The existing Big Squaw area will continue to operate this winter.
Friday, November 18, 2022, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
The abandoned upper base area (2019)
In a letter sent to the Eastern Maine Development Corporation on Wednesday, Treadwell Franklin Infrastructure Capital and Big Lake Development Company announced they have halted redevelopment plans of the Big Squaw ski area.
The development team wrote that it "no longer has any clear right, title or interest in the property, or a clear path to acquiring the site," but added that "It is not beyond the realm of possibility that a smaller project can emerge, or another development team could step forward with a renewed vision for the permitted project."
Big Lake Development Company reportedly entered into an agreement to purchase the 1,200+ acre Big Squaw property in 2019. According to the Bangor Daily News, Big Lake Development was issued a $385,000 loan by the Eastern Maine Development Corp.
Big Lake Development Company, LLC is operated by Perry Williams of Spruce Head, Maine. Williams was previously employed by Majella in 2017 during the Australian company's initial efforts to reopen Saddleback Mountain Resort. The group had bold development plans, including a high-speed six-pack chairlift, a hotel, a brew pub, and condominiums.
In a Facebook post earlier today, the non-profit operator of Big Squaw (Friends of the Mountain) announced:
"This season you will find major improvements to our parking area. This investment will benefit staff, volunteers and all of our skier visitors. Not everybody skis, but we all have to park. The lodge is getting a fresh coat, inside and out. Our lifts are well on their way with the inspection and maintenance process too. We are so thankful for everyone that continues to get up, show up and do what needs to be done. We couldn’t do this without you. Opening day is 18" away."
Squaw Mountain debuted in 1963 as a T-Bar served ski area, expanding its vertical drop to 1,700 feet with the installation of a double chairlift in 1967. In 1974, Scott Paper Company gave the resort to the State of Maine, which struggled with it for a dozen years before selling it in 1986. The resort subsequently went through a series of owners and operators until James Confalone acquired it in 1995. Confalone operated the entire ski area until a March 2004 upper chairlift failure, and has subsequently faced numerous fines and legal actions. After sitting idle for a few years, The Friends of Squaw Mountain lower mountain operations for the 2012-13 season.