spillsville, The Mall, Twist and Moonshine at Lincoln Peak and Exterminator and Bravo at Mt. Ellen. There is only natural snow on these trails and they are thin, but the quality of the snow is excellent.

The wind has created drifts all over the mountain, so there will be powder to be found. Of course, we also have our terrain park open at Mt. Ellen.

I really appreciate everyone’s patience these past two days. Our team has really worked hard to provide a great experience for everyone and become terribly frustrated when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate. Nor'easters that bring wind and little snow are a headache, but fortunately we now have a few really nice days to look forward to.

I look forward to seeing you around tomorrow.

About Win Smith
President & Owner

So what would you expect a former Executive Vice President of Merrill Lynch to do when he retires? Lay low in the islands? Nope. He moves north and works seven days a week right here at Sugarbush. Check out what he's been thinking.

Learn More about Win Smith >


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