Maine's Saddleback Now Hopes To Open Late January With New Owner
In the latest update from Maine’s Saddleback, the resort has posted on their website that “prospective new owner and the Berry Family feel confident that we will complete a transaction - opening by late January.”
Dec. 19 marks the traditional opening day for Saddleback. Because the resort will not be operating until the projected late January date, they are offering passholders three options in consideration for their purchase of passes and tickets.
Passholders who choose to wait for the resort to open will receive an additional 50 percent resort credit added to the season pass that can be used anywhere in the resort, including food, tickets, lessons, rentals, seasonal locker rentals, future season or day passes. This may be used this year or next. Passholders can also ski this year or next, offering more flexibility because of the abbreviated season.
The resort is also offering full refunds on pass purchases any time between now and opening day.
In July, owner Mark Berry told SnoCountry.com the resort wouldn’t open this winter if it was not able to secure $3 milllion in financing by early August to replace a 51-year old double lift. They guaranteed then that all season pass holders will be reimbursed and all vendors will be paid in full if the mountain does not open for the ski season.
In September, the resort reported that although it had not been able to secure financing for the quad, “there has been significant interest in a purchase of the resort.”
Saddleback season pass holder Heidi Perkins, of Portland, Maine, will be holding out for that first opening day.
“We have been skiing at Saddleback for the past eight years. I'm sure there are other ski mountains out there that have the same feel as Saddleback, but Saddleback is different. The friendliness and smiles are in abundance throughout the lodge, short lift lines and slopes. You feel like you've come home when you ski at Saddleback. It's a big(ish)mountain with a small mountain feel. Everyone looks out for one another. Everyone know you up there. We are all family,” Perkins told us.
“We will be holding out for that first opening day! We couldn’t imagine skiing without our winter family. It is fantastic how the prospective new owners and the Berrys have given the season pass holders generous option," she said.
Numerous responses to the announcement on Saddleback’s Facebook page have reiterated the community’s dedication to this affordable family resort. Saddleback fan Robert Grant wrote, “Thank you Chris Farmer and Berry family for your efforts in passing the torch for a great ski mountain in time to give us hope for a salvaged season!” Andy Knowles posted, “IF YOU WILL OPEN WE WILL COME! SADDLEBACK ROCKS!”
Photos: Top -- Saddleback fans are hoping for snow and a new owner. (Saddleback/Facebook); Below -- Saddleback overlooks the Rangeley Lakes Region of Maine. (Saddleback/Facebook)