Saddleback Sold. Deal Reopens One Of Maine’s Largest Ski Areas, Closed Since 2015

The Berry Family, owners of Saddleback Mountain, have reached an agreement with Arctaris Impact Fund of Boston for the purchase and sale of Saddleback, Inc. and Saddleback Land and Timber Corp.

The Berry family has owned Saddleback since 2003 and invested more than $40 million in improvements to expand and upgrade the ski resort. In 2014-2015 when the Berrys determined that major capital expenditures were necessary for the continued operation of the mountain, they decided to look for a buyer who had the resources and vision to continue the revitalization that the family started.

Arctaris first expressed an interest in the property in 2018. This week, they have finalized an agreement with the Berry Family to purchase and reopen the mountain. “This beautiful mountain has so much potential and it looks like the Buyer has a strong plan moving forward. We are excited for the acquisition to be complete for the Saddleback Resort community and the entire Rangeley area” said Dawn Klein of Lakehome Group, real estate broker for the Berry Family.

With an elevation of 4,120 feet, Saddleback is one of the largest mountains in Maine. It offers 2,000 vertical feet of skiing and some of the toughest expert terrain in the East. In the twelve years the Berrys operated the mountain, annual skier visits increased from 15,000 to more than 110,000.

Saddleback's terrain consist of 38% Beginner trails (25 trails), 29% Intermediate trails (19 trails) and 33% Advance and Expert trails (22 trails). There are also five (5) ski lifts, which include two, fixed grip quads, two fixed grip doubles, and a T-bar[1][2]

The mountain is broken up into three sections, the upper, middle, and lower sections, which consist of terrain from double black diamond (hardest) to green circle (easiest). Each section of the mountain is serviced by a variety of lifts.

The lower mountain consists of 18 beginner trails, and is serviced by the South Branch Quad, and the Sandy Double Chair. The terrain is very mild and flat, and most of it is located below the base lodge which helps to keep skier traffic to a minimum. Saddleback sells a separate ski ticket on certain weekends and holidays, which is only good for the South Branch Quad. This allows for the ski area to reduce the price of the ticket because it only allows access to a limited amount of terrain. 

The middle mountain consists mostly of intermediate terrain, with a few expert trails thrown in. The terrain is serviced by the Rangeley Chair and the Cupsuptic T-Bar. One beginner trail Hudson Highway (a former jeep trail) runs from the top of the Rangeley Chair and Cupsuptic T-Bar to the base area. This section of the mountain consist of notable trails such as Grey Ghost, which has many head walls, flats, and curves, making it a fun and popular trail. Blue Devil is another popular trail because of its classic New England style, which is very curvy and narrow to protect the snow on the trail from the wind. Since the new ownership, four new trails have been cut in this area.

The upper mountain, also referred to as "The Kennebago Steeps, consisting of mostly advanced and expert trails". It is serviced solely by the Kennebago Quad chairlift, which was installed in the summer of 2008 to replace the Kennebago T-Bar. It has such famous trails as Muleskinner, Intimidator, Governor, and Nightmare Glades. It also has two intermediate trails, Tri-Color, which runs from the summit, and America, which is the continuation of the former jeep trail. Since the new ownership, seven new trails have been cut in this area. In 2013, Saddleback cut an extensive glade trail named "Casablanca".

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