Boston investment company to buy Maine’s Saddleback ski area

  • The Saddleback ski area near Rangeley, Maine, is expected to reopen in 2020 under the ownership of the Boston investment company Arctaris Impact Fund. AP file

  • FILE - This March 2001, file photo, shows the Saddleback ski area near Rangeley, Maine. The ski area is expected to reopen in 2020 under the ownership of the Boston investment company Arctaris Impact Fund. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, file) Robert F. Bukaty

Published: 11/11/2019 11:55:33 AM

A Boston investment company that’s buying the shuttered Saddleback ski area plans to make significant improvements before reopening next season.

The Berry family that owns Saddleback announced Thursday that it reached an agreement this week to sell the resort to Arctaris Impact Fund.

Before it reopens between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2020, the new owners intend to replace the aging Rangeley Double chairlift with a modern quad lift, replace an aging T-bar, boost snow making and make improvements to the lodge, said Andy Shepard, who will be Saddleback’s new general manager.

The deal is expected to close next month. The sale price wasn’t disclosed.

Annual skier visits increased from 15,000 to more than 110,000 over the 12 years that the Berry family operated the ski mountain.

But the Berry family abruptly closed the resort after the 2014-15 season, citing the need for costly capital improvements.

The family said it sought a buyer with the resources to make upgrades. At one point, an Australian businessman planned to buy the resort before being arrested on fraud charges in his home country. An effort by local boosters also came up short.

All told, there were four or five buyers who expressed serious interest over the past five years but only a couple had the resources to complete the purchase and run the business, said Severin Beliveau, an attorney who represents the Berry family.

“We believe that Arctaris and its team possess all of the qualities necessary to make it successful. They have the capital to do it,” he said.

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