Rangeley, ME – A week after confirming that they will not build a new quad chairlift this year to replace their 51-year-old primary Rangeley Double, Saddleback’s owners are still hopeful that a buyer can be found to salvage its ski season this winter.
Earlier this summer, officials at the resort in western Maine had hoped to secure $3 million in financing to replace the Rangeley lift, but that failed to materialize and time for any resort buyer to install a new lift this summer ran out. Members of the Berry family, Saddleback’s current owners, remain optimistic that a buyer who will run the resort this winter without the Rangeley lift can be found, or perhaps run the resort themselves this season on a limited basis. They posted a claim on Facebook last week to have five potential buyers at the table, including four willing to run the resort in its current configuration this winter, and have indicated that they will make a decision by early October.
What is unclear is why Saddleback could not operate this winter with the existing Rangeley Double. Saddleback officials have previously indicated that the lift is safe and is able to pass state safety inspections.
After investing $40 million into the resort, the Berry family has lost money at Saddleback every year since 2008 when the real estate market tanked. It has been on the market since 2012.