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Saddleback Mountain Cooperative - Information Thread & Survey

Newpylong

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2 grand for 1 adult and 1 teen/kid pass, at Saddleback. Oh you get a free drink at a restaurant.

I wish all of you luck but you aren't going to succeed with that pricing.

With a mindset that this is competing with typical yearly season passes, then no it isn't a good deal. But it isn't - this is for people with a stake in the mountain to make an investment, the return is the mountain continues to operate. Better than any season's pass.

However If I were an investor or potential customer what I would be wary of is the front and center mention of expansion plans. I think they are going to find any and all capital that is acquired either via donation, membership fees, or operating revenue is going to need to go back into operational costs and capital investment to existing infrastructure. Operating a ski area is highly costly and ebbs and flows with the weather. I find it surprising that they mention expansion at all rather than presenting the business/development plan as operating the (existing) ski area in a sustainable way.
 
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mbedle

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First off, my hat is off to these guys for trying to bring back SB in some shape or form. After going through the website and the draft membership form, I do have a couple of questions. How much are the owners of SMCR putting into the pot? Is the initial 4 million part of the 25 million that SMF is going to try to raise? When will SMCR transfer the ownership of the ski area and assets to the SMF? What, if any, will SMF pay SMCR for the ski area? What will trigger that transfer and what guarantee is in place to make sure that happens? Their website talks about "Shares" in SMCR, however, the draft form is for a membership in "Saddleback Mountain" with non binding, advisory only voting power. Is there still an option to buy actual shares in SMCR? Before I make any type of donation to this organization, I would want to know their capabilities in managing this transaction, operating a resort and making the correct decisions. Understanding that SMCR is not going to publish their business model, it might be helpful to some people if they provided a little more insight into how the relationship works between them and the SMF. Where in the big picture is SMCR's revenue stream coming from? Management fees, ticket sales, development oversight fees? Ultimately, after taking over ownership of the ski area, is SMF's only source of income the royalties generated by real estate sales?

As far as the draft membership form - proofread, the donation levels listed in the total section and description section are different. Might be good to add who to make the checks out to for the membership. Needs to be clearer about what you are becoming a member to. Given the amount that some people maybe donating, it might be a good idea to include some legal backup to this document.
 

MEtoVTSkier

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With a mindset that this is competing with typical yearly season passes, then no it isn't a good deal. But it isn't - this is for people with a stake in the mountain to make an investment, the return is the mountain continues to operate. Better than any season's pass.

However If I were an investor or potential customer what I would be wary of is the front and center mention of expansion plans. I think they are going to find any and all capital that is acquired either via donation, membership fees, or operating revenue is going to need to go back into operational costs and capital investment to existing infrastructure. Operating a ski area is highly costly and ebbs and flows with the weather. I find it surprising that they mention expansion at all rather than presenting the business/development plan as operating the (existing) ski area in a sustainable way.

I think it's a little pricey for the average middle-class family, but it's not totally outrageous either. I think it'd be an easier sell if the voting rights were more along the lines of MRG's

Completely agree on the expansion being front and center. It's the first thing that turned me off on it. Especially on the Baselodge... wasn't that just re-done for many millions?

I think people really want to hear, and rally around the Rangley being replaced. I think that if they can get it installed for the 500k downpayment, then that should be what the focus is on. I'm also hoping that while they are talking fixed-grip, that they are giving serious consideration to it being carpet-fed and run at the 600fpm rate (ala Spillway). It will quiet some that are still hoping for high-speed detachable.

At the end of the day, at least SOMETHING is happening with Saddleback's situation.
 

Jully

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First off, my hat is off to these guys for trying to bring back SB in some shape or form. After going through the website and the draft membership form, I do have a couple of questions. How much are the owners of SMCR putting into the pot? Is the initial 4 million part of the 25 million that SMF is going to try to raise? When will SMCR transfer the ownership of the ski area and assets to the SMF? What, if any, will SMF pay SMCR for the ski area? What will trigger that transfer and what guarantee is in place to make sure that happens? Their website talks about "Shares" in SMCR, however, the draft form is for a membership in "Saddleback Mountain" with non binding, advisory only voting power. Is there still an option to buy actual shares in SMCR? Before I make any type of donation to this organization, I would want to know their capabilities in managing this transaction, operating a resort and making the correct decisions. Understanding that SMCR is not going to publish their business model, it might be helpful to some people if they provided a little more insight into how the relationship works between them and the SMF. Where in the big picture is SMCR's revenue stream coming from? Management fees, ticket sales, development oversight fees? Ultimately, after taking over ownership of the ski area, is SMF's only source of income the royalties generated by real estate sales?

As far as the draft membership form - proofread, the donation levels listed in the total section and description section are different. Might be good to add who to make the checks out to for the membership. Needs to be clearer about what you are becoming a member to. Given the amount that some people maybe donating, it might be a good idea to include some legal backup to this document.

