New Englanders rejoice!
Saddleback Mountain, located in Western Maine outside the town of Rangeley, will be reopening this winter for the first time in five years under new ownership.
“The core of what makes this mountain and region special is strong and resilient. Its character is inherent in the community. That unique vibe and welcoming culture will endure for a long time”
– Doug “Doc” Tulin, Saddleback Mountain Marketing Manager
Arctaris, a Boston-based investment firm, bought the resort from Bill and Irene Berry, who had owned the mountain since 2003. Arctaris specializes in investing in undercapitalized opportunities in underserved communities through its Impact Fund, promoting and providing positive social, environmental, and economic change.
It has been quite the past five years for Saddleback. In 2017, the Berry Family originally signed an agreement with Australia-based company Majella Group to purchase the mountain. Plans were announced to revitalize the ski resort, including replacing the aging Rangeley double chairlift and Cupsuptic T-bar, however, the deal ultimately fell through. Arctaris jumped into the picture in 2019 and the deal closed roughly a year ago.
Arctaris has hit the ground running since their purchase of the ski resort. While they bought the mountain for $6.5 million, they’ve invested $18 million this year, with an overall investment goal of $38 million.
New this season includes:
- Brand new, high-speed quad chairlift replacing the Rangeley double chairlift
- Expanded and refurbished base lodge
- Increased snowmaking
Longer-term projects include addressing local/employee housing issues, employing 180-220 workers, investing in additional snowmaking, and building a solar farm.
I’ll admit I’ve never been to Maine, but I’ve been following Saddleback for quite a long time. I’m not sure why exactly, maybe the dream of one day skiing out there, or maybe the sad thought of seeing a ski resort being underutilized. Here’s to a successful opening for Saddleback and the surrounding community!
Saddleback is scheduled to open for the winter 20/21 season on December 15, 2020.