Posts Tagged ‘Sunday River’

Tee off at Sunday River

April 19, 2010

Sunday River knows how to merge the seasons: It ends its ski season today, and plans to open its golf club on Friday. Now through May 31, Golf-and-Stay Getaways begin at $99 per person (plus 18% tax and resort fee) at the Bethel (actually Newry), Maine, resort; package includes one round of golf, cart, lodging at one of the two Grand Resort Hotels, and breakfast. The 18-hole, Robert Trent Jones-designed championship course has has been named Maine’s top course for five consecutive years by Golfweek magazine.

Hint: Remember the black fly rule—Mother’s Day to Father’s Day—and plan accordingly

Snow Gods smiling on Maine

February 27, 2010

Saturday, Feb. 27, courtesy Sugarloaf.

Since Wednesday, Sugarloaf has received more than 50 inches of snow, and another 12-16 are in the forecast before this megastorm moves out on Monday. Conditions are similar at Saddleback, with a bit less at Sunday River. At all, depths deepen and the snow lightens as the elevation increases.

Now I know lots of folks don’t believe resort reports, but I spend my winters just a few miles from the ‘loaf’s base, and I can vouch for the depth (as can my shoveler-in-chief husband). Outside my window, the world is white, with snow caked on the trees and clinging to every surface. And it’s still snowing.

The downside: If you’re not a deep or heavy snow skier/rider, you might want to wait until the  groomed crews roll it. Also, I’m hearing reports of huge lift lines, as some areas are having trouble with lift ops due to the snow (check current lift status when visiting the web sites, or call). And parking; not a pretty situation. And roads; getting here takes patience.

The upside: Wow! Powdah pigs are loving it. Even the natural snow trails are open with decent conditions. March is going to be fabulous.

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Wicked good Maine lift ticket deals

February 23, 2010

Yes! It’s finally snowing in western Maine’s mountains: No PR hype here, I’m looking out my window near Sugarloaf and it’s white, white, white, with snow predicted to continue into Thursday. Total accumulation? Forecasters are using the word feet. So dust off your skis and snowbaords, and take advantage of some of these lift ticket deals at Maine’s mountains. I’ve rounded up the best, and presented them alphabetically, below. NOTE: Some are midweek only; at the smaller areas, be sure to check hours of operation.

Black Mountain of Maine: $29 full day, any day.

Camden Snow Bowl: Two-hour lunch ticket, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, $12 for any two hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Mt. Abram: 2 for 1 Thursdays, two lift tickets for $49; Carload Fridays, $75 for everyone legally seated in a passenger car, SUV, or minivan.

Saddleback: 2 for 1 Wednesdays, buy one adult lift ticket for $49 and the second one is free. Also, $35 lift tickets, as indicated, on: Maine Day, first Sunday of each month (Maine residents with ID), Monday/Ladies’ Day, Tuesday/Telemark Day, Wednesday/Men’s Day.

Shawnee Peak: Carload Mondays, $79 for everyone legally seated in a passenger car, SUV, or minivan; Two Fer Tuesdays, $57 for two; Thursdays Men’s Day/Friday’s Ladies’ Day, Lift and Lunch $40

Sugarloaf/Sunday River: Frequent Skier Card, $89 includes one ticket plus $25 off midweek, $15 off weekend/holiday; E-Tickets, purchase online at least four days in advance for 10 percent savings. At Sugarloaf only: Maine Day Wednesdays, tickets are $30; valid Maine ID required.

Titcomb Mountain: $15 midweek, $25 weekend/holiday

A good deal in Bethel

January 29, 2010

Bethel is another wonderful winter destination for skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, or just hanging out, and The Bethel Inn Resort put yous smack dab in the middle of town.

Here’s the deal, book a two-night Stay & dine package and get a third night of lodging free. Rates begin at $99  midweek per person, per night/$129 pp, pn, during February vacation break, and include accommodations, a four-course dinner and full country breakfast each day and use of the health club facilities with indoor pool. Kids under 11 are free in the same room or townhouse condominium and can be added to the dining program for $20 per day per child.

Cross-country trails begin at the inn’s back door, Sunday River is on the shuttle route, and Bethel’s winter snow maze, ice skating rink, and snow sculpture slide are all open free, conditions permitting.

I like this inn. It’s not fancy schmancy at all. Just a nice country inn, a bit creaky and worn in places, but comfy and welcoming and so well situated for exploring Bethel’s downtown shops. Splurge on one of the rooms with a fireplace for a bit of extra atmosphere.

