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Saddleback Mountain: Australian real estate developer buys

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:12 am
by Tom Nolette
Ski industry experts voice concerns about Saddleback’s future if area remains idle
The ski area outside Rangeley failed to open last winter and remains mum about its future.

... But Saddleback never opened last winter, and details of a sale never materialized. Neither the Berry family nor Saddleback General Manager Chris Farmer returned phone calls for this story. Updates on Saddleback’s future have been communicated almost solely through its Facebook page, with the last post on Feb. 8.

“I think the longer (Saddleback) sits idle the more difficult the resurrection will become,” said Les Otten, the former CEO of American Skiing Co., which operated several resorts, including Sugarloaf and Sunday River, in the 1980s and ’90s.

“I don’t think that the closure the past year is necessarily a long-term negative. But a buyer would rather buy something that’s operating. So I think it complicates it.” ... ains-idle/
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Re: Saddleback Mountain: cloud of uncertainty hangs over...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:36 am
by MBRer
Saddleback ski area draws attention of co-op group
Though no plan has been completed and no money has been raised, skiers and businesses have combined to possibly purchase the resort.

Ski industry experts are closely watching an effort by a group hoping to raise $20 million to purchase Saddleback and create what would become only the nation’s second cooperatively owned ski resort.

Peter Stein, a home owner at Saddleback and the chair of the nonprofit Saddleback Mountain Foundation, said his group had discussions with the Berry family, which owns the Rangeley ski area.

But Stein cautions that his group – composed of Saddleback skiers and local business owners – still has much work to do, including creating a business plan. The group has yet to raise any money, he said. ... -op-group/
Portland Press Herald - allows 10 free reads per month for non-subscribers.

Re: Saddleback Mountain: cloud of uncertainty hangs over...

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:33 am
by MBRer
Groups’ plan to buy idle Saddleback ski area spurs hope – and doubt
Ski industry experts are hopeful that a sale will save Saddleback, but some business owners in the Rangeley area say they have to know more before they can decide whether to donate to the initiative.

News that a coalition of groups is working to purchase Saddleback ski area got a mixed reaction Thursday, with some business owners in Rangeley remaining skeptical while ski industry experts were cautiously optimistic.

The Saddleback Mountain Foundation, a group of Rangeley-area businesses and season-pass holders, announced Thursday that it had reached a verbal agreement to purchase the core ski area from the Berry family for $6 million, $2.2 million in cash and a $3.8 million loan financed by the seller, foundation chairman Peter Stein said. The Berry family also would receive royalties from land sales during any development, he said. ... yer-mixed/

Re: Saddleback Mountain: Australian real estate developer b

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 am
by Tom Nolette
Australian real estate developer buys Saddleback

...A top priority is to replace the Rangeley chairlift and T-bar. They know they are already against the clock to get the resort and mountain area prepared to open, said Fred LaMontagne, former Portland fire chief and CEO of Majella's western region and now of Saddleback.

The group has engaged Doppelmayr, “the world's leading manufacturer of ski lifts, to begin the process,” LaMontagne said.

The Rangeley double chairlift will be replaced with a new TRISTAR Fixed Grip Quad Chair Lift that can support 1,500 skiers per hour, LaMontagne said. The Cupsuptic T-bar will be replaced with a new wind-resistant, higher-speed surface lift that can support 1,200 skiers per hour.

When completed, Saddleback will feature one of the newest lift systems in all of New England, he said.

An opening schedule had not been determined. ... ck/2157576

Re: Saddleback Mountain: cloud of uncertainty hangs over...

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:08 am
by Tom Nolette
Mike Salisbury‏ @MaineSkiFamily
On my blog some observations on the latest @SaddlebackMaine developments. ... eback.html … #skimaine #skitheeast

Re: Saddleback Mountain: Hopes, fears ride on prospective bu

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:45 am
by Tom Nolette
Hopes, fears ride on Saddleback’s prospective buy
Neighbors of the western Maine mountain worry that it may lose its small-town appeal as it gets much-needed capital improvements. be sure, today Rangeley, which sits below Saddleback Mountain beside the Rangeley lakes, is full of locals, avid skiers and business owners who are thrilled the beloved ski area that has been closed for two years may reopen again if a sale is completed this summer. But will it retain its charm and that outback feel that sets it apart from Maine’s other two big ski areas: Sunday River and Sugarloaf, both of which are run by a conglomerate?

Many wonder, and some worry.

“I think it’s great for the region and great for the state of Maine if they can do that and still keep the small-town feel of the mountain, then I’m all for it,” said Russ Brooks of Rangeley Plantation. ... -concerns/

Re: Saddleback Mountain: Hopes, fears ride on prospective bu

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:57 am
by Tom Nolette
Saddleback sits idle for 3rd straight year as ski season begins
The Majella Group, which agreed in June to buy the resort, said the sale is progressing but offers no timetable for a possible opening.

...But the sale has not been completed. A post Thursday morning on Saddleback’s Facebook page – Majella’s preferred medium for sharing information about the ski area – offered little clarity about when a deal might be finalized.

Monsour, who signed the Facebook post, said the Majella Group is “continuing to work to successfully finalize this sale. I am whole-heartedly committed to this deal.”

He called it a “complex and challenging deal. It has posed numerous challenges to our investors.”

Monsour added that replacing the Rangeley chairlift – a needed upgrade at the mountain – has been put off to next season. He said he remains committed to open the mountain in a limited capacity this winter “if possible.” ... on-begins/

Re: Saddleback Mountain: Hopes, fears ride on prospective bu

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:34 am
by Tom Nolette
Saddleback buyer reportedly won’t ‘lose any sleep’ if resort doesn’t reopen
In an audio recording sent to News Center Maine purported to be of Sebastian Monsour, the Australian developer tells his staff that the EB-5 visa program for foreign investors is the main objective of his deal to buy the resort.

... That’s according to a purported audio recording of Sebastian Monsour sent to News Center Maine by a former employee of the Majella Group of Brisbane, Australia.

“The EB-5 program is the reason we are actually buying Saddleback,” Monsour tells the group at a meeting in September 2017. “The mountain and opening the mountain is something we would like to achieve, but if we don’t, we are not going to lose any sleep with regards to it.”

Monsour had promised change after three ski seasons of idle lifts and decreased tourism in Rangeley. On June 28, at a news conference to announce his company’s intent to buy the idle ski resort, he told the crowd that he planned to make Saddleback Mountain “the premier ski resort in North America.” ... nt-reopen/

Re: Saddleback Mountain: Hopes, fears ride on prospective bu

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:40 am
by Tom Nolette
Foundation that tried to buy Saddleback is still meeting in case deal crumbles
The group hopes to be in position to purchase the ski area if the Majella Group doesn't.

...The announcement comes after WCSH-TV revealed an audiotape in which an Australian businessman who plans to buy the mountain is heard saying he “wouldn’t lose any sleep” if it remains closed.

Sebastian Monsour, group CEO for the Majella Group, has refuted the report, which suggested he was more focused on using the mountain as a pathway to permanent residency through the EB-5 visa program.

The Saddleback Mountain Foundation is not actively engaged in negotiations with the mountain’s owner. But the foundation continues to meet regularly ... l-meeting/