Bethel Citizen 2/9/17

Prime Time Ski Club News for Bethel Citizen 2/9/17
By Terri Messer

For further information contact:
Terri Messer at or 207-671-0715

Last Thursday’s Groundhog Day brought good news to Prime Time Ski Club members. Weather forecasters are predicting that winter will last another six weeks because the furry creature in Pennsylvania saw his shadow. With more snow falling last week, more this week and snowmakers continuing to supplement Mother Nature, there’s bound to be great skiing at Sunday River Ski Resort well beyond the six-week prediction of winter weather. The mountain’s trail count has moved to 132 open trails, almost a full count. And 86 of those trails are groomed, giving everyone a variety of terrain to choose from. There were lots of smiles on our members’ faces as they enjoyed the wonderful conditions this past week and as they look forward to more powder this week.

As our club members look ahead to more great ski conditions this season, I thought it would be a good time to look back at how the Prime Time Ski Club got its start. Our present day ski club began in the early 90s as a Sunday River Perfect Turn lesson group, called Prime Time, much like the current Peak Performance weekend Black Diamond or Women’s Turn groups, only aimed at older skiers. It wasn’t long before skiers participating in the Prime Time lesson program realized that they not only enjoyed skiing together but they also enjoyed spending time with each other. In the late 90s the group started planning social activities, such as potluck dinners. About that time, one of the original members of the lesson group, Cil Rice, became concerned about older people who were skiing alone. Her husband, Bob, came up with the idea that maybe the group’s focus should be on becoming a social club rather than a group that offers lessons. Outgoing and with a perpetual smile on her face, Cil approached anyone and everyone on the mountain who appeared to be 50 or over and skiing alone and suggested that they join the Prime Time Ski Club.

Eventually Cil had business cards printed that told about the club and, at her husband’s suggestion, members wore gold name tags to identify themselves on the slopes and to attract the attention of potential members. In 1999 the membership was around 40; in 2003 that number climbed to 96. In 2004 the club was formalized with officers and by-laws and a mission statement which still stands today: “Prime Time is a club of skiers who enjoy skiing with other members. A regular schedule of skiing include a plan to meet regularly at Sunday River. Additionally, active outdoor events and other social activities take place throughout the year as a result of member interest in leadership.” The club’s motto is still the same, too: “You’ll never ski alone.”  There’s also a club song written by Bob Rice and sung to the tune of “ You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Today the club’s membership has grown to over 140, including skiers, non-skiing spouses and those who just enjoy socializing. in addition to skiing, the club offers a variety of social and athletic activities throughout the year, including biking, kayaking, hiking, dining out, theater events, trips to other mountains and a summer trip to Bar Harbor. Remember, if you are looking for someone to ski with, you should come to Peak Lodge at 10 a.m. weekdays (lower level, to the left of staircase headed downstairs). Usually 30 to 40 members will be there, depending on the weather and conditions. After a brief time for announcements, discussion of terrain and trail closures and where the best skiing is, members usually break into small groups, based on skiing ability as well as speed and terrain preference. For more information, check out our website at

Posted in Press