February 05, 2020
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Key funding approved for deal that could reopen Saddleback ski resort

Courtesy of Saddleback
Courtesy of Saddleback
Saddleback Mountain Resort in Rangeley..

PORTLAND, Maine — The prospective buyers of Saddleback Mountain Resort in Rangeley received approvals for financing and insurance Monday that will help them purchase and restart the dormant resort.

A closing date on the property has not been set, but the purchase could be completed in the next few days.

“The attorneys have been working in the event of the [finance authority] approval, knowing it has to happen by the end of the month,” said Andrew Shepard, the new general manager of Saddleback.

The Finance Authority of Maine on Monday approved $2.5 million in leveraged loan insurance on a $12.5 million loan to Saddleback Community Loan Fund by expected buyers Arctaris Impact Investors. The board also approved a $1 million direct loan to Arctaris for a total of $23.5 million.

That type of insurance backs a portion of a loan to a business by a financial institution or investor. It could mean the difference between a buyer getting a loan or not, the finance authority said in a statement.

In December, the Maine Rural Development Authority approved a $1 million loan to Arctaris Saddleback Co.

All the loans will go toward the purchase of Saddleback Resort, which has been idle for five seasons because its current owners could not afford to maintain it.

Jonathan Tower, managing partner of Arctaris, said the company plans to revitalize the mountain resort and provide 200 full-time and seasonal jobs. Tower said the plan will “help stimulate the local economy and the state of Maine as a whole.”

The funds will be used as part of a funding package that includes private equity, New Market Tax Credits, community loans and community grants.

Arctaris also has raised approximately $2 million in private donations from condominium owners, philanthropists and other community supporters to invest in the project.

Saddleback Mountain has a 2,000-foot vertical drop and is one of seven New England mountains with a top-lift elevation over 4,000 feet. It has the third-most trails among Maine ski areas.

Arctaris plans to update and upgrade lifts. Other plans include a maple-sugaring operation, mountain bike trails and a mountain coaster.

 


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