Saddleback Meeting - Page 5

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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat in January View Post
    The hangup all along has not been the ski area, it has been the real estate surrounding it. Expensive condos were built which were never sold and the Berry's are still holding them and the land around the area.

    What bothers me is it really is about the real estate. The mountain has been a money looser for everyone who has owned it. I have not heard one person say the mountain can turn a profit. Not a fan of state money (Maine is a poor state with a lot of infrastructure and small towns) being used to prop up real estate.

    Not a fan of the Berry's and definitely have had issue with some of the advice they have followed. Arctaris seems to be playing the game too. When they had their big public meeting to announce the purchase they skipped over the public funding part. To me, it seems they are trying to drive that now in a not upfront way.


    Rangeley as a town has suffered, but relative to other Maine towns is doing pretty well. Unemployment in the county like the rest of the state has steadily declined since Saddleback was shuttered. Seasonal wages at a ski area don't seem like the best place for the state to be putting its money.
    I agree directionally. To me, the issue with the Berry's is them acting like they're sitting on some kind of gold mine when they're not. The real estate is a crucial element of it.



    Sounds like we agree that the whole state of Maine is likely to struggle from urbanization trends - not just the rural areas.
    Ski season is always too short

  2. #42
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdironRider View Post
    The place is screwed due to the Berry's but keep on arguing semantics like they matter champ. Whether they have been closed for 4.34 years or 5 is irrelevant, what isn't is why, and the why is the Berry family.
    Agreed that the Berry's really are acting like 2-year olds here. Remember how they tried to play Maine and private and public lenders by holding the community hostage in order to get money to replace the double chair. Lame. Then they lined up a con artist to take over things and let the guy drag things out for years. Even worse. Now apparently they are ditching Arctaris for some "other" potentially interested parties. That's just terrible business. I hate to say it, Berry Family, but there ain't nobody else interested in dealing with you. As much as you might hate it, THIS was your best option NOW. Apparently a bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush here. But hell, let the place go NELSAP for your egos and see if it makes you feel any better.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  3. #43
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat in January View Post
    The recent turn of events stinks a lot more on the Arctaris side than the Berry's from my outside point of view.

    Why put out the letter you know will become public, but not make a public statement?

    If you have the parameters in place to complete a sale, why not continue forward and close the deal?

    Unless Arctaris can step up and provide some more details, I think they are just waging a propaganda war.
    I disagree. Arctaris had a deal and now the Berry's are trying to still hold-out hope for some "other" party that does not exist. The intent of the letter was two-fold--one to diplomatically educate a major local stakeholder as to the situation in order to try to get them to push the Berry's to live up to their end of the bargain; two, to diplomatically save face for other deals. From what I understand this fund is not JUST all about making tons of money, but is interested in improving communities. If I had to guess they offered the Berry's a low, but reasonable, offer and the Berry's just ain't having it and are playing hardball tactics to try to get more money.

    I feel less and less for the Berry's because, admittedly, it was an investment, but not all investments are successful. Their timing sucked. They should have gone ahead here and get what they could instead of letting it continue to sit. With the economy running on adrenaline, if there are no other serious buyers in the last year or so, then there aren't going to be any, especially when this economy slows down. But hell, what do I know?

    I hear that this guy Ariel Quiros has a lot of cash to invest into ski areas. Maybe they should call him or look for another fraudster.

    Again, holding the locals hostage. Nice folks.
    Last edited by thetrailboss; Sep 23, 2019 at 8:11 PM.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  4. #44
    Lol on Quiros. I could see the Berry's trying to sell to him for 1% more than a legitimate offer...

    I agree that the buyer was in the right to tug at the community's heartstrings. It's gotta be much better for the locals when people come to the area ~all year round vs. summer and fall. Not that the place booms in winter from what I could observe, but shutting off the weekend winter traffic must make it hard to justify opening tourism-based businesses in winter at all. Finding a new owner would be of benefit to the community and they must be sick of the Berry's. IDK if they show face in town around the, but IDK how they could.

    From the Berry's letter, it seems that they represented to the seller that the resort is much closer to opening than it was. The whole point of a first offer is to say "I'll buy for $x for the business if what you're telling me about a wide range of operational issues is true (subject to diligence of said issues)." It seems that the buyer found out that years of deferred maintenance of some old infrastructure made the price to open far exceed their expectations - as represented by the Berry's. My read is they rightly asked the Berry's to bridge the gap between what they represented and what the reality in the ground is.

