Saddleback Mountain in Maine returns Dec. 15
Back in the Saddle
When Saddleback Mountain in Maine stopped turning lifts in 2015 because of financial challenges, no one knew what the future would hold. It could have been another sad chapter in an all too familiar story of local mountains closing their doors for good. But here we are, 11 months into new ownership, 9 months into a pandemic, and just over a week until opening day. On December 15th, Saddleback… is back.
The Snow Report sat down with, ski industry veteran and Saddleback’s Director of Marketing, Doc Tulin, to hear about the reopening straight from the horse’s mouth. Since Boston-based investment firm, Arctaris, purchased the resort in January of this year, Doc let us know about the millions of dollars already invested, and tens of millions more planned over the next 5 or 10 years.
But that isn’t what is going to make Saddleback great again. In our conversation, it was clear that there are lots of improvements already being made. Improvements that were necessary and important. For instance, they took out the Rangeley Double Chair and put in a Rangeley Quad. This takes uploading capacity from 750 skiers and riders an hour up to 2,450 people. That means shorter lines, shorter lift time, and more runs all over the epic terrain Saddleback has to offer.
They have also renovated the main lodge and tripled its capacity, including gorgeous floor to ceiling windows, so you can look back at the mountain and remember why you came in the first place. And although Doc’s title might be Marketing Director, he has had to wear many hats along the road to opening day. One of which (and possibly his favorite) was Official Pizza Taste Tester, helping make sure the kitchen has the perfect pies for lunch breaks and après accompaniments. As a native New Yorker, Doc swears the final result will go head to head with any slice from the big city.
The Home Stretch
There is plenty more to do in the next week until opening day. And with Covid-19 adding new challenges, I’m sure Doc and his team will have some late nights. But come December 15th, there’s one thing we know for sure; the mountain will be there. And that’s what I’ve really learned from Doc. People come for the skiing. With a higher base elevation than many northeast resorts, Saddleback has always gotten some of the best snow in the region. That holds true with this past weekend’s first nor’easter dropping 20-24 inches at the resort. Add the Casablanca glades and chutes to the mix for some of the best steeps and tree skiing terrain New England has to offer. Sounds like a recipe for quite the grand re-opening.