The new high-speed quad lift at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley.

 

RANGELEY — Ever since the announcement that Boston-based Arctaris Impact Fund, LP successfully closed the deal on the purchase of Saddleback Mountain on Jan. 31, Saddleback fans have been exchanging words of cheer to one another. Whether on social media or in person, the long awaited good news is a subject everyone continues to enjoy talking about.

A party to celebrate the good news was in order, but because Saddleback would not be able to get a food license fast enough, a community potluck supper was held Sunday evening.

Members from Saddleback, Boston-based Arctaris Impact Fund, LP, and Finance Authority of Maine celebrate the purchase of the ski area Sunday night in Rangeley. From left are Bruce Lancaster and Jared Emerson, both of Saddleback, Jonathan Tower of Arctaris, Andy Shepard of Saddleback, Patrick Mullen of Arctaris, Tom Federle of  Federle Law, Kim Getchell and Michelle MacKenzie of FAME, Uche Osuji  of Arctaris and Jim Quimby of Saddleback. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil photo

Originally, the date was set for Saturday, February 15th, but due to scheduling conflicts such as the World Record Snowmobile Ride, Paloozathon, and Rangeley Public Library Annual Spaghetti Supper Fundraiser,  the date was changed to the following late afternoon and evening (so it wouldn’t interfere with Winterpaloozah).

Hundreds of Saddleback fans took the scenic ride on the way up to Saddleback Mountain on Sunday to take part in the celebration. The potluck turned out to be a great success with a fabulous and large assortment of entrée platters and sweets donated by both local restaurants and individuals. The festive crowd also danced to the live music of Indie-soul-Folk band Golden Oak. Afterward, the crowd continued to party outside, with views of the trails at a big bonfire.

Brother and sister Zak and Lena Kendall and their Golden Oak band entertained the crowd with festive Indie-folk music at a party Sunday night celebrating the purchase of Saddleback ski area in Rangeley. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil photoJim Quimby, Saddleback Mountain manager, said he knew the day would finally come when the sale was finalized.

“I just never gave up,” he said. “I couldn’t give up. I had to stay positive or I would have gone crazy,” he said.

Jim Quimby, Saddleback Mountain manager, left, welcomes ski enthusiasts Sunday night to a celebration of the recently completed purchase. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil photo

A highlight of the celebration was the announcement of the purchase of a new high-speed detachable quad. Andy Shepard, CEO and general manager of Saddleback, said the new lift to replace the Rangeley lift would be three times faster, getting skiers up the slope in 4 minutes instead of to 11.

“We’ll be able to transport about 2,400 people up the mountain instead of 750, a real game changer,” he said.

From left: Dale Quimby, Colby Frost and Jim Quimby at the bonfire where Jimmy happily got rid of all the lift sales catalogues he had accumulated! Liselle Krach

 

Saddleback ski area fans view the slopes from the base lodge. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil photo


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