While Scott Shanaman was inspecting the lifts at Lost Valley ski area in Auburn in the fall of 2014, he asked the owners whether they might sell. When their discussion started up again this summer, Shanaman got excited.

“I always thought this place had the potential to do much, much better than it has,” he said.

Lost Valley opened for the season Wednesday. Shanaman purchased it on Nov. 1 and promptly did extensive renovations and upgrades to the ski area’s septic system, lifts, snowmaking system, lodge and parking lot. As many as 60 new snow guns were purchased, said Shanaman, the founder and owner of Aerial NDT Inspection, a New Hampshire company that specializes in testing and inspecting ski lifts.

Shanaman, a former Sugarloaf lift mechanic, would not say how much he paid for the ski area or how much he has spent in upgrades. He purchased Lost Valley from owners Lincoln Hayes and Connie King.

“We had to do a whole summer’s worth of work in six weeks,” said Shanaman, 44. “When they closed last spring nothing was done. The place went to limbo.”

Shanaman’s plan is to add other upgrades, amenities and activities. He said a tubing park will be built eventually, and possibly a skating rink. Lost Valley at one time had a far bigger learn-to-ski program, and Shanaman intends to bring that back.

“We’ll hold events and festivals. There is a big population center around here. And the Portland market is not that far away,” he said.

Lost Valley opened in 1961 and shortly afterward became the first ski area in Maine to make snow. Shanaman intends to put the small community ski area back on the map.

“Scott has been involved with the ski industry for years and had been looking for the right opportunity to get more involved in Maine,” said Greg Sweetser, executive director of Ski Maine.

“Scott had worked at Sugarloaf years ago and knows just how important the community ski areas are in the long term growth of the businesses. His goal is to make Lost Valley a major learn to ski center and a focus of winter recreation for youth in the region. Scott has the passion to grow Lost Valley to a leader in the industry.”


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