Maine Ski and Ride Card

January 23, 2010

Great snow, fine weather, what a perfect winter to learn to ski or snowboard, and the Maine Ski and Ride Card makes it easy and affordable (everything’s relative, I know).

Here’s the deal:

Purchase the $89 Ski and Ride Card at Lost Valley in Auburn, Titcomb in Farmington, or the Camden Snow Bowl, in Camden. It provides three days of skiing or riding as follows:

Day 1: Lifts, lesson, and rental equipment at Titcomb, Lost Valley, or Camden Snow Bowl

Day 2: Lifts and rental equipment at Titcomb, Lost Valley, or Camden Snow Bowl

Day 3: Graduation to Sunday River or Sugarloaf, including lifts and rental equipment.

I like this program because it allows you to learn the basics on a small, community-oriented hill, away from the hotshots and reducing the temptation to go beyond your abilities. Then, once you’ve managed turning and stopping, you can head up to one of Maine’s big guns and apply those new skills and see what all the fuss is about.

Winter wake-up in Bethel

January 20, 2010

Tucked in the folds of western Maine’s snowy White Mountains, Bethel is idyllic anytime—think ivy-covered prep school, historical homes, white steepled churches, and country inns—but in winter, it’s an especially cozy retreat. Normally rather sleepy, it wakes from hibernation for WinterFest, Jan. 23-31.

This year’s events and activities include:

guided snowshoe tours at the Bethel Nordic Ski Center at the Bethel Inn Resort,

• a snowmobile uphill climb at Mt. Abram,

Old-Timers Nordic Ski Race at Carter’s XC Ski Center,

• a rail jam-competition on Bethel’s Lower Main Street,

• An 80’ by 195’ outdoor ice skating rink, a 90 square foot snow maze, and a snow sculpture playground, all free.

hot-air balloon ascents and a moon glow,

snow sculptures and ice carvings,

snow groomer rides and horse-drawn sleigh rides,

• a full-moon Nordic relay, full-moon snowshoe hike, and biathlon clinic (skiing and shooting) at the Bethel Nordic Ski Center.

• all sorts of competitions, including a double-hike-and-ski marathon..

Complementing the event is The Bethel Historical Society’s exhibit, “Celebrating the Skiing Heritage of the Bethel Area,” which will be open with free admission.  The exhibit has photos, artifacts, and ski equipment from the early years of Mt. Abram Ski Area and Sunday River Ski Resort.

And of course, both Sunday River and Mount Abram have all kinds of happenings, too.

The Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce has info on local lodgings with special WinterFest packages and just about everything else.

(Hey, and trust me on this, don’t miss the Orange Trailer BBQ joint or the cookies at Cafe DiCocoa).

The Rivah celebrates this weekend

December 17, 2009

A reminder that Sunday River is celebrating its 50th anniversary season this weekend with all sorts of activities and deals. Given all the recent snow in them thar hills, it should be a must.

The big shindig is Saturday. Expect live entertainment, huge fireworks, and a Viking look-alike contest (would I kid you? Think back, remember the logo from the era pre Les Otten).
Party kicks off Friday night with Orange Crush playing music of the 80s in the Foggy Goggle. It continues Saturday with historic ski tours all day. Saturday night, South Ridge becomes home to the Sunday River Food and Beverage Festival (a fancy name for party), with 10 restaurants and businesses along with specialty drink stations. Tix are $15 adult, $10 ages 6-12, with proceeds benefiting the Maine Community Foundation’s Sunday River Region Charitable Fund, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life in area communities.

Free festivities on Saturday evening include a visit by Santa (that fat man gets around) a mega fireworks show with the PoiStar Fire Dancers (sounds like a hot item), a bonfire, and One Sweet World, a Dave Matthews tribute band, at the Foggy Goggle. Oh yeah, and that Viking God and Goddess costume contest; winner receives a 2010-2011 New England Gold Pass (nice!)

Those able to roll out of bed before 9 a.m. on Sunday can enjoy a pancake breakfast at the Barker Lodge (7-9 a.m.); all you can eat for $7.99. Might be worth braving the hangover, especially if you want to snag some early runs.

$50 lift/lesson/lodging package at the Rivah

November 23, 2009

Here’s a steal! Sunday River is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season with all kinds of deals (including $50 lift tix on many days). Most are midweek, but through Dec. 19, the Rivah is offering a lodging package (Snow Cap Inn), lift ticket, and 90-minute lesson for $50 per person/per day, based on maximum occupancy. On most days, you can’t even puchase a lift ticket alone for that, folks. The big birthday bash is Dec. 19, so plan now if you want to snag the deal then as lodging is limited.

