Summer on the slopes: how ski resorts are boosting warm activity

RANGELEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - While summer activites are obviously fun for locals, they also bring thousands of visitors to Maine's ski resorts each summer.

Summer on a ski mountain: it sounds odd, but in recent years, it's a growing trend.

“Over the last few years we have been working to broaden the summer offerings to further animate the resort during the off-season,” said Noelle Tuttle, the Communications Director at Sugarloaf.

Karen Ogulnick at the Rangeley Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce is making a similar effort. “We tried to recruit visitors, second homeowners, businesses,” she said.

Both on the mountain at Sugarloaf - and just 27 miles away in Rangeley - more effort in recent years has been put to using summer activities to attract visitors.

It's been an essential move in Rangeley - ever since the closing of Saddleback Mountain.

The town swells from 1,200 to almost 10,000 people in the summertime - both because of lake and mountain activities.

Down the road at Sugarloaf, concerts and bike festivals introduce people to the area.

“The biggest traffic that we see is when we have those events,” said Tuttle. “Compared to just a regular daily activity.”

Though the idea of ski mountain summers is young - only 10-years old at Sunday River and 6 at Sugarloaf - employees say there's no doubt it's boosting business in surrounding communities.

“There is definitely some overflow going into the surrounding towns, and I think it's good for everybody,” said Darcy Lambert of Sunday River.

“For all the businesses in the area… Restaurants, shops, and things like that… Just driving people here in the summer really benefits all of us,” added Tuttle.

Employees at Sugarloaf also say the summer crowd is completely different from the skiing crowd.

They say they're trying to recruit summer visitors to come ski in the winter as well.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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