    As an example - say you agree to pay $200k for a chalet in the woods that you know needs work. You say you'll buy it assuming the seller's estimate that it will cost $x to fix some damage and get the electric and sewer hooked back up. You agree to the $200k under the condition that you'll get an estimate for the required work. The estimate comes back and it turns out that the fixes will cost $x + $50k instead. It sounds like the buyer asked the Berry's to kick in the hypothetical $50k, and the Berry's are some combination of unwilling and/or unable to do so. Big surprise.

    When Cat in January argues the buyer should pony up and pay, he's saying his ethics suggest that he would still pay the $200k for the hypothetical chalet in the woods rather than $150k. I don't buy it.
    Ski season is always too short

  5. #45
    x10003q's Avatar
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    The Berrys first mentioned that Saddleback was for sale 12/2012 for $12million after claiming to have spent $40 million over the previous 10 years of ownership. They also claimed to have spent $13 million on the base lodge, despite the fact that the main double was 50 years old and needed to be replaced. They claimed in summer of 2015 that they could not open until they found some financing to replace this same double.

    After Saddleback was closed for a few years, they managed to sell the place to a clown from Australia. Anybody with an internet connection could see Majella had no money and no clue about ski areas - anybody except the Berrys and their advisors. Was anybody surprised when that deal failed?

    Now we see another deal fall apart with competing claims of not holding to the deal. Are we really to believe that the Berrys are once again just innocents who are getting the shaft again?

    The Berrys are lucky anybody is interested in taking on the Saddleback. It is a money pit now, and, thanks to the Berrys, needs millions of $$$ to reopen. They want to control the place even after they sell it. The Berrys are proof that money does not make you smart, it only makes you rich.

  6. #46
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x10003q View Post
    The Berrys first mentioned that Saddleback was for sale 12/2012 for $12million after claiming to have spent $40 million over the previous 10 years of ownership. They also claimed to have spent $13 million on the base lodge, despite the fact that the main double was 50 years old and needed to be replaced. They claimed in summer of 2015 that they could not open until they found some financing to replace this same double.

    After Saddleback was closed for a few years, they managed to sell the place to a clown from Australia. Anybody with an internet connection could see Majella had no money and no clue about ski areas - anybody except the Berrys and their advisors. Was anybody surprised when that deal failed?

    Now we see another deal fall apart with competing claims of not holding to the deal. Are we really to believe that the Berrys are once again just innocents who are getting the shaft again?

    The Berrys are lucky anybody is interested in taking on the Saddleback. It is a money pit now, and, thanks to the Berrys, needs millions of $$$ to reopen. They want to control the place even after they sell it. The Berrys are proof that money does not make you smart, it only makes you rich.
    Agreed.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by x10003q View Post
    After Saddleback was closed for a few years, they managed to sell the place to a clown from Australia. Anybody with an internet connection could see Majella had no money and no clue about ski areas - anybody except the Berrys and their advisors.
    Anyone who has ever watched an interview on CNBC would instantly know that Majella clown was not r hotshot real estate investor he pretended to be.
    Ski season is always too short

  8. #48
    x10003q's Avatar
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    The only way the Berrys get rid of Saddleback is if they give it away with a $5 million sweetner and $5 million might not be enough. Despite the awesome terrrain, no ski area operator will buy the place. All you need to know is Alterra, Epic (Peak), and CNL/Boyne (Sunday River/Sugarloaf owner/operator) have passed. When well funded ski resort companies, who have access to capital and room for error pass on SB, we have proof that Saddleback is not capable of operating in the black.

    The Berrys intent was noble, but their tactical and strategic deployment of their funds was poor. Now that SB has sat unused since 2015, there are a host of other issues with the operating lifts, snowmaking, and lodge. It is unfortunate for all involved and skiing public.

  9. #49
    MEtoVTSkier's Avatar
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    It's too bad that they never built a limited access highway between I95 and Gorham NH.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEtoVTSkier View Post
    It's too bad that they never built a limited access highway between I95 and Gorham NH.
    Be careful, you are about to stir up a hornet's nest. It's not for lack of proposals.

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