Statement from Andy Shepard about Saddleback Ski Area

Note to Readers: A Family Skiing in Maine reached out to Andy Shepard for a statement in regards to the potential Arctaris acquisition of Saddleback Ski Area. Andy has been active commenting on Facebook posts answering community questions about the sale. We put together these various answers into one blog post. If the sale closes successfully Andy will take on the position of General Manager for Saddleback. Andy has reviewed this post and authorized us to publish on our blog.

Dear Saddleback Community,

I wanted to take this opportunity to coalesce some of the discussion that is happening around the efforts to close the sale of Saddleback to Arctaris and hopefully answer a few questions that are out there.

The reason the mountain has sat idle for the past 4+ years is that it has not been attractive as a traditional investment model. The Arctaris Impact Fund model, with its mission to invest in economically distressed communities, is a perfect fit. Their investors are typically banks that are required to invest in communities like that as well. That model brings in a mixture on financial tools, including New Market Tax Credits to the table, but those tax credits require community contributions and that is where the Saddleback Mountain Foundation (SMF) comes in as the mechanism to raise these community funds. The most important thing to keep in mind is this is a federally monitored program and Arctaris has been investing successfully with this model, across the country (including in Maine) for over 10 years.

Arctaris is interested because Saddleback is a part of a larger community and economic development strategy, that will include trying to solve for workforce development, affordable housing, affordable daycare and transportation. This is what attracted my interest as well. The impact fund model is built on a combination of Arctaris funds, new market tax credits, state and federal loan guarantees and community support via the SMF.

SMF is not expecting a role in managing the mountain. Their role will be continuing to look for ways to support the sustainability of the mountain as a sustainable enterprise and committed to the betterment of the community. That is my focus as well. We should also all be clear that Arctaris’ interest is not exclusively for profit. Their charter is investing in economically distressed communities for impact. My commitment is to making a difference in Rangeley and I know Arctaris shares that commitment.

As the next GM of Saddleback I’ll be seeking feedback from the foundation, the community, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, skiers and anyone else with good ideas. I’m not one of those guys who thinks he has all the answers but I’m really excited to start diving into the effort to find them.

There is still time to participate in the community fundraising as we work towards our targeted December 23rd closing date. I sincerely appreciate the support of the community and I am looking forward to seeing a working Saddleback once again benefiting the Rangeley Lakes region.

- Andy Shepard

SMF Donations

The Saddleback Mountain Foundation has stood up a website with a donation link along with a Facebook page.

Website:
https://www.saddlebackmtnfoundation.org/

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 1
  1. Can you please clarify the terms regarding refund of donations? My understanding is that donations will not be returned after sale of the mountain to Arctaris has closed, regardless of what happens after that. Given that the Arctaris plan is dependent on raising $5M total in donations, it seems questionable whether total fundraising goals can be met. A lot is being asked from a community that doesn't necessarily have a lot to give. It really would be nice to have more assurance that the mountain will open if we are to scrap to give generously from our tight family budgets, or that money will be returned if the mountain cannot open

    ReplyDelete
Hi - thanks for taking the time to comment. Please keep the comments on-point and lets be nice to each other!

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A Family Skiing in Maine: Statement from Andy Shepard about Saddleback Ski Area
Statement from Andy Shepard about Saddleback Ski Area
Statement from Andy Shepard regarding the potential sale of Saddleback Ski Area to Arctaris.
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A Family Skiing in Maine
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