One closing, one “dynamic” retirement, hot rumors about Saddleback Mountain — it’s been a busy week.

First up, get ready to think long and hard: After gathering names in January, Young Professionals of the Lewiston Auburn Area has unveiled the list of nominees for its first 40 under 40 awards recognizing local professionals.

There are more than 150 nominees in 10 categories, such as Building LA, Emerging Leaders and Creative Geniuses.

Are YOU on the list? Just maybe.

YPLAA Chairwoman Ashlee Vandiver said the idea for this first 40 under 40 was born last summer at the group’s annual retreat. It’s a milestone year (10th anniversary) and membership has grown (600 and counting), so the group wanted to do something fresh.

“Over and over, our communities hear how young professionals are deciding to move elsewhere for job opportunities,” she said. “We want to help young professionals see that there are even more great opportunities here in L-A, opportunities that include not only great employers, but a fantastic sense of community and togetherness that you cannot find elsewhere. And the opportunity to be recognized for their commitment to their work and to our community.”
Check out the nominees and vote by Feb. 29 at

The awards will be given out May 13.



The 207 American Grille at 34 Court St. in Auburn, a prominent corner downtown, has closed. 207 had been open since last summer when management changed it over from Naral’s Mediterranean restaurant.

The spot has had a string of tenants since No Tomatoes closed years ago: O’Shea’s, Lavish Nightclub, Uncle Troy’s and Midnight Blues.

Here’s to the next. 


This week the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce released a statement supporting the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council after Auburn city councilors questioned its role and effectiveness.


The statement reads in part:

“Whether working on large projects such as the Miracle Enterprises redevelopment of The Barn or with small businesses such as Legends Sports Bar and Grill or Top it Frozen Yogurt; or helping with saving community icons such as Lost Valley, LAEGC has made a tangible and positive impact on business in our communities.

We support the Auburn City Council for its diligence while also imploring it to maintain Auburn’s commitment to LAEGC — now and in the future. We believe it is in the best interest of both Auburn and Lewiston.”

Coming and going

Central Maine Healthcare is looking for a new voice.

Chuck Gill, who served as spokesman for the past 18 years, retired at the end of November. Gill joined CMHC in November 1997 as the organization’s first senior executive directly responsible for marketing, public affairs and development.


CMHC is the parent organization of Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital. It is now conducting a nationwide search for a new vice president for public affairs.

“Replacing a dynamic individual like Chuck Gill is not a simple task,” CEO Peter Chalke said. “There are few people who possess both his range of skills and his friendly, often humorous, personality. He is a unique individual.” 

Not buying

While skiers anxiously wait to hear word of new developments at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley, the rumor mill has been busy.

In December, the resort said it was working with a new buyer to finalize paperwork and hoped to open in late January. Its last public update two weeks ago indicated “everything continues to move forward, but we are still working on paperwork!” 

So who isn’t buying Saddleback?


Bill Ryan, the principal owner and chairman of the Portland Red Claws basketball team. 

Reached on Wednesday, Ryan said he’s also heard those rumors and isn’t sure how they got started.

“I’ve never been to Saddleback,” he said. “I hope it does well and I hope whoever buys it does well — but it’s not me.”

Also not buying the resort: businessman and former Sunday River head Les Otten. 

He said he’s been rebuffing rumors for weeks. His favorite one so far: That he and actor Kurt Russell are buying it together.

“I would really like to meet Kurt Russell,” Otten said. “I’ve been trying to do my best to tell everybody that calls I know absolutely nothing, I’ve been in contact with absolutely no one, but I’ve been enjoying the rumors.” 

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzz-able tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected] 

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