Monday, December 17, 2012

Saddleback Sale - A Note from the Berry Family

The Berry Family, who are the current owners of Saddleback, sent out a note to the Saddleback Email list. The message explains some of their reasons behind putting Saddleback up for sale. Here is a note in its entirety. 

A note from the Berry Family
  
"Saddleback Maine exists to share its exquisite gift of beauty, peace and happiness with all who visit.  We most especially want to secure it for anyone regardless of his or her position in life.   Saddleback is magnificent and accessible, and shall remain so.  We hope those who experience this treasured place, will respect it, care for it, and in some way, if even for just a little while, become a part of it."
-The Berry Family

Dear Friends of Saddleback,

We look forward to seeing all of you soon.

It has been almost 10 years since the Berry Family purchased Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley, Maine.  Saddleback was purchased as a place to share with all, or perhaps as a gift to all - to provide jobs for the local community, to be a vibrant part of the community, to provide affordable skiing, to honor the natural beauty of the mountain, to provide a natural breathtakingly beautiful year round vacation/recreation getaway and still provide a nominal return to investors;  in other words, a place of balance and respect for the common good.  It has been a challenge for us to implement our dream of creating this balance, a Slow Money approach to our investment.  As we approach our 10 year anniversary at Saddleback it is time to consider a lasting heritage.  We feel that our goals are best met by increasing the number of collaborators.  There can be a great synergy in collaboration. Sharing fresh ideas, energy, talents and additional investment can produce amazing results.  We welcome all who share our vision to join us in this dream!

We wanted to notify everyone that the Portland Press Herald is doing an article on Saddleback this week. Two options will be discussed in relation to the future of Saddleback:  a sale of the property and looking at the possibility of the resort becoming a non-profit. 

1.      Sale of the property: We have recently listed the core resort and 400 acres for sale with Joe Malone of Malone Commercial Brokers in Portland.   Several parties have expressed interest in either partnering with us or an outright purchase. We will be looking at these and other options very carefully over the next few weeks.

2.      Non-profit option: We are exploring converting the ski area, including all of the ski trails, lifts, lodge, associated equipment and buildings currently owned by Saddleback, Inc., into a new entity to be known as the Saddleback Recreation Foundation, Inc.  The objectives of  Saddleback Recreation Foundation, Inc. would include: operation of what is currently Saddleback Ski Area, development and funding for ski programs serving people of all ability levels and economic situations throughout the State of Maine, conservation activities and education, arts activities and a broad range of educational and recreational programming (for example: hosting community education programs, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, etc.).  A non-profit entity would aid in maintaining affordable skiing over time, and any surplus funds after debt service would be reinvested in the Rangeley Lakes community for the benefit of the citizens of Northern Franklin County.

However, as we explore these two options the Berry family will continue to financially support the resort and maintain the high standards that the Saddleback Community has come to expect from this very special mountain.

Each of the options above would also allow the family to dedicate more time and resources for development of USA Lifestyles, Inc., our regional EB-5 Center;  the purpose of which is to bring foreign investment into Franklin County and the State of Maine and continue our vision of additional job creation in this area.

We feel one of our greatest assets are our loyal Saddleback skiers and riders and our staff.  Any new ownership entity would transition smoothly with our current staff in place.

Feel free to stop by and chat with us at the mountain if you have any questions.

We are looking forward to a great season and hope to see you over the holidays at Saddleback.


Happy Holidays to you and yours,


The Berry Family

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