$3 Million to be exact. That’s what the Maine ski resort needs in order to replace the 4,717-foot Rangeley double chair that is almost 52 years old according to the Portland Press Herald. As of now, resort officials say that if they cannot replace the lift, the resort must close its doors this upcoming ski season.
“For the last several months, we’ve been actively seeking the necessary financing to replace the chairlift. However, time is running out. We only have a few weeks to make this work. In order to open this winter, we need to order the new lift by early August.”-Mark Berry (Owner of Saddleback Mountain Resort)
The new lift would provide the Berry family as well as Saddleback mountain with much long-term economic stability. Since the Berry family bought the resort in 2003, they have invested over 40 million into improving and upgrading lodges, lifts, and snowmaking systems. However, since the real estate crash in 2008, resort officials have been limited by the Rangley lift, which carries skiers from the base area to the highest elevation at the resort. And since that chair is a double, Saddleback has become known for its lengthy lines. With a new fixed grip quad, that would no longer be an issue.
“We’ve talked to a number of suitors and the Rangeley always comes up as the weak link in our operation. We have great snowmaking, an unbelievable variety of trails. The lodge is one of a kind. All the pieces are in place except for Rangeley.”
According to a Facebook Post from the Berry family, the purpose of the press releases is to get the word out so that a potential dark horse may come through with the funding during the final hour.
“Our main purpose for making this announcement now is to ask all of you – if you can recommend a good resource for obtaining financing in short order for the lift in case our current resources do not come through. If you have a viable option please give us a call or send us an email. Otherwise have a great summer and we hope to see you this winter or this fall at Fall Festival and Oktoberfest! We will keep you posted as to our progress.”– The Berry Family
Saddleback Mountain Stats:
Top Elevation- 4,120 ft.
Base Elevation- 2,460 ft.
Skiable Acres- 220
Snowmaking- 85% snowmaking coverage with unlimited water
Avg. Annual Snowfall- 225 inches
Lifts- 5 (2 quads, 2 doubles, 1 t-bar)