Saddleback Could Reopen This Winter
Weekend and holiday operations are possible if the deal closes this fall.
Friday, August 23, 2019,

Rangeley Chairlift, July 2019
Rangeley Chairlift, July 2019

At a community meeting held in Rangeley last night, the Arctaris Impact Fund announced it is on "trending" toward acquiring and reopening Saddleback this winter.

According to a representative at the meeting, courtesy a video posted by the Hostel of Maine, "We have been working extremely hard with the Berrys. We are very pleased with the progress we are making. We are trending to a November closing."

If the deal closes, the group plans to re-certify all of the lifts and operate weekends and holidays this winter, expanding to full operations in 2020-21.

Based out of Boston, Arctaris Impact Fund was formed in 2018 to "invest in Low and Moderate Income communities throughout the U.S., addressing underserved and underbanked businesses that are poised for growth." The fund is a subsidiary of Arctaris, which was founded in 2009. According to the company's web site, Arctaris's co-founder is Jonathan D. Tower, who worked for Fidelity and IBM. Former Maine Winter Sports Center (Big Rock, Black Mountain, and Quoggy Jo) CEO Andy Shepard has been involved in the deal.

Sandy Chairlift, July 2019
Sandy Chairlift, July 2019

The Saddleback saga dates back to July 2015, when the Berry family, owners of the ski area since 2003, announced the Rangeley double chairlift was "at end of its useful life" and that operations would cease if the lift could not be replaced. The lift was not replaced and the ski area sat idle for the following two winters.

On June 28, 2017, the Berry family announced Saddleback was being sold to the Majella Group. At that time, Majella announced the sale would be completed later in the summer and the area would reopen with a new fixed grip quad chairlift and T-Bar. The deal was never completed, the lifts never installed, and the area never reopened. Majella CEO Sebastian Monsour was arrested for alleged investor fraud June 2018. Majella's Portland, Maine development company, 32 Thomas Street LLC, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2019. Majella branding has been removed from the Saddleback web presence.

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