Resort expansion: West Bowl development

Resort expansion onto privately held land in Goshen and development of the forested western flank of Mount Sunapee

2008 FOMS Update and Background Information:

In 2018, when Vail Resorts took over operating the Mount Sunapee ski area, the Executive Council approved changes to the operating lease. The contract changes allow Vail to assume the state’s previously approved West Bowl expansion plan.

When Okemo/Mount Sunapee Resort first proposed a West Bowl and condo development plan in 2004, then-Governor John Lynch refused to bring the project forward. The resort’s western expansion plan returned again ten years later in the 2015-2019 MDP, after the Muellers (the operator) successfully sued the state of New Hampshire and got access to 175 acres of additional parkland.

Citing severe public trust and environmental concerns, Friends of Mount Sunapee vigorously opposed the expansion plans presented in 2004 and 2014. 

Despite strong opposition to expansion, State officials in 2016 approved a revised master plan. The plan enables resort and real development in Goshen, build-out on land adjoining the state park. Local and state permitting is still required.

Strong opposition to the West Bowl expansion continues as the infrastructure will fragment the existing Exemplary Natural Community System detailed the Natural Heritage Bureau Report.  

What did Friends say about the West Bowl expansion proposal in 2014 and 2015?

My Turn: Muellers’ Sunapee end game has been clear for a long time, (opinion editorial), Concord Monitor, June 17, 2015

Spirit of Sunapee (letter), Concord Monitor,

Mount Sunapee and My Early and Future Life (letter), InterTown Record, May 19, 2015

Commissioner Rose: Protect Mt. Sunapee’s wild forest (letter) May 11, 2015

FOMS: Resort expansion defies public values and sets dangerous precedent (public hearing testimony), May 5, 2015

Resort expansion represents bad planning and bad economic development (public hearing testimony), May 5, 2015

Resort expansion violates public trust and park’s mission (public hearing testimony), May 5, 2015

Bradford Conservation Commission opposes Okemo expansion plan at Sunapee (letter), Bradford Bridge, April 2015

Mt. Sunapee: Let’s Get to the Point – Court decision at Mt. Sunapee results in private gain, public loss (letter),  Intertown Record, February 10, 2015

My Turn: Forget the labels – Sunapee trees are old (opinion editorial) by Jolyon Johnson, president of Friends of Mount Sunapee, Concord Monitor, February 7, 2015

National group urges NH to “protect this forest from all threats” (letter) From Old-Growth Forest Network to Commissioner Jeffrey Rose (DRED), December 26, 2014

Leaseholder of Mount Sunapee ski resort eyes liquidation of ski-mountain properties (letter), InterTown Record, December 23, 2014

Preserve the western side of Mt. Sunapee State Park (letter). InterTown Record, December 16, 2014

A forest treasure by Christopher Kane (letter) Concord Monitor, December 16, 2014

Protect our parks (open letter to Commissioner Rose) Concord Monitor, December 15, 2014

My Turn: Sunapee expansion would set bad precedent for state (opinion editorial) by Jolyon Johnson, president of Friends of Mount Sunapee, Concord Monitor, December 14, 2014

The elephant in the room regarding Mt. Sunapee expansion plan, letter, InterTown Record, December 9, 2014

A missing report (letter), Concord Monitor, November 15, 2014

My Turn: Don’t let  Sunapee go way of Okemo (opinion editorial), Concord Monitor, November 12, 2014

Resort’s environmental plan flawed: EMP is incomplete and misleading (letter), November 2014

FOMS strongly opposes Mount Sunapee West Bowl development plan (letter) Eagle Times, November 11, 2014

Preserve diversity of use at Mount Sunapee (letter) October 2014

Look at the future and the impact of climate change before changing Mount Sunapee (letter), October 2014

Questions linking public land to private lands for corporate profit (letter), September 2014