Saddleback May Close if Financing for Chairlift Not Procured
Ownership has announced ski area will not open in 2015-16 unless the Rangeley double can be replaced.
Monday, July 20, 2015, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
The Berry family has announced today that Saddleback will close unless financing for a new chairlift can be obtained this month. According to a press release, employees and property owners have been notified of the decision and season pass holders will be refunded if the area does not open for the 2015-16 season.
The Rangeley Double, a 1963 Mueller lift modified with a new Doppelmayr-CTEC drive in 2004, is the lift the ski area has determined must be replaced this summer in order to continue operations. The drive terminal was placed on the market for $200,000 in June, and the entire lift for $350,000 in July. The ownership reports that $3 million is needed for a new lift, and that they are attempting to secure financing from three lenders.
Bill and Irene Berry purchased the Rangeley ski area and thousands of acres surrounding it for a reported $8 million in 2003, following an announcement from owner Donald Breen that it would close. Two new quad chairlifts were installed in subsequent years in conjunction with a major base lodge expansion.
The area has been reportedly for sale since 2012. In May 2014, the Berrys sold 1,750 acres.
Mark Berry is quoted in the press release as saying, "[I]n order for Saddleback to be sustainable for the long-term, we've decided the lift must be replaced. 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."
Berry goes on to say, "[W]e are now calling on those who treasure what Saddleback is to the people of Maine to help us find a solution."