Owner: Saddleback Mountain Needs a New Chairlift or It Will Close

The family-owned ski resort needs $3 million to upgrade the old lift.

Saddleback Over Rangeley Lake by Paul Schultz via Flickr

Saddleback Over Rangeley Lake by Paul Schultz via Flickr

A popular northern Maine ski destination announced this week that they need a new chairlift or they will not open this winter.

The family owned Saddleback Mountain ski resort said in a release that they need to raise $3 million to replace an outdated and slow double chair with a four person chair in order to keep up with demand.

The tired 4,717 foot Rangeley Double Chair does not move enough people from the base of the mountain to the top anymore, creating a log jam of skiers at the bottom.

“For the last several months, we’ve been actively seeking the necessary financing to replace the chairlift, however time is running out,” said owner Mark Berry  in a  statement.

“We only have a few weeks to make this work. In order to open this winter, we need to order the new lift by early August.”

The Berry family has owned the mountain that employs 300 people in the Rangeley area of Maine since 2003. Since buying the mountain the Berry’s have installed two new quad lifts, added trails, improved the lodge, and upgraded snowmaking and grooming capabilities.

“This is certainly not where we hoped to be given our success in growing this mountain. It is our sincere hope that the funding will come through in time to purchase the new lift and have it operational for this year’s ski season. We are now calling on those who treasure what Saddleback is to the people of Maine to help us find a solution,” said Berry.

With over 66 trails and 2,000 vertical feet, the mountain is the third largest in Maine.