This. Hats off to Peter and everyone for getting something done though. It was no small task!
 

tipsdown

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First off, my hat is off to these guys for trying to bring back SB in some shape or form. After going through the website and the draft membership form, I do have a couple of questions. How much are the owners of SMCR putting into the pot? Is the initial 4 million part of the 25 million that SMF is going to try to raise? When will SMCR transfer the ownership of the ski area and assets to the SMF? What, if any, will SMF pay SMCR for the ski area? What will trigger that transfer and what guarantee is in place to make sure that happens? Their website talks about "Shares" in SMCR, however, the draft form is for a membership in "Saddleback Mountain" with non binding, advisory only voting power. Is there still an option to buy actual shares in SMCR? Before I make any type of donation to this organization, I would want to know their capabilities in managing this transaction, operating a resort and making the correct decisions. Understanding that SMCR is not going to publish their business model, it might be helpful to some people if they provided a little more insight into how the relationship works between them and the SMF. Where in the big picture is SMCR's revenue stream coming from? Management fees, ticket sales, development oversight fees? Ultimately, after taking over ownership of the ski area, is SMF's only source of income the royalties generated by real estate sales?

As far as the draft membership form - proofread, the donation levels listed in the total section and description section are different. Might be good to add who to make the checks out to for the membership. Needs to be clearer about what you are becoming a member to. Given the amount that some people maybe donating, it might be a good idea to include some legal backup to this document.

All great questions...I can speak to the relationship between SMCR and SMF, which clears up a few of the Q's. The SMF, when approved, will sit atop the organization. They will lease the land to SMCR (don't know for what, ask the tax attorney). As I understand it, there will essentially be 3 ways to invest...The membership as illustrated for $500-$25,000, the shares for > $25,000, and Tax Deductible Donations under the 501c3 foundation...That's not yet available since approval is pending. SMCR revenue stream will come from land royalties, continued sale of shares/memberships, and most importantly grants and tax credits from the SMF...The SMF is the key to the model. The $4mil raise is part of the $25mil campaign. The projected numbers support the expansion. Of course land sales will dictate how quickly the development moves along..Ticket prices and season's passes figures are still being hashed out.

The biggest takeaway from talking with the key stakeholders is even in it's current state, the model wasn't all that broken. Staying mostly debt-free, especially under this model is critical. With no debt (and $2mil in working capital) they should be able to make money from the jump, with year 1 being the exception...It's too late in the game to make money this year but it still may be worthwhile to open to get the community behind the initiative...Rangeley lost almost $20mil in revenue last year with Saddleback closed.
 

Jully

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That makes more sense, thank you for clarifying! So full shares are also available it sounds like? Just for a substantially larger price than the mrg share, but this isn't the mrg model obviously.
 

salsgang

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All good feedback and discussion. Posting of the preliminary membership form all intended to get the juices flowing and discussion going. Form is undergoing final review and edit as I understand it. Looking at the foundation website (http://www.skisaddlebackme.com/) it says 'under construction' so more news soon I trust.

There is a public meeting at Rangeley High School on Weds Nov 2 at 5:30pm. Presentation followed by Q&A.
 

bdfreetuna

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keep the faith
So there will be visual status symbols based on apparel - how will the Red Tiger Hat guy feel next to the Dark Wizard Ski Jacket guy?

Hopefully Red Tiger Hat guy derives his self-confidence from sources other than his new Red Tiger Hat as well.
 

SIKSKIER

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From watching that FB video,I didn't get the feeling this was going to allow SB to open this year based on needing to raise that 4 million to then start the process.Seemed unlikely but maybe I missed something.
 

tipsdown

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From watching that FB video,I didn't get the feeling this was going to allow SB to open this year based on needing to raise that 4 million to then start the process.Seemed unlikely but maybe I missed something.

You didn't miss anything..They're being careful not to over-promise and under-deliver. If they raise the money quickly and the community gets behind this with their wallets, they will likely open in some capacity this year...
 

VTKilarney

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially compared to Mad River Glen. A major advantage I can see with Mad River Glen is that shareholders in a co-op feel a sense of ownership with their investment. MRG investors are all in it together rather than hitching their wagon to somebody else.

But that may prove to be academic. What matters most is that enough people are out there who want to support the mountain - however that support takes shape. Saddleback is just too good of a ski area to sit dormant - so my fingers are crossed.
 

salsgang

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An email went out announcing the start of the fundraising effort. Below is a pasted copy of it. It's going to be an interesting few weeks!

Congratulations!

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we are delighted to let you know that we have reached an agreement to acquire the Saddleback Mountain Ski area assets from the current owners. This is a huge conservation and economic development step for the Rangeley region. If successful, this will assure the continuous operation of the ski area within a well-capitalized and stable financial framework. When this transaction is completed, the community will own and control the resort:

- The ski area real estate will be owned by the Saddleback Mountain Foundation (SMF), a non-profit whose mission will be to preserve the beautiful pristine region for generations to come.

- The resort will be operated by the Saddleback Mountain Community Resort (SMCR, LLC), a community owned company that plans to reinvest all profits back into the resort.

We are truly humbled by the outpouring of support for this initiative. Through the survey and verbally, from home owners, businesses, and dedicated Saddlebackers, we have already obtained commitments approaching $5,000,000. Of course, we can only accomplish this if we receive the contributions from everyone who committed their support.

We now need to raise $4,000,000 (from the $5,000,000 in commitments) in order to secure our exclusive right to buy the resort and to fully capitalize the operating company. If we don’t reach this target, the chance to build this incredible lasting foundation for future generations could be lost.

We are raising funds by selling memberships in the Saddleback Community Resort. Please look closely through the attached forms, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, and send in your payments as soon as possible.

Thanks again for helping to preserve this priceless place for generations to come. As a founding member, you, through your contribution today, are making history.

Skifully!

Peter Stein,
President,SMCR,LLC

Payment Form https://gallery.mailchimp.com/fe4bb1d0fd62ea84c5be652ad/files/PAYMENT_FORM_General_1611_02.pdf

Saddleback Resort Membership Enrollment Form https://gallery.mailchimp.com/fe4bb1d0fd62ea84c5be652ad/files/Enrollment_Form_1610_12.pdf

FAQ
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/fe4bb1d0fd62ea84c5be652ad/files/FAQ_General_1611_02.pdf
 
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Smellytele

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I guess I may have missed the part where Peter and the SMCR board (if there is any) are putting in money. Not trying to be "that guy" but if they need 4m and only 4m to buy it then why does it all need to come from "memberships".
 

joshua segal

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The Saddleback Foundation FB Group has just changed from Private to Public if any of you want to follow the progress. Don't underestimate Peter Stein and/or the team he has assembled.
 

salsgang

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Latest update from the community group / Peter Stein.

Our fundraising is now underway!!! In case you have questions, we are planning informational meetings for Thursday, November 10th in Portland at Three Dollar Deweys at 6pm and in Farmington, on Monday November 14th location and time TBD. There are some of us (read me) that love nothing more than answering questions about this initiative.

It has been a short two weeks since we reached a complete agreement with the Berry Family. Since then we have:

-Formalized a resort membership package that has received excellent reviews.
-Arranged and conducted a press conference in Portland and a town meeting in Rangeley.
-Geared up personnel and other resources for fundraising
-Initiated and developed a first version of a web site.
-Set up bank accounts with lock box services.
-Developed a fund raising package.
-Merged and managed mailing lists

Our team consisting of many volunteers with solid professional experience, is working feverishly to make the dream of a community owned resort a reality!!

Many of you have asked for a more financial and operational information. We are working on materials to address these and other questions, which we plan to distribute next week.

We have received a great many excellent suggestions on how to improve the resort membership structure. We are listening and tracking all of these ideas. While we cannot make changes to the membership plans during this campaign, once we reach our $4,000,000 target we will examine all the input we received to look for ways to make our membership plans even better. At that time, members will have the opportunity change their plans to take advantage of any new benefits we offer.

If you have already sent in your check THANK YOU. If not, please send it in today. The sooner we can reach our $4,000,000 fundraising target, the sooner we will be able to secure the future of Saddleback Mountain.

Many of you have asked us about operating the lifts this winter. With this goal in mind, we are making a special push to see if we can reach our fundraising target before Cyber Monday. Everyone who sends in their membership payment before November 27, 2016 will get the following extra benefits:

-Royal Tiger/Green Weaver members will have the option of replacing their minor pass with:
-A book of 10 day tickets
-A senior pass (valid for skiers over 65)

Tightline and Dark Wizard Couples special:
Add a Dark Wizard membership for your spouse for an extra $5,000 or a Tightline membership for an extra $3,000, with the purchase of the corresponding plan for yourself. Simply add this fee to your enrollment payment!

All members will AUTOMATICALLY get these benefits when we receive their payment by thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing you at our informational meetings. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@skisaddlebackme.com.


Skifully, Peter Stein

Attachments:
Enrollment Form
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/fe4bb..._Membership_Enrollment_Form_1610_12_1_.01.pdf

Payment Form
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/fe4bb1d0fd62ea84c5be652ad/files/PAYMENT_FORM_General_1611_02.01.pdf

FAQ
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/fe4bb1d0fd62ea84c5be652ad/files/FAQ_General_1611_02.01.pdf


P.S. If you would like to upgrade your membership to take advantage of our Cyber Monday Special, simply send in the form with the incremental payment, indicate the plan you would like, and indicate on the form that you are upgrading your membership.
 
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