• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Saddleback

jimmywilson69

Active member
Joined
Oct 18, 2010
Messages
1,612
Points
38
Location
Dillsburg, PA
5 years!!!! That is amazing generosity. I'm sure Rangley doesn't have thousands of kids in the school but still that's really cool and a great way to get kids and their full price paying parents on the hill.
 

MEtoVTSkier

Active member
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
1,231
Points
38
Location
Aroostook County, ME
saddlebackmaine


An anonymous donor, with close ties to the region, announced a gift to make Saddleback Mountain and skiing/riding accessible to every child in the Rangeley schools FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS! Yes, minds blown by this generosity and the positive impact it will have on so many kids.

Wow, very generous, for 5 Years.
 

mister moose

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
964
Points
18
Interesting article today, including the tidbit that they're targeting 120-150k skier visits per year, and that they went with the HSQ because otherwise they'd be running out of capacity around 100k.

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/09...s-to-build-solar-farm-new-mid-mountain-lodge/

Not quite what they said:

A third fix, he told commissioners, is underway in the installation of a new high-speed chairlift: “The capacity of the existing lift system would max out at about 100,000 skier visits a year and that is a number that cannot sustain Saddleback as a ski resort.”

They went with a quad because the existing [double] chairlift would have been unable to sustain 100k visits. The High Speed over Fixed Grip was a different decision. Both a HSQ and FGQ carry 2,400 skiers per hour, no difference except in ride time and operating costs.
 

Glade Monkey

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
42
Points
8
Location
Maine
so is it really reasonable to lure 120-150k skiers to Saddleback? Its really far away from anywhere...
They're actually aiming higher according to the article: “Saddleback needs to be in the 150,000-180,000 skier visits a year (range) to be economically sustainable,” Federle said.

Nearby Sugarloaf attracts 400K per season, also per the article. But they also have many, many times the number of condos so a built in clientele.
 

kbroderick

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
478
Points
18
Location
Maine
They're actually aiming higher according to the article: “Saddleback needs to be in the 150,000-180,000 skier visits a year (range) to be economically sustainable,” Federle said.

Nearby Sugarloaf attracts 400K per season, also per the article. But they also have many, many times the number of condos so a built in clientele.

Oops. Apparently I wasn't fully attentive when I read that.

Re: HSQ vs fixed-grip capacity: yes, theoretical capacity is the same, and it may actually be pretty close if you compare a carpet-load fixed-grip to a detachable. In the real world, global pandemics aside, it's much easier to fill more seats on a detach, with fewer stops, than on a fixed-grip lift with a normal load ramp. (or at least it sure seems that way—I'd love to see someone actually present numbers based on monitoring loading during peak times, but it would be tough to take the customers out of the equation—you'd need similarly experienced guests at both lifts).
 

Killingtime

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
265
Points
18
Location
Long Island, NY
The third difference, perhaps being the most important, is perception/marketing value.

It's been closed for awhile and to be honest, its fallen off the radar for a lot of people. Can they eventually do 40-50% of the business Sugarloaf does? Personally I think its going to be difficult. A lot of my ski friends have never even heard of the place. Everyone knows SR/SL. Saddleback is tentatively on my calendar during the week I was originally planning for Colorado.
 

Glade Monkey

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
42
Points
8
Location
Maine
It's been closed for awhile and to be honest, its fallen off the radar for a lot of people. Can they eventually do 40-50% of the business Sugarloaf does? Personally I think its going to be difficult. A lot of my ski friends have never even heard of the place. Everyone knows SR/SL. Saddleback is tentatively on my calendar during the week I was originally planning for Colorado.
Five years closed is a long time! The place almost ended up on the NELSAP list. They had to remove the old double chair and t-bar, as both were too far gone to repair.
This season there will only be three lifts: a fixed grip quad for the beginner area below the lodge, the new HSQ going up the middle, and the Kennebago FGQ going to the top. They are promising "fair pricing" for tickets and I bought a "test drive" pass good for any 3 days for $135. I agree that it has fallen off many radars, and think this season their customer base will be mostly Mainers including curious people coming over from Sugarloaf for a day or two. I also think some Jay Peak season passholders may take advantage of two free days there too. Opening day has been set for December 15th. So, if they close in mid April that gives 120+/- days and they would need to average 1000 people per day. I hope for the best and look forward to getting back.
 

dlague

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
8,789
Points
36
Location
CS, Colorado
Interesting article today, including the tidbit that they're targeting 150-180k skier visits per year, and that they went with the HSQ because otherwise they'd be running out of capacity around 100k.

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/09...s-to-build-solar-farm-new-mid-mountain-lodge/

Let’s go with the idea that they will be open for 150-160 days per season and let’s go with 150,000 skier visits

That averages out to about 1000 people skiing per day - why does that seem high? That is 1000 people every single day! Granted weekends will carry the weight but weekdays it probably will be close to a ghost town.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

kbroderick

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
478
Points
18
Location
Maine
Let’s go with the idea that they will be open for 150-160 days per season and let’s go with 150,000 skier visits

That averages out to about 1000 people skiing per day - why does that seem high? That is 1000 people every single day! Granted weekends will carry the weight but weekdays it probably will be close to a ghost town.

I'd be shocked if they ran lifts much, if any, beyond Thanksgiving to Easter. Going earlier requires taking advantage of marginal (i.e. inefficient) snowmaking windows; going much later it tends to be difficult to scare up customers.

With that said, assuming 36 weekend days (18 weeks, November to April), 150,000 / 36 is about 4,200 skier-visits averaged per weekend day. That's a bit less than a third of a busy day at Sunday River (based on the numbers cited in the podcast last year); even if you figured 3800 (with the rest being midweek skier-days), that seems...optimistic...for Rangely.
 

machski

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
2,104
Points
38
Location
Northwood, NH (Sunday River, ME)
I don't see this article saying they need to hit 150K skier/rider days THIS season, that is what they need to hit to be sustainable overall. I seriously doubt their business plan would hinge on making that volume of visits in their first season back. I would think 75-100K would put them over the moon this year, pointing to that 150K as being very attainable moving forward.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using AlpineZone mobile app
 

Killingtime

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
265
Points
18
Location
Long Island, NY
Let’s go with the idea that they will be open for 150-160 days per season and let’s go with 150,000 skier visits

That averages out to about 1000 people skiing per day - why does that seem high? That is 1000 people every single day! Granted weekends will carry the weight but weekdays it probably will be close to a ghost town.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I think 120 skier days is more likely (roughly December to March). If they make it into April I would expect it to be weekends only. Anyway, I've already put Saddleback is on the list this year. If the experience is good I'll be repeat customer. If not, its back to SR and SL for my Maine trips.
 

kbroderick

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
478
Points
18
Location
Maine
I don't see this article saying they need to hit 150K skier/rider days THIS season, that is what they need to hit to be sustainable overall. I seriously doubt their business plan would hinge on making that volume of visits in their first season back. I would think 75-100K would put them over the moon this year, pointing to that 150K as being very attainable moving forward.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using AlpineZone mobile app

Agreed; based on what they've said so far, I'd expect it's highly likely they have a master plan to go with that level of visitation, with a plausible timeframe to get there. I just remain skeptical given the driving distance to major population centers, particularly the "it feels like we're about to hear banjo music" element on a non-trivial chunk of the drive.
 

x10003q

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
746
Points
16
Location
Bergen County, NJ
After 5 years with the doors closed and the effect of COVID, Saddleback might do 50K visits this season. They will need to take 120K visits from Sunday River and Sugarloaf going forward to make SB sustainable (Actaris number). I wonder what the plan is to try and capture these skiers visits. Currently, there is not enough lodging around SB to support this level of visits.
 

Smellytele

Active member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
7,556
Points
38
Location
Right where I want to be
When they were opened they stole me from sugarloaf a few times a year. Much better doing a 3 /4 day weekend splitting my days between the 2. Don’t care to ski Sunday River. Although I use to a lot back in the early 90’s.


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2015
Messages
129
Points
18
After 5 years with the doors closed and the effect of COVID, Saddleback might do 50K visits this season. They will need to take 120K visits from Sunday River and Sugarloaf going forward to make SB sustainable (Actaris number). I wonder what the plan is to try and capture these skiers visits. Currently, there is not enough lodging around SB to support this level of visits.

This is why it went unsold for so long. Numbers don’t add up. Arctaris is not in the ski business. Their stated plan is to flip it in under ten years.
 

Glade Monkey

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
42
Points
8
Location
Maine
30 jobs (many with multiple openings) are now posted for up there if anyone wants to move up and enjoy the whole season as most include a season pass.
 
Top