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December 30, 2022

Sugarloaf’s $104M expansion proposal advances with DEP approval

COURTESY / SUGARLOAF Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley this week received DEP approval for $104.5 million, 565-acre expansion plan.

Sugarloaf ski resort gained approval this week from the Department of Environmental Protection for a $104.5 million proposal that would include resort-based housing, a new restaurant and lodge, and ski trails and lift on West Mountain in Franklin County’s Carrabassett Valley. 

The housing developments would include 52 single-family lots ranging in size from 0.63 acres to 5.55 acres, four condominium buildings of 22 to 28 units each and 36 duplex townhome buildings, for a total of 72 units. 

Sugarloaf Mountain Corp. also proposes constructing a 2,400-square-foot skier services building to house a restaurant, lodge and office as part of the 565-acre expansion. A network of hiking and biking trails would wind throughout the project site. 

The site plan was prepared in 2021 by VHB Inc., a consultant headquartered in Watertown, Mass., with offices in Maine. The project would involve about 290 acres of land with 50.9 acres of developed area on managed forest located south of Route 27, adjacent to the ski resort. 

The West Mountain project is considered one of the most transformative enhancements in the resort's 70 years and is a key component of the 10-year "Sugarloaf 2030 Road Map,” published in 2020 by the resort’s parent company, Petoskey, Mich.-based Boyne USA Inc. Funds for the project are expected to come from a combination of corporate revenue and financing through Boyne, as well as through the sale of the proposed single-family lots. 

Phase I of the project includes the majority of the ski trails, the ski lift, the majority of the new roads, the skier services building, two of the parking lots, a portion of the new house lots and buildings off West Mountain Road, and associated stormwater management structures and utility lines. 

Phase II consists of seven townhomes off Bucksaw Drive and one of the condominium buildings. 

Phase III is anticipated to consist of the remaining ski trails, the drop-off parking lot, and the remaining roads and housing areas. Additional parking and lift access is designed to accommodate market growth in recent years, which has created parking issues that have occasionally seen 250 or more cars parking on the main access road, causing traffic congestion. 

Additional onsite residential units are expected to increase skier visits and mitigate a shortage of housing units available at the mountain. The ski lift would provide access from the base of the trail system to an area already occupied by the upper terminal of the West Mountain quad ski lift. The addition of the lift is also viewed as an opportunity to better utilize facilities for summer events.

Sugarloaf, at 4,237 feet, is the second-highest peak in Maine after Katahdin. With a 2,320-foot vertical drop, 1,240 skiable acres and 162 trails and glades, the ski resort is one of the largest in the Northeast. 

The project’s goals include improving the trail mix by providing additional intermediate and beginner terrain, in order to support entry-level and multigenerational use of the mountain ski terrain, considered critical to the future of the resort, according to the plan.


topo map with yellow lines
Courtesy / National Geographic Society topo map, Boyne Resorts
The project site consists of managed forest south of Route 27, adjacent to the existing ski resort.


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December 30, 2022

It's amazing that there is so much Gov influence and say into what they can and can't do. Maine is the one of the poorest states in the country, the whitest state, the oldest state, and so the least forward thinking state and still... Sugarloaf should have a massive marquee hotel with yes, a casino. Something tasteful like the Encore or Wynn, with at least 1,000 rooms. The tax revenue to the state would pay for the entire budget allocated to education. It's not the pejorative word it used to be (gambling). It's literally everywhere now, including the state's aggressive lottery marketing and options. I think reason and logic needs to prevail here. Stop being "Mainers."

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