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June 10. 2014 9:39PM

Cranmore moves forward with plan to put condos at base of ski resort


Ben Wilcox, president and general manager of Cranmore Mountain Resort, poses in a vacant field that will eventually host condominiums which are being developed as part of the resort's base-area master plan. Phase 1 of the project, which calls for 18 condominium units, recently received approval from the Conway Planning Board and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and is awaiting review and approval of the condominium regulations by the NH Department of Justice. (JOHN KOZIOL/Union Leader Correspondent)

CONWAY — North Conway’s Cranmore Mountain Resort is positioning itself to be one of the few resorts in the state that have residences located at its base.

Several Granite State resorts have residential components that are near, but not necessarily within the base areas, said Ben Wilcox, president and general manager of Cranmore Mountain Resort. He said that while the idea has not taken hold here, it is commonplace at resorts in Vermont, Canada and in the Rocky Mountains.

Last December, Cranmore, which is owned and operated by the Fairbank Group, announced that it had developed a master plan that features the Kearsarge Brook residential community.

Kearsarge Brook will eventually have 106 condominium units, which Wilcox said will be sold outright, not in fractional ownerships, for between $300,000 and $500,000 each.

The residences will be on the upper floors of multi-story buildings. The ground floors will house ski facilities, a restaurant, cafeteria, seating, locker rooms, rest rooms, changing areas, rental shop and a ski retail shop.

In late May, Cranmore received final approvals from the town and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for Phase 1 of Kearsarge Brook, which will have 18 residential units.

Pending approval of its condominium-registration application by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, which Wilcox said is imminent, ground will be broken for Phase 1 late this year with completion sometime in 2015.

The rest of the project, Wilcox added, will be built as consumer demand dictates it, adding that the development will be funded by sales of the units, not by increasing the price of lift tickets.

Brian Fairbank, who owns Cranmore, said getting the town and DES approvals represented “another significant milestone for Kearsarge Brook.” Fairbank has said that Kearsarge Brook will “help assure the resort’s sustainability for years to come.”

Wilcox said while residents of Kearsarge Brook will have their own dedicated parking spaces, that doesn’t mean that the non-resident skiing public will get pushed further back into a far-away parking lot.

Wilcox also stressed that Kearsarge Brook, so as to not compete with local businesses, will not be building any new shops.

Kearsarge Brook, he said, will be “a great complement to the valley,” one that brings families together year round.

Increasingly, families want active lifestyles and Kearsarge Brook will fit that bill in so far that residents can pull into their parking spaces, go grab their equipment in their residences and from there go directly to the ski slopes in winter or to the many summer amenities Cranmore has added over the past four years, including a mountain coaster, zip lines, climbing wall, giant swing and aerial adventure tour.

“You’re built into the hub of the winter experience, the summer experience,” said Wilcox, “and that concept is very attractive to families,” even if the only thing some more mature family members might want to do is look at their grandkids or nieces and nephews schussing down the mountain.’’

Wilcox said that as of last Saturday, half of the units in Phase 1 had been sold. Badger Realty is the exclusive agent for Kearsarge Brook.


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