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The Saddleback Thread

Slidebrook87

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I recently skied Saddleback after their reopening with good snow conditions and 100% of their terrain open and let me just ask, where the hell is all the praise that this mountain deserves. I expected a good mountain, but nothing amazing. I was greeted by 2 fast lifts, a very nicely renovated lodge, great, interesting groomers with plenty of character, great snow, and incredible natural trails off of Rangeley. Now to Kennebago, the whole area feels like some of the most western-like skiing I have ever done in the east. I expected to get to the top to find some difficult terrain, but nothing insane. To my surprise, the terrain off this lift was insanely steep, technical, and interesting. Great glades, natural trails, and even groomed steeps like Tight Line. Also off of Kennebago are 2 stunning trails (America and Tri Color) which wind down the mountain and provide stunning views of the surrounding lakes. Not to mention the great, mellow terrain that they have for beginners too. I was VERY pleasantly surprised after my first visit and highly recommend it to anyone. Hopefully this thread can exist as a place to talk about the mountain, specifically post reopening. Attached are pictures from that visit.
 

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Smellytele

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It is a great place and I need to get back there. While I loved it before and it was my favorite ME mtn, the addition of the new lift must make a world of difference as well. The runs off the new lift have a lot of character and aren't just boring straight ASC trails of the 90's.
 

Edd

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There’s a long running thread on Saddleback here. I know DHS is going soon and I’m booked there next month. The Rangeley double chair was their Achilles heel as far as the on mountain experience and now it’s gone.

I talk up Saddleback to people but I’ve met plenty of native New Englanders that have never heard of it. Their biggest weakness is remote location. I’d like to see heavy marketing of the mountain because I want it to stay open. Hopefully they’ve been holding back on that because of COVID.

Nice pics Slidebrook.
 
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Slidebrook87

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They either need heavy marketing or to be a part of a multi resort pass. Arctaris is a company that focuses on investing in struggling communities to revitalize them. Saddleback was essentially reopened to benefit Rangely according to Arctaris. They have loads of money and plan to keep investing, but just having loads of money isn’t a sustainable strategy. They gotta do something to get the word out or increase skier visits by being on Ikon or something like the Indy pass. It would be a real shame if it wasn’t profitable enough and was forced to close again. Lift tickets are only around $70 midweek and when I went on a Friday there were a fair amount of people, but no crowded trails or lift lines.
 

machski

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Planning to get up there in March, but could happen next week if we take 2 cars up to the River (then I can make a solo strike up there and give the wife a day off with our dog). They had resisted joing any multi pass this season, but I feel like they would fit perfectly with the Indy pass. Would give them more exposure but not too much to start with. Will have to see how they move forward next season.
 

Cornhead

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Beautiful pics, thanks for posting, excited to return someday, only the lower mountain was open when I skied there.
 
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I've heard their ads a lot on BOS/MHT radio stations. Not sure what other marketing they're doing. Likewise hoping they join Indy next year.
 

billski

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Arctaris is a company that focuses on investing in struggling communities to revitalize them. Saddleback was essentially reopened to benefit Rangely according to Arctaris. They have loads of money and plan to keep investing, but just having loads of money isn’t a sustainable strategy.

They have a seven-year investment window. When they are done investing and are ready to cash out, it will only be attractive to a big operator, at which time it's likely to become another "resort". Enjoy the next eight years.....
 

Cobbold

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They have a seven-year investment window. When they are done investing and are ready to cash out, it will only be attractive to a big operator, at which time it's likely to become another "resort". Enjoy the next eight years.....
Who buys them? Ikon or epic or boyne?
 

Cobbold

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That is a long timeframe in the ski industry, you sure all 3 you named will be a thing by then?
Hope so, boyne has been around since the 50s if not more, the weakest of the three is alterra, but time will tell,
 

Cobbold

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It won't be Vail that much is a given.
How do you know it won’t be vail? And why did you think vail would not be interested? I think it’s too far north for vail, I think Shawnee peak is a better match.
 
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machski

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Hope so, boyne has been around since the 50s if not more, the weakest of the three is alterra, but time will tell,
Could be Powdr too, they may want to add another resort in Northeast to Killington. But as I said, a long time in ski industry and they need to build skier days to be attractive in a sale.
 

Newpylong

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How do you know it won’t be vail? And why did you think vail would not be interested? I think it’s too far north for vail, I think Shawnee
Because it is about as far off the spectrum of the Vail portfolio as you could get. Powdr fits the bill more than anything, but 7 years is a long time in this biz.
 

Cobbold

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Could be Powdr too, they may want to add another resort in Northeast to Killington. But as I said, a long time in ski industry and they need to build skier days to be attractive in a sale.
don’t think powdr can attract skiers to that part of Maine from the Boston area unless, they develop a mega pass of their own, saddleback is too close to Sunday River and sugarloaf for boyne, if saddleback goes on ikon does boyne yank Sunday River and sugarloaf off the mega pass? That leaves vail, but it seems too far north for them, I think Shawnee peak is a better fit. Fairbanks group may have an interest.
 

chuckstah

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This sounds positive for the future....

 
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