Not good news from Saddleback.  The Berry family have been good stewards of Saddleback, but are living proof of the old saying "if you want to make a small fortune start with a larger one and buy a ski resort".  Would be a real shame (not to mention a serious blow to the local economy) if they can't operate this season. They've been looking for a buyer since 2012, maybe we should start a collection?

http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/2015/07/20/owner-says-saddleb...

Owner says Saddleback won't reopen without funding for new chairlift

RANGELEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Berry Family announced Monday in a press release to all media outlets that Saddleback will not open for the winter season unless it can get $3 million in financing to purchase a new four-person chairlift to replace the aging 4,717-foot Rangeley Double Chair.

The 51-year-old lift is the main access from the base lodge to the top of Saddleback Mountain and is at the end of its useful life according to mountain officials.

"In order for Saddleback to be sustainable for the long-term, we've decided the lift must be replaced," said Mark Berry, owner, Saddleback, Maine. "For the last several months, we've been actively seeking the necessary financing to replace the chairlift, however time is running out. We only have a few weeks to make this work. In order to open this winter, we need to order the new lift by early August."

The Berry Family says they have informed all employees of the potential changes in winter operations and has guaranteed that all season pass holders will be reimbursed. They also tell media that vendors will be paid in full if the mountain does not open for the ski season.

From Saddleback:

http://www.saddlebackmaine.com/docs/Press-Release-7-20-15.pdf

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Still a lot of skepticism out there. I don't think the deal has even closed yet. Can anyone confirm ?

Fingers crossed hoping that Saddleback comes roaring back to life. Hard not to be skeptical though until there are some more tangible signs that it is going to happen.

They have yet to close.

It would be amazing for the mountain to open this year, but the latest is that they plan to remove the double and install a replacement... now. I'm no expert, but even if they had perfect weather, I would think that they would need the stars to align amazingly to pull that off, especially given that they don't even own the mountain yet.

Ripsaw said:

Still a lot of skepticism out there. I don't think the deal has even closed yet. Can anyone confirm ?

A post from the SB FB page:

SADDLEBACK MAINE
October 21 at 7:09pm 

Good-evening Saddlebackers, Majella Group’s acquisition of Saddleback is progressing. Whilst details around the acquisition are a matter of a confidentiality agreement, I can confirm we are within the original parameters of the agreement.

Please do not take our silence as a lack of progress, rather a focus on the task at hand. Over the last few weeks our dedicated crew have brought snowmaking equipment online and are continuing with the process of inspecting, testing, adjusting and certifying the lifts. Our mountain operations team have been cutting, mowing and grooming trails that have grown in over the last two years.

Reopening is a top priority and we are doing everything we can to open in some capacity for the upcoming ski season. The extent of which will be determined by the work we are able to achieve in the coming weeks. As we stated in June, we have many hurdles, but we continue to push through them. This was never going to be an easy or quick process but our tireless team are hard at work.

Best regards,
Majella Group CEO, Sebastian Monsour

The glades are going to need a real good trimming.  The pucker brush will be at ball whacking height.

Wear your cup

Maineskier69 said:

The glades are going to need a real good trimming.  The pucker brush will be at ball whacking height.

"Ball whacking height is relative", 

signed MonkeyBrook

My idol...as much as I want Judge to win MVP...if I had a vote it would go to my brother.  And no one looks tall standing next to 6-7" 285lb judge.  This looks like a photo I have of me and KC when we won't the Portland City softball championships

CartMan! said:

"Ball whacking height is relative", 

signed MonkeyBrook

We’re you handing him a water bottle?

MonkeyBrook said:

My idol...as much as I want Judge to win MVP...if I had a vote it would go to my brother.  And no one looks tall standing next to 6-7" 285lb judge.  This looks like a photo I have of me and KC when we won't the Portland City softball championships

CartMan! said:

"Ball whacking height is relative", 

signed MonkeyBrook

No, I just handed him his Rookie of the Year trophy, as if there was any doubt.

Zen Master said:

We’re you handing him a water bottle?

MonkeyBrook said:

My idol...as much as I want Judge to win MVP...if I had a vote it would go to my brother.  And no one looks tall standing next to 6-7" 285lb judge.  This looks like a photo I have of me and KC when we won't the Portland City softball championships

CartMan! said:

"Ball whacking height is relative", 

signed MonkeyBrook

In case anyone still cares...the expectations are being dialed back.

From FB today.

Good-morning,

We value your feedback and hear you are seeking more regular updates.

We are continuing to work to successfully finalize this sale. We have encountered delays that have impacted our timelines. This has been on our end and not the Berry’s. We are incredibly thankful to the Berry family and their advisors for their ongoing patience, kindness and support. I am whole heartedly committed to this deal. Whilst it has been drawn-out and frustrating for many, we have entered and are working through the final stages.

As we stated in June, this is a complex and challenging deal. It has posed numerous challenges to our investors. We are focused not just on finalizing the deal but ensuring we have the long-term, sustainable plan in place for the future of Saddleback and the existing approved development district.

I do not take lightly the impact Saddleback has on the entire Rangeley region, and we need to get this economic driver right for the mountain and all stakeholders.

Is the Rangeley chair still being replaced?

Whilst we had hoped to replace the Rangeley chair this year, we have made the decision to delay its replacement until next season. We realize this comes as a disappointment to many and for us this season, but we are committed to a sustainable and long-term solution for Saddleback.

We wanted the additional time to scope the best lift option for the mountain and will consider a detachable quad versus a fixed grip quad. This is pertinent as we move forward to the four-season use of the mountain where a detachable quad has greater appeal.

What does this mean for re-opening this season?

As I have said before, we are committed to opening in some capacity for the 2017/18 ski season. This will not be a full opening, rather a limited operation that, if possible, will allow our Saddlebackers and their families to return and enjoy the mountain in some capacity this season.

I am extremely thankful to our incredible Mountain Operations team who have been hard at work with the trails groomed, readied and looking perfect for the ski season. I also want to thank all the business owners who continue to support our effort with advice and services and their early support will not be forgotten.

Our Saddlebackers are our biggest motivation and we hear you when you say you would prefer some skiing over none. We are doing everything in our ability to provide an offering, albeit a limited one this season.

Best regards,

Majella Group CEO, Sebastian Monsour

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