Thursday, November 7, 2019

Agreement Reached to Sell Saddleback to Arctaris

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Pic from one of our all-time epic days at Saddleback!
The Berry family and Arctaris Impact Fund have announced an agreement on the sale of Saddleback ski resort. It appears new investment in chairlifts, base lodge, snowmaking and even a summer mountain coaster are in the works with a target opening for the 2020-21 ski season!

Both sides are working towards a final closing of the sale by mid-December. A Family Skiing in Maine sends along good vibes to all sides in hopes for a successful conclusion to the sale.

This is a great step forward for skiing in Maine! We will keep this page updated to the various news articles and statements about this development.

From the November 7th Portland Press Herald / Sun Journal Article:

"Portland attorney Severin Beliveau, who is representing the Berry family, said the closing is expected to take place in mid-December. The sale price was not disclosed."

"Andy Shepard, who will serve as Saddleback’s new General Manager, said Arctaris plans to reopen for skiing sometime between Thanskgiving and Christmas of 2020."


"Shepard said Arctaris is making a significant investment that will result in the replacement of the antiquated Rangeley Double chairlift with a high-speed quad chair, installation of a new T-bar, modernization of the base lodge that will include a new kitchen and bathrooms on the third floor, expanded daycare and retail space, and new equipment to increase snowmaking capacity."

From the November 8th Bangor Daily News Article:

"We also plan to add a mountain coaster, which is like a toboggan run on rails,” he said. “They are popular in Europe and are a way to experience mountain views year-round.” The coaster can travel up to 25 miles per hour, Shepard said."

Saddleback & Arctaris News Links


OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM SADDLEBACK



Readers' Choice Awards

Win this Saddleback Sticker!
And while you are here, please take a moment to vote in the Family Skiing in Maine Readers' Choice awards! Vote for your favorite Maine ski area in 4 different categories and enter for a chance to win a "vintage" Saddleback sticker! Hopefully we can soon list Saddleback as an eligible ski area in our future award programs!


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Maine Ski Resorts Map

Google Maps has a handy feature where one can build a map with custom points. Here is the Family Skiing in Maine - Maine Ski Resorts Map. As you can see, alpine skiing can be accessed from the tip of Maine to the New Hampshire border! A fun map feature is to zoom in on the satellite map and see the trail system at each resort.

Driving Directions Map to Maine Ski Areas

If you need driving directions to a ski resort in Maine, click on the ski area icon in the map. On the left hand information sidebar that appears, click on the directions arrow to receive driving directions to the Maine ski resort. Access the map below.

Family Skiing in Maine Readers' Choice Awards - Voting Now Open

And a reminder to vote in the Family Skiing in Maine Reader's Choice Awards! Vote for who you think the BEST ski area is in Maine! Voting open through November 15th and you can vote once per day and win some "vintage" Saddleback swag.

Mobile Users - turn phone sideways (landscape) for best map experience.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Vote in the Family Skiing in Maine Readers' Choice Awards

We are pleased to announce the 2019 Family Skiing in Maine Readers' Choice Awards. The readers of this blog will decide the best ski area is for the following categories:

Best Maine Ski Area for Families

Best Maine Ski Area for Grooming / Snowmaking

Best Maine Ski Area for Overall Terrain

Best Maine Ski Area for Overall Value

And based on your voting in the individual categories, we will award the Maine Ski Area of the Year to ski area with the highest overall ranking across the 4 categories.

Vote & win a Saddleback sticker!
You can vote once per day. Multiple votes from the same person on the same day will be thrown out. Voting will be open through November 17th, 2019 and shortly thereafter we will announce the ski area winners in each category. Each time you vote, you may enter your email address to be entered into a drawing for a "vintage", never been used Saddleback sticker! Hopefully we will be able to talk about Saddleback as an open ski area in the future but time will tell.

(Please note: Email addresses will stay private, not be distributed and only used to communicate with the drawing winners.)

Vote early, vote often and spread the word! Use the comments section at the bottom of the blog post to campaign for your favorite ski area and get them to the top of the rankings! Make sure you scroll down and vote in all 4 categories! 


Best Maine Ski Area for Families

A great family ski area is a place where you feel comfortable letting your kids roam the trails and the slopes and amenities are family-friendly. Which ski area in Maine is best for family fun and enjoyment on & off mountain?


