The defunct Maine ski resort could reopen next year.
Friday, November 8, 2019, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
According to a press release posted on Saddleback's web site, Arctaris has reached an agreement to acquire the defunct Maine resort. An estimated completion date of the transaction has not been announced.
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 will serve as CEO of Saddleback.
Arctaris had entered into an agreement to purchase Saddleback in June with an estimated completion date in November, however talks broke down in September. At the time, Arctaris was planning to reopen the defunct ski area this winter. According to the Portland Press Herald, Arctaris is now aiming for a 2020-21 reopening.
According to the Portland Press Herald, planned 2020 improvements include a high speed quad replacing the main Rangeley double chairlift, as well as a new T-Bar. Base facility improvements are also planned.
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.