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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Wow...sad news and seems to be cutting things pretty close even if they do get financing and a new lift on order in August since they usually open the week before Christmas.

The Rangeley Double is listed for $350K, so if a buyer steps up there's more than 10% of the new money they need.

http://www.resortboneyard.com/i/doppelmayrctec-sprint/53876

We should buy that double and put it off the backside. 

why is this in the news? Why would the berry family want their struggles to land credit and presumably all of the other "root causes" of the credit worthiness issues to hit the news?

My initial thoughts when reading this:
1. No Saddleback would SUCK...due to loss of great lift serviced terrain and the over-crowding that would probably take place at other nearby resorts that already have lift issues...

2. How on Earth does a business so dependent on a single piece of machinery wait 51 years to source funding for a replacement? Listing the existing and in-service asset as "for sale" doesn't count as sound planning either.

The whole situation screams "pisspoor planning and execution". Hoping for the best.

I don't necessarily disagree, and I don't know the particulars and in any case I'm not sure this is how I would have gone about it, but they announced that the resort was for sale in 2012, and this morning's release says they "have spent the past few years looking for funding" for a new lift and have "three different lenders" deciding whether to back them.  To me this says that they've seen this coming for a few years and have tried to get in front of it, but have not been successful for whatever reason. 

As for why now, I would speculate that they are trying to stay ahead of the rumor mill and maybe to put some pressure on potential lenders to make a decision.  It also may signal that things are more grim than even this release makes it sound and they are trying to prepare their staff, customers, other local businesses and the ski industry in general for what may be unavoidable at this point.  However you want to slice it though, it's not good.



KC said:

why is this in the news? Why would the berry family want their struggles to land credit and presumably all of the other "root causes" of the credit worthiness issues to hit the news?

My initial thoughts when reading this:
1. No Saddleback would SUCK...due to loss of great lift serviced terrain and the over-crowding that would probably take place at other nearby resorts that already have lift issues...

2. How on Earth does a business so dependent on a single piece of machinery wait 51 years to source funding for a replacement? Listing the existing and in-service asset as "for sale" doesn't count as sound planning either.

The whole situation screams "pisspoor planning and execution". Hoping for the best.
couple of questions:
What was saddleback's price tag when it was listed for sale?
Is it still listed for sale?

$12 million and I don't know but you could always make them an offer and find out!

http://www.pressherald.com/2012/12/14/saddleback-for-sale-berry-fam...



KC said:

couple of questions:
What was saddleback's price tag when it was listed for sale?
Is it still listed for sale?
If.... IF saddleback was worth 12mil (hard telling, since it didn't sell for that price tag!), i would imagine that a 3mil loan be a tough gamble for any bank. Depends on credit risk appetite I guess. That's a 20% collateral/FMV ratio...makes sense that they haven't been able to land the note.
STILL HOPING THINGS WORK OUT EITHER WAY!

Zen Master said:

$12 million and I don't know but you could always make them an offer and find out!

http://www.pressherald.com/2012/12/14/saddleback-for-sale-berry-fam...



KC said:

couple of questions:
What was saddleback's price tag when it was listed for sale?
Is it still listed for sale?

Call me crazy, but that seems like a lot for a 51-year old lift that "is at the end of its useful life" according Saddleback's press release. 

Glade Monkey said:

The Rangeley Double is listed for $350K, so if a buyer steps up there's more than 10% of the new money they need.

http://www.resortboneyard.com/i/doppelmayrctec-sprint/53876

Wonder what happened to the EB-5 program, they should be rolling in the $$$ like Jay by now....

http://www.saddlebackmaine.com/release10-25-11

Same guy who did the $12mil sale price did the $350k valuation on the lift apparently...

Zen Master said:

Call me crazy, but that seems like a lot for a 51-year old lift that "is at the end of its useful life" according Saddleback's press release. 

Glade Monkey said:

The Rangeley Double is listed for $350K, so if a buyer steps up there's more than 10% of the new money they need.

http://www.resortboneyard.com/i/doppelmayrctec-sprint/53876

Wouldn't this be a boost for SR and SL? (Yes, it does suck, but I bet Boyne ain't to broken up over it.)

Maybe in the short term, but long term it doesn't help sustain the industry and less competition is generally not in the best interest of the consumer. 

Junior said:

Wouldn't this be a boost for SR and SL? (Yes, it does suck, but I bet Boyne ain't to broken up over it.)

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