2009 Resort Poll: East Coast Rankings

Loon Mountain Pulls A Resort Poll Trifecta

The East Coast’s Number One Ranked Park, Pipe, And Overall Resort

By John Poulin

Cranes, spunky block letters, and crazy sideways spinnin’ Risto Mattila are a few props that keep Loon loony and locked into the number one spot. PHOTO: Brian Norton

This year, we decided it was time for the East Coast to have a voice of its own in the Resort Poll. Little did we know that one resort would shine so brightly—Loon dominated every category in the new East Coast Resort Poll, proving this past season that it truly offers everything a shredder could ask for. From a solid snowboard scene on and off the hill to a pristinely maintained park and pipe—Loon is taking East Coast shredding to new heights.

The Overall Resort win means that Loon has the complete kit: everything from excellent food to speedy lifts, dependable snow quality, and a welcoming vibe from the locals and staff. As far as lodging and nightlife go, if you’ve got the pocket for top-class accommodations, Loon and the town of Lincoln have you covered; but if like most traveling shreds, you’re looking to ball on a budget, the nearby college town of Plymouth is your place. A 25-minute drive down the highway leads to cheap lodging, drinks, and food; the place has seen so many shred dirts come through on their way to Loon that you and your crumpled-up five dollar bill will be welcomed with open arms.

While college parties and cheap pizza are definitely perks on a trip to Loon, the parks are what really put it out front. The famed Loon Mountain Park (LMP) is a spectacle all in itself, atop the list of longest parks in the east at 3,600 feet. The crew of dedicated park staff keeps everything dialed in and ready for your shredding pleasure—they’re all boarders with the same interests as you. “We want to make stuff that we want to ride on our days off,” says Park Manager Jay Scambio. “We see guys from other park staffs riding here on their free days.”

Taking a run at Loon isn’t your average park lap. You start off in the gondola, staying out of the harsh New England weather long enough to recharge your batteries for the next run. On the way down to LMP, you’ll find little pocket parks to get you warmed up and entertained, and Loon has some of the best side-of-the-trail jibs and secret lines around. Once you’re in LMP, you’ll find perfectly sculpted kickers and handfuls of on-point jibs, all linked together with continuous flow. Not quite ready to step to LMP? Want a few more warm-up laps? Loon has a Burton Progression Park for beginners, and the intermediate park doubled in size last winter, so take your pick.

At the bottom of LMP sits Loon’s now top-ranked Superpipe. It’s no easy task to have a good pipe on the East Coast, but Loon put in the work to make it happen. And they’re still raising the bar; they just picked up a new eighteen-foot Zaugg, upping their chances of holding on to next year’s number-one spot.

This summer, Loon is installing power down all of LMP, which means that the snowguns will be up and blowing earlier than ever and LMP will be firing all season long. They’re building a dozen new jibs, and riders got a sneak peek late last season at their latest creation, that can only be described as a Hubba on steroids: four 30-foot rails set on stairs. Loon is host to dozens of core contests, most notably Eastern Boarder’s Last Call and the annual Shop Showdown. If for some reason you’re still looking for an excuse to visit Loon, save the date and check out these East Coast shred reunions in the spring.