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Mt Abram Ski Resort, Maine Hot

thumb_racerThe guest experience is priority number one at Mt. Abram resort, which offers a variety of terrain, a multitude of snow sports, and numerous family-friendly events. In short, Mt. Abram resort had something for every fan of the snow. “It’s all about winter here,” says owner Matt Hancock. “We focus 100 percent on the winter resort experience.”

 

With a typical season of mid December to the first weekend of April, Mt. Abram is open Thursday through Sunday, as well as holidays and school vacation periods. Five lifts, 44 trails and 1,150 feet of vertical combine to attract beginners, experts, racers, cross-country skiers, snowboarders and tubers (Mt. Abram boasts the longest tubing park in Maine). Guests are both locals and those who travel from areas such as Portland, Maine, and Boston, Mass., the former of which is 65 miles from the resort, and the latter of which is 165 miles. Mt. Abram is located in Greenwood, Maine, just off Route 26, and just east of Bethel Village.Slope

MANY MOUNTAIN ATTRACTIONS

Last year, Mt. Abram hosted over 25,000 skier visits (an all-time high) within three categories: “stay traffic,” which are guests skiing and staying with Bethel-area bed and breakfasts, inns and hotels, or slope side as renter or owner; “day traffic” from greater Portland and Lewiston/Auburn metro centers; and “town traffic”. This past season, sales ran 12 percent over last year’s all-time high.lift

Mt. Abram offers full ski rentals, snowboard rentals, a tuning shop, expert instruction in the latest techniques for alpine skiing and telemark skiing and snowboarding, day care for the little ones, two base lodges (with shuttle service in between), and a restaurant and bar with live entertainment.

According to Hancock, Mt. Abram’s Loose Boots Restaurant and Apres-ski Bar is one of the best. “[Our] menu is streamlined and simplified, but all homemade and hand packed,” he notes. “Can openers are hard to come by in our kitchen. We also have 20 beers on tap and feature Gritty’s as our local brew. The wine menu is personally created by me, and I have tasted each and every one in building the [wine] list.”

“We are a destination resort,” Hancock continues, adding that Mt. Abram is typically filled with regulars, locals, back-country enthusiasts, beginners, racers, snowboarders, seniors, snowmobilers, and families of all sizes.

lotAmong the events and deals Mt. Abram offers are twofor- one lift tickets and a free after 3 p.m. ski day; a carload caravan day, in which $75 includes a ticket for each passenger legally seated in a passenger car, SUV or minivan; $5 off an all-day lift ticket for wearing green on the Saturday prior to St. Patrick’s Day; night tubing madness night, where $10 covers tubing from 5 to 9 p.m.; season-long race and snow school programs; a Friday Night Lights Racing Series; special pass offerings for area school kids, teachers and Bethelarea businesses and groups; and the White Grass Festival, Maine’s only Bluegrass celebration on snow. Hill climb snowmobile races are also part of the event calendar.

TOP TOPOGRAPHY

Mt. Abram’s “Westside” is home to “Learn 2” topography, consisting of three long, friendly slopes for beginners and easy-riding skiers and boarders that lead to the Westside Lodge, where the Westside Pizza Bar and the Route 26 Grill are located. Eastward, towards Abram’s peak, the skiing becomes progressively more technical, culminating in the most challenging racing venue, “Boris Badenov,” which plays host to the resort’s Friday Night Lights Racing series, as well as a full schedule of other ski and snowboard races.

In addition, the resort more than doubled its skiable and ride-able terrain this season by creating a new policy, “Boundary to Boundary,” which increased the usable terrain from 250 acres of trails to 650 acres of trails and glades. In addition to the typical groomer trails for every level rider, there are now 400 more forested acre areas packed with powder stashes, steeps and cliff drops catering to the experienced riders.

“As part of a skier-led initiative, we have cut out three new glades for the 2009 – 2010 season,” explains Hancock. “By backcountry enthusiasts, the ‘Old Zone’ has been called the sickest, toughest and most unique run on the East Coast. If you haven’t skied it and you can, you must.”

The Resort and Resort “Village”, comprised of over 400 homes and condos, will soon boast another 121 new units, all ski-in ski-outs, which Hancock says the resort is scheduled to break ground on in the spring of 2010.

Hancock and business partner Rob Lally, who purchased Mt. Abram resort in June of 2008, have been growing and improving the resort ever since. “Our goal is both to stay in business and stay in the business,” says Hancock.

To that end, the resort is readying to announce, as part of their 50-year anniversary celebration, a Sustainable Slopes Project, which will reduce annual kilowatt usage from 417,000 kilowatts to 300,000 kilowatts, while simultaneously reducing 37,000 gallons of burned air-compressor diesel used through pump house and low-energy snow gun efficiencies, and harvest the new, reduced kilowatt usage with an on-resort solar crop, effectively creating Maine’s only net-zero energy ski resort.

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“Our business is mostly about the snow, the culture, the terrain, the après-ski, and other amenities-collectively the guest experience,” concludes Hancock.

With a jump in sales, more amenities, and unique green initiatives on the horizon, Mt. Abram is poised to keep topping itself, which guests are sure to appreciate. For more information log onto www.mtabram.com

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