Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: March 29, 2022

Sunday River revs up chairlifts, plans other upgrades with expansion in mind

snowy slope Courtesy / Sunday River Seen here is the current Jordan lift, which will be replaced with a higher-speed, heated-seat lift.

Sunday River is taking the fast lane in its new round of on-mountain upgrades for skiers.

The Newry ski resort, Maine’s second-largest, is preparing to install an advanced chairlift that will be called the Jordan 8 — an eight-person lift made by Utah-based Doppelmayr USA Inc. The resort claims it is the fastest lift of that capacity in North America.

Sunday River and Maine’s largest ski resort, Sugarloaf, are owned by Michigan-based Boyne Resorts, which bought the resorts in 2018. Boyne, the third-largest resort company in North America, also acquired Shawnee Peak in October 2021.

The investment in the Jordan 8 is part of Sunday River 2030, a 10-year project for sustainable growth. They come as more people than ever are looking to ski resorts in general for recreation, a trend spurred by the pandemic.

The Jordan 8 will feature ergonomically designed, heated seats, as well as head and foot rests and weather-blocking bubbles built to withstand wind. With 60 seats, the lift's uphill capacity will be 3,200 skiers per hour, with a ride time of 4 1/2 minutes.

chair lift
Screenshot Courtesy / Sunday River
Seen here is a rendering of Doppelmayr’s eight-person chairlift to be installed at Sunday River.

Other features include radio frequency identification technology at the loading gates, a gearless drive designed for quiet operation, low fossil fuel consumption, an adjustable loading carpet to assist skiers onto the chair, and automatic-locking restraint bars.

Each chair is equipped with its own suspension system, aimed at providing a smooth ride. Each lift tower is fitted with a speaker for communication between lift operators. The bottom terminal will feature a large LED screen built into the side of the building.  

The Jordan 8 will service terrain on Sunday River's Oz and Jordan Bowl peaks. That part of the resort will be renamed the Western Reserve as future terrain development plans encompass several thousand acres of land beyond Jordan Bowl.

The project began Monday with the teardown of the Jordan Express lift, a high-speed quad that will be redesigned and rebuilt on Barker Mountain to replace the Barker Mountain Express for winter 2023-24. The quad will be revved up to offer a 33% increase in uphill capacity and a 25% increase in speed.

Alongside the construction of the Jordan 8, Sunday River’s mountain operations team will build a work road to access the summit of Jordan Bowl, which will require a redesign for the Kansas trail. 

rendering of ski slopes
Courtesy / Sunday River
Reconstruction of the Kansas trail, spanning Jordan, Oz and Aurora peaks, is expected to create smoother terrain. 

Currently, Kansas is a traversing trail that spans across Jordan, Oz and Aurora peaks with rolling terrain. The redesign of the trail is expected to create smoother terrain, consistent grade and an easier entrance. 


Another project expected to begin this summer is an upgrade to the snowmaking technology. 

The plan is to install an underground pipe on Spruce Mountain, which will feed into new snow guns across Spruce Peak, with instantaneous water pressure availability. 

At the end of the pipeline will be a new pump house, housing a booster system. Located just beyond the top of the Chondola lift, the pump house will be the first step to doubling snowmaking capacity in Jordan Bowl and beyond. 

The new snow guns being installed on Spruce Peak this summer will be 25-horsepower, automated, oscillating fan guns. The oscillation is designed to cover more ground more quickly.  

“We’ll be able to get terrain coverage more quickly and efficiently,” Steve Boulanger, vice president of mountain operations, said in the release. 

The technology will set the resort up for potential terrain expansion in the future, he added.

Sunday River has also invested in its snowmaking capabilities over the years. Currently, its on-mountain snowmaking system  services 90% of the groomed terrain, and includes over 2,000 snow guns, 2,200 hydrant stations and over 80 miles of pipe. 

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF