New Hampshire’s Executive Council on Wednesday approved the years-long effort that proposes to expand a Mount Sunapee ski resort, but opponents insisted that they fight the plan.
Members of the council voted 3-1 in favor of the plan. Colin Van Ostern, a Democrat, voted against the plan, while Republican Chris Sununu didn’t vote because he also runs another mountain ski resort in the state
The Mount Sunapee State Park required government approval for the proposed expansion because it leases part of its land through the state’s parks system. The state Department of Resources & Economic Development supports the plan.
While supporters say the plan will boost economic development and state revenues, opponents argue that it will encroach on public lands. A majority of councilors said while they appreciated opponents’ concerns, they believe the plan is right for New Hampshire.
Democratic Councilor Chris Pappas of Manchester said, “I think this plan gets us to a point where we have a balanced proposal that is going to allow the ski area to succeed but also protect the lands.”
According to the approved plan, four new trails and a new chairlift will be added to the ski resort in addition to several new amenities. However, the project is still three to four years from completion as it will have to go through a long permitting process.