Ski season, already?

November 9, 2009

Yup, you read that right. Sunday River is open.  Sugarloaf, as seen by this Nov. 5 photo, has begun snowmaking and is targeting a Nov. 20 opening. Saddleback is aiming for Nov. 27. So clean and wax the boards, find the mittens and socks, and get ready for the slopes.

A good place to pick up free tix, coupons, and info on deals and discounts at ski areas nationwide is the Boston Ski Show, Nov. 19-22, at Bayside Expo. Check the web site for a discount admission coupon.  If you want to avoid the parking fees, take the T. The Expo is less than a 10-minute walk from the JFK/UMass stop on the Red Line.

11-5-09firstsnowmaking1med

Ways to play in inland Maine

June 26, 2009

IMG_3520_3If you think Maine is all about the coast, you need to venture inland and discover the lakes, rivers, woods, and peaks that define the region between Bethel and Millinocket. Not only does this region rival the coast for natural beauty, it’s also wildlife rich. You won’t see a puffin, but you’re chances of spotting a moose are high.

Making that easy is the new Maine Woods Discovery program, a collaborative venture by Alpine resorts Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Saddleback Maine; the rustic lodges and nature-based programs of the Appalachian Mountain Club and Maine Huts & Trails; and rafting and recreation outfitters Northern Outdoors, and New England Outdoor Center.

These entities have put together seven one- to three-day packages, each combining accommodations with activities and some meals, with rates beginning at $75 per person.  Packages include geo-caching, hiking, biking, paddling, rock-hounding, and craft-making. Read on for details.

Intro to Geocaching Adventure, 2 days/2 nights
Logdominium accommodations at Northern Outdoors Forks Resort Center on the Kennebec River. Learn the outdoor treasure hut adventure of geocaching with a GPS device. Search for hidden caches on the Northern Outdoors grounds, and do more hunting along the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway. Complementary Old Canada Road historical audio CD. $108 per adult, $95 per child.

Outdoor Sporting Heritage, 3 days/3 nights

Stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Little Lyford Lodge and Camps or Medawisla Wilderness Lodge within the 100 Mile Wilderness area of the Appalachian Trail. Complementary use of canoes, kayaks and fly fishing gear. Hike to Gulf Hagas gorge on the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Includes all meals and tickets for the Katahdin Steamship tour on Moosehead Lake. $318 per person.

Legendary Fly Fishing, 2 days/2 nights
Accommodations at a Saddleback Maine mountain-side condominium. Three-hour fly fishing lesson and use of a canoe to cast a line on the Rangeley region’s famous waterways. One complementary lunch, a Northern Forest Canoe Trailmap of the Rangeley Lakes area, and a copy of “Paddling Through Time: The Story of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail” included. $530 per couple.

The Valley Below, 3 days/2nights
Accommodations at the Maine Huts & Trails Flagstaff Lake Hut. Pontoon boat tour on the lake to learn about the submerged townships of Flagstaff, Bigelow and Dead River. Explore the lakeside loop trails, or tackle the 4,000-foot peaks of the Bigelow Mountain Range. Includes all meals, the Valley Below brochure, a Northern Forest Canoe Trail map of Flagstaff Lake, and a copy of “Paddling Through Time: The Story of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.” $265 per person.

Maine Rocks!, 1 day/1 night
Accommodations at Sunday River’s Grand Summit or Jordan Grand Hotel in Newry. Guided geology tour, talk and digging opportunity at the Bumpus Mine, one of the oldest and most famous mineral mines in the northeast. Includes breakfast. Extend the package with an Androscoggin River trip or ATV tour. $75 per person.

View From the Top, 1 day/1 night
Make the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel your base for hiking or mountain biking. Complementary hiking and nature trail maps for the Longfellow Mountain Range. Guided hikes can be arranged. Breakfast and box lunch included. $75 per person.

Making it By Hand, 3 days/2 nights

The New England Outdoor Center’s Twin Pine Camps in Millinocket is the setting for a series of fall Craft Weekends. Sessions on making art from wood, sculpting with clay, and quarrying and polishing gemstones include instructive lectures, guided trips to learn about and gather raw materials, and hands on crafting. Includes all breakfasts, one lunch, one dinner and use of canoes. $232.50 per person.