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Gunstock looks forward to 80th anniversary season



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A skier flies down the slopes at Gunstock Mountain Resort, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary season with new programs, new technology, and a new logo. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
November 21, 2017
Gunstock is going into its 80th anniversary season with some new promotions, new technology, and a new logo.

Mike Roth, Director of Sales and Marketing at Gunstock, said the celebration kicked off with the Gunstock Hill Climb during Motorcycle Week.

"We're celebrating 80 all the way," Roth said.

Gunstock is rolling out a new logo and some new branding. Roth said the process has been going on for almost a year and a half and involved interviews and surveys. They initially didn't think of creating a new logo; it was an idea that came through the process. The resort worked with the graphic design company Haigh + Martino of Portsmouth in creating on a design. Roth said it will be familiar to mountain users and a nod to logos of years past.

The new branding and logo for the resort was unfurled over the past few weeks, starting at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce luncheon and at the Boston Ski Show.

On Saturday, the resort held its annual Gunstock Ski Ball, a gala party featuring dancing, music, anda raffle benefitting the Children's Auction of the Greater Lakes Region. Roth said the ball was a kind of celebration of the resort's past and an opportunity to introduce the new branding.

This Friday is Black Friday Rail Jam, a yearly tradition at the mountain for the last few years. In previous years, the event has been in the Bowl area, this year it will be in the area of Ramrod with the Stockade Lodge as a focal point. Roth said they've already made a lot of snow on that trail. Later on there will be a type of après-ski event as well as the premier of a movie made by friends of the park staff.

In the spirit of Black Friday, Mountain Outfitters will be open an holding sales specials.

Gunstock aims to start its ski season on Dec. 1

The resort will be starting the new season with some new technology and features.

Snowmaking started at the mountain during a previous cold spell. This year, they bought 37 new snow guns and snow fans that run on at least one less air compressor and require much less energy consumption. Roth said he heard they made more snow in around five days than they did all of last November.

"From an energy consumption and a cost savings perspective, it's huge to be able to say we have a 100 percent energy efficient snowmaking plan," Roth said.

The Pistol area will be turned into a multi-use trail. In addition to regular skiing, there will be terrain park elements on the runs. This will give people who use terrain parks, especially younger people, another opportunity and still being open for regular skiing.

Gunstock is implementing a new lift access program. People can get personalized passes or tickets for whatever services they want to take part in and can reload them with money online before coming to the mountain.

They have also changed the ages for ticket prices. Children's tickets are now for ages six to 17, adult tickets are for 18-59, senior tickets are for 60-69, and Golden Tickets are for 70 and older. Roth said narrowing this gap makes tickets more affordable to more people.

Roth said their season pass program and its benefits are one of the most compelling for customers and is even more popular than others in the state or country.

Flex passes will also be available for people who might not come to the mountain enough to benefit from a season pass.

"Hopefully that makes Gunstock more accessible to more people," Roth said. "That's important to us and affordable: I call it affordability and accessibility."

Previously the mountain had Saturday Night Rocks night skiing, now every night has "Night Sessions." Tickets for the Night Sessions include rentals, a quick tip lesson with a ski or snowboard professional, and two rides on either the tubing hill or the mountain coaster.

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