WATERVILLE — Alpine skiing in the City of Waterville is making a comeback.

The Friends of Quarry Road, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, has raised funds to purchase and donate a rope tow to the City of Waterville, to be operated at the base of the historic alpine ski area at Quarry Road Trails.

“The Friends group is happy to announce that we have successfully achieved our Alpine Challenge goal,” said President Joe Reisert. “This summer, the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation challenged us to raise $20,000 by Nov. 1 and promised to make a $20,000 gift to support the rope tow project if we reached that goal.

“We did reach it. In fact, we exceeded it,” said Reisert. “A total of 38 donors stepped forward to enable us to meet the challenge, with gifts both large and small, totaling $22,300. We are grateful for every gift, and we’d like to offer our special thanks to our lead donors, Golden Pond Wealth Management and Ned and Erica Ervin.”

The Waterville City Council gave its final approval for the rope tow project last week.

It is anticipated that the tow will run weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting mid-January through February vacation, and possibly some daylight after-school hours, depending on demand. Taking advantage of Quarry Road’s existing Nordic infrastructure, snowmaking, grooming, and a small terrain park are all being planned.

In this inaugural season, ticket prices will be a flat $10 per person for a day pass, and $50 for a season pass. Tickets and passes will be available at the Quarry Road Trails Welcome Center and online at quarryroad.org. Snowmaking and grooming is underway, as weather permits.

The Quarry Road Ski Club is organizing a downhill learn-to-ski program for Waterville children in grades 4 to 8. This first season, the size of the group will be limited to 25 children. Gorham Bike and Ski in downtown Waterville will provide discounted equipment rental packages for program participants. The ski club also offers extensive cross-country ski programming for youth in kindergarten through high school.

The cost of the Towpro portable rope tow is $32,904. Friends will also cover the cost of the installation, approximately $15,000. The length of the tow will be about 400’ with a vertical drop of 75’.

The Friends has raised additional funds to cover the cost of a half-time, hourly venue coordinator to be hired by Waterville Parks & Recreation and to pay operators and patrol on an hourly basis. Staff recruitment and training is well under way, according to Reisert.

Because the tow is portable, it can be relocated in the event of further Alpine development at the venue. “We believe it would be ideal to service a future full-scale terrain park,” said Reisert.

The mission of the Friends of Quarry Road is to strengthen greater Waterville by developing exceptional opportunities for four-season outdoor recreation. The Friends, in collaboration with the City, first developed a Nordic trail system with snowmaking to restore the tradition of outdoor recreation.

At over 200 acres, Quarry Road is Waterville’s largest public park.

To learn more about Quarry Road (including current conditions) or the Friends, visit Quarry Road Trails: Hiking, Biking and Skiing in Waterville, Maine (www.quarryroad.org) or write friends@quarryroad.org