The story of Saddleback Mountain, in the historic high peaks and lakes district of Western Maine, is a story that has played itself out in communities across the Country; a rural community loses its largest employer and suffers from a predictable set of vicious cycles—outmigration of its workforce, a significant drop in housing valuations and tax base, and an equally devastating hit to the retail sector.

The remarkably resilient communities of Rangeley and Oquossoc and the Saddleback mountain family suffered through five long years of false promises and false starts. When a visionary impact fund (Arctaris Impact Fund) emerged, together they have chosen to rewrite the typical script. The result is an exciting future for both the mountain and the region—and a new model for economic development in rural communities.

“Coming off a successful first year in which we invested over $18 million, our plans are to dive into a host of new projects including a new lift, building a mid-mountain lodge that will define responsible development in an alpine environment, a new residence village, employee housing and a 5-megawatt solar farm,” said Andy Shepard, CEO and General Manager. “We’re excited about our future and want you to be a part of it.”

More Than a Mountain was filmed and produced by Maine Mountain Media, co-owned by two former Saddleback employees and skiing enthusiasts. The film is being released on Friday, March 5th via a virtual watch party through Facebook Live.

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