Cranmore Plans $50 Million Base Expansion, Condo Development
Cranmore Resort has announced plans for a $50 million condominium and base area redevelopment that will provide ski–in, ski–out ownership at the base of Cranmore and in the heart of North Conway, one of America’s most dynamic ski towns.
When the Fairbank Group acquired Cranmore in the summer of 2010, “the bones of the mountain were terrific, but it needed a hug,” CEO Tyler Fairbank told SnoCountry.com. “So we put together a phased plan to try to figure out where condominium development would fit in.”
The Fairbank Group has spent $10 million to modernize the resort, including four new lifts, a top-shelf kids center, re-clad buildings, and year-round activities like a mountain coaster and giant swing. “We created a resort with non-skiing capabilities on a year-round basis,” Fairbank told us.
Realizing that some of the buildings are reaching the end of their usable life, the owners are using the same model as they have successfully followed at Massachusetts’s Jiminy Peak to redevelop the base area using condo sales.
In this model, the first floor of a building is used as commercial space for all the skier amenities you’d expect at a first-class resort. The upper floors offer slopeside access to all those amenities and afford skiers the opportunity to leave their car parked for the entire weekend.
“For the local weekend visitor or for anyone who spends time at the resort, the day lodge experience will be so much better in the future, with nice restaurants and ski shops,” Cranmore’s General Manager Ben Wilcox told us. It will also afford the opportunity to expand summer offerings, such as air-conditioned weddings.
Funds from the condominium sales make the commercial space possible. Fairbank expects to offer nearly 50,000 square feet of new commercial space by completion of the project.
“One of the things that made Cranmore so attractive to us is downtown North Conway. The ski village is a really vibrant community, with hotels, restaurants, and shopping, it really is a mecca up there,” Fairbank said.
Sales of the Kearsarge Brook condos began a month ago, and Fairbank anticipates that they will be able to break ground this spring, but construction won’t begin until 14 of the 37-unit first building are sold. “We want to make sure there is demand in the market, not only for funding the project, but to let the consumer know there is viability in their investment.”
Wilcox added that they are sweetening the pot for the first owners, with five years of skiing for a family of four for the first 14 buyers.
Ultimately, the base area of the resort will be fully replaced, but it will be a six to 10 year phased development, rebuilding sections while using the resort.
Photos: Top -- Building One will be the start of a base area transformation at Cranmore. (Cranmore); Below -- Cranmore’s base area amenities will nearly double with the development of Kearsarge Brook Condominiums. (Cranmore)