Maine Handicapped Skiing will hold its first Sugarloaf Social to raise funds for the program, which is the state’s largest adaptive recreational program for people with disabilities.

The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. March 6 at the Sugarloaf Golf Course clubhouse.

The Sugarloaf Social will feature sampling of fine food and wine, a basket raffle and a silent auction. All proceeds will directly support Maine Handicapped Skiing’s Alpine program at Sugarloaf.

“As we enter our second decade of offering free adaptive Alpine skiing at Sugarloaf, we are excited to launch this new event, MHS executive director Peter Adams said in a news release. “The Sugarloaf Social will be a fun way for the Carrabassett Valley community to learn more about Maine Handicapped Skiing’s mission and work.”

Tickets for the event are $50 per person and may be purchased, along with raffle tickets, through Sugarloaf Guest Services or by calling 800-639-7770.

Since 1999, Maine Handicapped Skiing has been teaching adaptive skiing and snowboarding to dozens of people each weekend at Sugarloaf. All instruction, equipment and lift tickets are provided at no charge to participants.

Ski areas enjoy holiday bonanza

The Ski Maine Association announced this week that the state’s ski and snowboard areas fared well during a busy February school vacation week.

Some reports, according to a Ski Maine Association press release:

• At Saddleback Ski Area in Rangeley, marketing director Conrad Klefos reported a banner week.

“We shattered all records,” Klefos said. “Lodging revenue was up 30 percent, skier services revenue exceeded budget and was up an astounding 46 percent over the same period last year. Our aggressive snowmaking and grooming, new lifts, trails and events are contributing to this surge in business.”

• At Sunday River in Newry, Jim Costello, director of sales and marketing, said the week went well.

“Attendance was very good over the Presidents Day vacation period,” Costello said. “Sunday River’s reputation for snowmaking and consistently great conditions resulted in higher revenues year over year across our lodging properties, ski and ride school, retail and rental, as well as food and beverage.”

• At Camden Snow Bowl, General Manager Jeff Kuller said the ski area had a record day Feb. 13, thanks to a promotional effort that focused on introductory lessons.

“Ski Maine has made an effort to promote introductions to our sport during January, and we saw the excitement continue this week,” Kuller said.

• At Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, the financial picture also was rosy, according to Ethan Austin, the resort’s communications manager.

“For the period from Friday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 22, we were 5.6 percent ahead in revenue and 7.9 percent in paid skier visits versus the same period last year,” Austin said.

“Our snowmaking was a huge factor in this success,” Austin said. “Thanks in large part to the improvements we made to our snowmaking system we have pumped 17 million more gallons than last season, covering 500 acres.”

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