HUNTER — Hunter North, a $9 million expansion project at Hunter Mountain, is open for business and is inviting media outlets to see the new addition next week.
The immense project took eight months to complete over the spring, summer and fall of 2018 and is the largest ski resort expansion on the East Coast in more than 15 years, according to a statement from Hunter Mountain.
“We could not be more excited to show off this new terrain and six-pack lift to our guests and members of the media,” according to the statement.
Media personnel are being invited to check out the expansion next Thursday with instructors and mountain staff giving a skiing and snowboarding tour of the expansion, according to Hunter Mountain.
The slope system, which opened Christmas Eve, consists of five new trails and four glades. A glade is a pocket of trees that separates two trails. The project bringing the total trail count to nine, Hunter Mountain Public Relations and Communications Manager Daniel Kenney said.
“That was the main focus of the expansion,” he said.
The expansion added 25 to 30 percent more acreage between Hunter Mountain and Hunter West.
Hunter Mountain initially announced the expansion June 21, 2017 and work began on the project April 16, 2018, lasting until Christmas Eve when final grooming was completed, Kenney said.
“We can’t do it while the people are skiing and riding,” he said. “As soon as our ski season was over, we got to it.”
The expansion also includes a six-person detachable lift and a parking lot that can accommodate 250 vehicles. It gives skiers and snowboarders an opportunity to explore new terrain, Kenney said. Customer reaction has been positive.
“It’s always a good day with snow, but it’s also good when you get to explore new terrain,” he said. “Making sure everybody has their space to enjoy was the main aspect of the project.”
Three of the non-glade trails are open to the public and the remainder will open soon, Kenney said.
“We look forward to getting those open,” Kenney said.
No further projects for the mountain are planned, as of Wednesday, Kenney said.
“One project at a time,” he said.
The Hunter North application was presented to the Hunter Town Planning Board in October 2017, Planning Board Chairwoman Sarah Killourhy said. After an extensive environmental and site plan review and a joint public hearing with Jewett, the project was approved last January.
Many agencies had permits for the project including the state Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the state Historic Preservation Office, the state Department of Transportation, Greene County Economic Planning review and the Hunter Town Building Department, Killourhy said.
“This project involved many agencies, reviews and permits,” she said. “Delaware Engineers represented the project and truly did an excellent and thorough job for such a large project.”
The Jewett Town Board also granted its approvals for the part of the project that involved the town, Killourhy said.
The expansion is good for the area, Killourhy said.
“It is a great addition to Hunter Mountain and to the town of Hunter,” she said.
Some of Hunter’s expansion crosses into Jewett and minor changes to the site plan included the location of stop signs and consolidating two five-foot culverts into a single large culvert, according to the Jewett Planning Board minutes from Feb. 1, 2018.