Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller said that, since taking over as operator of the area in 2007, Boyne Resorts has invested $9 million in capital improvements with a goal of rejuvenating Sugarloaf.
Boyne pumped $5 million into various projects this past summer, including major work to increase snowmaking capacity.
The resort added a sixth water pump to its pumphouse, replaced all existing pumps with new, more efficient ones, and augmented its snowmaking arsenal with 25 new Boyne proprietary energy efficient fan guns, designed to produce large quantities of snow at higher temperatures.
Sugarloaf has also added 50 new low energy HKD snow guns, as well as new high flow snowmaking pipe to the summit, which will improve snowmaking in the resort's above-treeline area.
All told, the improvements to Sugarloaf's snowmaking system will increase the resort's overall snowmaking capacity by an estimated 20 percent.
"The replacement of all of our pumps plus the addition of the new low energy technology pushes us closer to our goal of doubling our snowmaking capacity while simultaneously decreasing our energy consumption by 50 percent," Diller said. "We will be implementing additional steps in the coming seasons to achieve this goal, and this is a great leap toward that mark."
Freestyle skiers and riders will find a new terrain park landscape at Sugarloaf this season, with a new advanced terrain park on Haywire, new beginner park on Whiffletree, a newly designed Superpipe, as well as a new, permanent snowboardcross/skiercross course designed in part by Olympic snowboardcross champion Seth Wescott. The course, which will be called "Sidewinder," will be located in the area formerly known as The Yard, and will feature live-timing, allowing guests to test their skills and weigh their times against each other and against Wescott.
The advanced terrain park features that were located in The Yard will now be found on Haywire, where new snowmaking equipment has been installed. Sugarloaf's intermediate park will again be located in the Stomping Grounds, where crews widened sections and straightened corners to allow for more features and better traffic flow. Beginning park riders will find a new park this season as well, the "Skybound" park on Whiffletree, located in the former Turbo Tubing area.
Considerable earthwork was done to Sugarloaf's Superpipe during the offseason as well, which will reduce the amount of snow needed to open the pipe by 50 percent or more.
Turbo Tubing will be located on the Landing for the 08/09 season, closer to the Base Area, which will feature several improvements of its own. The area known as "The Beach" will be flattened and resurfaced, and will feature a new bonfire pit, permanent awards podium, and new outdoor barbecue area, all to create a more festive and welcoming atmosphere around the Base Lodge.
New trail signage was put up throughout the resort.
Sugarloaf also has three newly marked glades.
Bullwinkles, Sugarloaf's on-mountain restaurant, has additional cafeteria area seating and a new deck.
Eight of Sugarloaf's lifts will have new lift buildings, which will be energy efficient and will reduce the amount of energy required for heat by two-thirds or more.