2003-Panorama Detachable Quad and Pistol Revitalization - $3.8 million
This project totally transformed the ski experience at Gunstock. Prior to this investment, Gunstock was the only major resort in New Hampshire that didn’t have a high speed lift to its summit. The Doppelmayr Triple Chair installed in 1986 took 14 minutes to get a passenger to the summit with a capacity of 1,800 skiers per hour. Lift lines averaged nearly 25 minutes on a weekend day, meaning a round trip from the summit took nearly 45 minutes. The detachable quad increased capacity to 2,400 people per hour, reduced the lift lines by nearly 15 minutes and shortened the ride time to 6 minutes. A round trip on a busy day was reduced to less than 20 minutes.
In the same project, the old summit lift was relocated to the Pistol area, replacing a 1970 Mueller chair. The lift line was relocated and extended 600 feet. Snowmaking was upgraded on the entire skiers’ right side of the mountain, including Gunsmoke/Gunpowder, Recoil, and the entire Pistol Area. Night lighting was added to Pistol and Blundersmoke, and to trails off the Ramrod area that connected it to Pistol for night skiing. Finally, base area snowmaking pipes and electrical infrastructure were improved.
This project was financed with a 17 year bond for $3.8 million, paid for from Gunstock operating receipts. All but $250,000 has been repaid, with the last payment scheduled for the summer of 2020.
2008- Penny Pitou Beginner Area - $3.25 million
Similar to the earlier summit project, this project transformed the beginner experience at Gunstock. The 1986 Doppelmayr double chair was replaced with a fixed grip 4 passenger quad chair. The new chair added significant vertical drop to the complex and several new beginner trails were cut. Night lighting was added to the Peepsite trail, and a few years later the Try Me trail was lit as well. New snowmaking and fixed mounted fan guns were installed. Another round of electric infrastructure and snowmaking upgrades were also included in the work.
This project was funded with a 20 year bond that is being repaid from Gunstock’s operating receipts. As of April 2019, $1,675,000 had been retired.
2011 – Adventure Park - $2.1 million
Gunstock’s 2010 Master Plan included a “multi-season recreation plan” that concluded that major summer adventures could be a successful addition to Gunstock’s operations. Gunstock built out several adventures including the ZipTour, Aerial Treetop Adventures and Off-Road Segway tours.
The ZipTour features five spans of dual, side-by-side zip lines, three of which carry riders the entire 1,400 vertical feet from Gunstock’s summit to base. When they were built, they were the longest zip lines in the Continental United States and the 4th and 6th longest spans in the world. The longest span is 3,981 feet long and has a vertical drop of 650 feet. Speeds in excess of 70 MPH have been recorded on these lines.
Similarly, the Aerial Treetop Adventure course was New England’s largest when first built. The course features 92 “games” of obstacles. The park covers over 7 acres of wooded land adjacent to the resort’s base area. There are five adult courses, and each course features increasing heights and degree of difficulty. The longest “game” is a bridge which spans 173 feet and is 88 feet off the ground at its highest point.
Off-road Segway tours are guided tours through the woods and trails around the Gunstock property utilizing the Segway X-2 model. These machines are equipped with knobby, low inflation tires that can traverse roots, rocks and uneven terrain.
$1.5 million of this project was funded with a 10 year bond, with payment coming from the operating receipts of Gunstock. The adventure park generates nearly $2.8 million annually. The bond will be retired completely in April 2021.
2016 – Mountain Coaster - $2.8 million
Another popular addition to all four seasons at Gunstock was the Wiegand Mountain Coaster. This ride winds its way uphill adjacent to the old Try Me trail on Rowe Ridge. The ride is a total of 4,100 feet long, and features two “helixes” and several switchback turns. The ride is very thrilling, but also very safe, thanks to a dynamic distance control system between cars.
The project included not only the coaster, but terminal buildings at the top and bottom. Several infrastructure improvements, including the addition of fiber optic cables and removal of overhead power lines were included in this project.
$2.6 million of this project was funded with a 10 year note, which is being repaid from Gunstock’s operating receipts. Approximately $817,000 has been paid to date.