Saddleback Mountain hosted Donor Appreciation Day on July 31st with over 250 guests enjoying a sunny cool afternoon with barbecue and music by Pete Kilpatrick on the deck at Saddleback Lodge.

Photo courtesy Peter Williams of Random Photo Works

This great event was a way to let folks know that Saddleback Mountain is sincerely grateful for their support because Saddleback’s success is the result of donors, skiers, bikers, hikers, shoppers, folks who come to the Pub for brunch or dinner – it’s success based on a vibrant community of friends. General Manager Andy Shepard reminded everyone that, “Without you we’re just another mountain, and we’re not just another mountain.”

Jonathan Tower, Managing Partner, and Uche Osuji, Managing Director, of Arctaris told a story about driving up to Rangeley to speak with the community about purchasing Saddleback Mountain and finding what seemed to be all of Rangeley waiting for them in town; a fantastic sign of everyone’s commitment to making Rangeley a year-round destination.

Looking ahead, Arctaris is planning to invest another $7.4 million on resort improvements this summer and fall including:

· Three new lifts – a new high speed T-bar to replace the Cupsuptic T-bar, a rope tow for the terrain park and a Magic Carpet for our ski school and,

· Nearly $2 million in major snowmaking upgrades.

· 2 new environmentally friendly Eco-diesel groomers

· 8 new EV chargers for electric vehicles

And, on August 1st, Saddleback began construction on a $2.5 million mid-mountain lodge and restaurant next to the new Rangeley Quad chairlift which will provide a unique and special venue for meals, weddings and other events throughout the year. This world-class project is only possible because of a generous, anonymous Venn Foundation gift.

As many readers have noticed, the real estate side is also moving along. The plans are visible at www.saddlebackmainerealty.com including the A-frames and workforce housing project on the Mountain.

Philanthropy has played a major role in making Saddleback’s return possible and Saddleback Mountain’s new Director of Development Chris Massi remarked, “Donor Appreciation Day was a celebration of everyone’s deep connection to the Mountain. I heard from so many people about ‘the vibe,’ about how they learned to ski here and then how their children learned here. I heard about hanging out in the warming hut on really cold days, about Muleskinner, and the views. People feel strongly about Saddleback Mountain and the Rangeley community.”

Photo courtesy Peter Williams of Random Photo Works

He continued, “My goals are to support this vision for Saddleback Mountain and the Rangeley community. Philanthropy will continue to play an important role creating workforce housing, workforce development, affordable childcare, year-round healthcare for season workers, and creating a master plan for the future of the Mountain. Arctaris, Andy Shepard and I believe very strongly in Saddleback Mountain and this community and we are committed to supporting their ongoing success.”

Photo courtesy Peter Williams of Random Photo Works

Andy Shepard had the final word saying, “This job is so much more than a job for the staff at the mountain; this is a passion for us and the support we have received from you over the past year and a half has given a very difficult job a lot of meaning. We care about the work we’re doing and doing it well and knowing you are behind us has lifted us through some challenging times.

Without you we’re just another mountain….”

Photo courtesy Peter Williams of Random Photo Works

Photo courtesy Peter Williams of Random Photo Works

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