New owner Sebastian Monsour, chief executive officer of the Majella Group, accepts the traditional wooden ski from former owner Bill Berry. (Saddleback/Facebook)
Australian company Majella Group has signed an agreement to purchase Maine’s Saddleback Mountain Resort from Bill and Irene Berry. The purchase includes all holdings of the resort, including the resort, base lodge, ski lifts and surrounding timberland, totaling 6,337 acres.
The deal is expected to finalize later this summer.
Monsour said the company hopes to realize the vision of a premiere, four-season resort that this region of Maine deserves.
“Our team understands the importance of Saddleback to the people of Maine, not only as an exceptional ski mountain, but as an economic driver for the entire Rangeley region. We hope to attract more people to the area and expose them to all it has to offer. We are excited to dig in and get to work,” Monsour said.
“Replacing the Rangeley Chair and T-Bar are at the top of our list, and from Mother Nature’s perspective, we are already up against the clock,” Monsour said.
The Majella Group has engaged Doppelmayr to begin the process. The Rangeley Double Chair will be replaced with a new TRISTAR Fixed Grip Quad Chair Lift that can support 1,500 skiers per hour. The Cupsuptic T-Bar will be replaced with a new Wind Resistant, Higher- Speed Surface Lift that can support 1,200 skiers per hour.
An opening schedule has not yet been determined. “Our commitment is not to over promise, but to move expeditiously and communicate transparently. We have much work to do. Please know, as soon as our team believes we can deliver a skiing experience that is consistent with our values and meets the needs of our skiing community, we will announce our plans for re-opening.” Monsour said.
Saddleback opened December 31, 1960 with a T- Bar and a lodge. In 2003, Maine residents Bill and Irene Berry purchased the mountain and added a new base lodge, installed two new quad chairlifts, added new trails and expanded snowmaking and glade skiing.
In July 2015, the Berry family announced they would not start winter operations unless they could replace the Rangeley Double Chair lift. The mountain has remained closed since that time.