Tourism Industry News
Cranmore Mountain Plans Major Improvements Under New Ownership
North Conway, N.H. (PRNewswire/WorldTourismNews.eu) - Cranmore Mountain, under new ownership announced this week, publicized plans to infuse the North Conway, NH resort with millions of dollars of improvements in the next six months, ensuring the resort will undergo a facelift in time for winter operations in November, 2010.
The principals and operators of Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Brian Fairbank, Joseph O'Donnell and Tyler Fairbank, purchased the resort on June 15th and plan to make major upgrades and improvements immediately. CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. a Florida-based real estate investment trust (REIT) is providing close to $7 million capital for the planned improvements.
It was also announced that Ben Wilcox has been promoted to President and will also continue his role as General Manager of Cranmore. "Ben has been instrumental in the sale, and we look forward to his continued leadership as Cranmore moves into the future," stated Brian Fairbank. "Candidly, we couldn't have gone through it without him and his team, and this promotion reflects our confidence in his leadership."
Recently Wilcox presented a full site plan outlining to the many improvements in the works with the town of Conway. Final permits are expected in early summer.
Among those improvements is the installation of a fixed-grip quad chairlift to replace the South Double. The new lift, a Doppelmayr eco-Drive fixed grip quad, will double the capacity of the current South Slope lift. "The South Slope is premiere beginner terrain. Upgrading the lift for this terrain will decrease lift lines and greatly enhance the experience for our guests," stated Wilcox. The new lift occupies the same footprint as the current double chair, and is 2,622 ft long.
The existing South Double chair will be relocated to a new location near the Beginner Basin area (near the former North Chair line). It recycles most of the parts of the South chair but will feature new lift towers and is 1,050 ft. long. It will run about half way up the Lift Line slope. Cranmore is changing some of the trail layouts in that area of the mountain to accommodate the new lift and to provide additional beginner terrain in what is now some underutilized trails including lower Lift Line, Quad Chute and Summit Alley.
"The new quad lift and the relocation of the double lift illustrate our commitment to our children's programs," stated Wilcox. "These will allow our instructors to better serve our guests and give them quicker access to more learning terrain."
Also in the works is the relocation and enlargement of Cranmore's tubing park. Its lanes will increase from seven to ten and will feature a new Sun Kid surface lift in addition to a handle-tow lift.
The tubing park is being relocated to accommodate a new Mountain Coaster to be installed in the approximate location of the current tubing park. The Coaster is to be installed by Wiegan, and is the same manufacturer as the Mountain Coaster installed at Jiminy Peak and other resorts throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Other on-mountain improvements include a significant investment in snowmaking equipment including the installation of 70 new energy-efficient tower guns. "Last winter we installed 80 new guns and it significantly improved the quality and quantity of snow we were able to produce, especially in those critical early season period," stated Wilcox. "To add another 70 guns to that arsenal will allow us to open more terrain earlier than ever while also consuming less energy."
Cranmore also has plans for its base facilities. The current Arlberg Lodge is being converted into a state-of-the-art Children's Center. Its facilities will be reserved for kids enrolled in Cranmore's Penguin and Adventure Camps, and home to the Cranmore Play Room for Young Children. Families will enjoy unparalleled convenience as the Center will have its own ticketing and reservation center, rental services and lesson drop off areas. "Cranmore is already known as the place where families have learned to ski since the days of Hannes Schneider," stated Snowsports Director Karen Dolan, "This new Center will allow us to better serve our guests with this completed redesigned and renovated building. Its location next to Beginner Basin and the relocated double chairlift will give us even more learning terrain than ever before."
Cranmore's former "North Chair" building, now the Cranmore Training Center, will see renovations for Cranmore's race program participants.
The main base lodge is undergoing changes as the current space for its children's programs is moving over to the new Center, freeing up facilities for additional seating, and food and beverage options for guests. Guests entering the building will now be greeted by a Guest Services desk and basket check area.
The Cranmore Fitness Center will be modified to accommodate a food and beverage venue, ticketing for the Mountain Coaster and Tubing Park, plus a new façade, roof repairs and other renovations. The Fitness Center will continue to operate as the Valley's largest health club with a full array of cardio and weight equipment, group fitness classes, personal training and more. The Fitness Center just invested thousands of dollars in new cardio equipment.
"This is the dawning of a new era for Cranmore," continued Wilcox. "'With the financial backing, support and guidance of our new ownership, we are poised for even greater success in the coming decades."
Cranmore Mountain is located in the heart of North Conway Village, New Hampshire and can be contacted at 1-800-SUN-N-SKI and online at www.cranmore.com.