Best Maine Ski Area for Families
Email for drawing (optional):

Baker Mountain
BigRock
Big Squaw
Black Mountain
Camden Snow Bowl
Lonesome Pines
Lost Valley
Mt. Abram
New Hermon Mountain
Powderhouse Hill
Quoggy Jo
Shawnee Peak
Spruce Mountain
Sugarloaf
Sunday River
Titcomb Mountain
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Best Maine Ski Area for Grooming / Snowmaking

Without grooming and snowmaking skiing would often be a pretty miserable experience. Which ski area in Maine is the best at grooming the slopes to perfection and cranks out the best snow to get us skiing & riding when the natural snow is lacking?


Best Maine Ski Area for Grooming / Snowmaking
Email for drawing (optional):

Baker Mountain
BigRock
Big Squaw
Black Mountain
Camden Snow Bowl
Lonesome Pines
Lost Valley
Mt. Abram
New Hermon Mountain
Powderhouse Hill
Quoggy Jo
Shawnee Peak
Spruce Mountain
Sugarloaf
Sunday River
Titcomb Mountain


Best Maine Ski Area for Overall Terrain

Variety is the spice of a skier and rider's life. Ski areas offer groomed, ungroomed and gladed terrain to provide enjoyment for all ability levels. What ski area provides the best overall terrain for skiers and riders from beginner to advanced levels of ability?


Best Maine Ski Area for Overall Terrain
Email for drawing (optional):

Baker Mountain
BigRock
Big Squaw
Black Mountain
Camden Snow Bowl
Lonesome Pines
Lost Valley
Mt. Abram
New Hermon Mountain
Powderhouse Hill
Quoggy Jo
Shawnee Peak
Spruce Mountain
Sugarloaf
Sunday River
Titcomb Mountain
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Best Maine Ski Area for Overall Value

This day and age we need to stretch our dollar as far as we can. Which ski area in Maine offers the biggest bang for your buck on available ski terrain, ski lifts, ticket pricing and on-mountain concessions, rentals & amenities? 


Best Maine Ski Area for Overall Value
Email for drawing (optional):

Baker Mountain
BigRock
Big Squaw
Black Mountain
Camden Snow Bowl
Lonesome Pines
Lost Valley
Mt. Abram
New Hermon Mountain
Powderhouse Hill
Quoggy Jo
Shawnee Peak
Spruce Mountain
Sugarloaf
Sunday River
Titcomb Mountain
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Thanks for voting! Use the Comments section below to tell us the reason you voted for the best ski area in the different categories!



Award logo created at onlinelogomaker.com

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Maine Ski Pass Guide

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Looking to buy a Maine ski area season pass?

We have purchased many Maine ski area season passes over the years.
Our multi-year season pass collection
We are Sugarloaf season pass holders where we have had some amazing ski days and we hope the start to the ski season is as good as last year. For the adults in our family we buy silver level passes. This season pass level gives us access to Sunday River and has 12 blackout dates. Our now adult kids get the 20's and college season passes. We actually don't mind the blackout dates as it gives us more of an opportunity to ski other areas like Mt. Abram, Black Mountain of Maine, Shawnee Peak, Titcomb, Lost Valley and other smaller, but awesome, ski areas in Maine.

There is a certain calculus to making a ski pass decision. You have to figure out how much time you are going be skiing this year and if you have saved up enough money to plunk down a good chunk of change to make a pass purchase. If you do buy a pass you want to make sure you visit the mountain enough so that the number of trips divided by the pass price is less than a daily lift ticket - a pass ROI calculation. (see the listings below for specific ROI calculations for each Maine ski resort). Some folks like to have a "home mountain" while others prefer to ski different ski areas over the course of the winter season.

More recently, there has been a buzz about season passes that cover multiple ski resorts across North America, including Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine. They might be worth checking out especially if you plan to take a ski vacation outside of Maine. The Ikon Pass gives you 7 days at Sugarloaf and Sunday River plus access to a bunch of other resorts across the USA. 

Regardless, here is a listing of all the Maine ski areas and links to the 2019-20 season pass options I could find... with an early season deadlines noted. I have also included a calculation comparing the walk-up adult ticket prices vs. the full access adult season pass to calculate how many days you need to ski to save money on a pass purchase. All prices listed as of November 11, 2019.

Maine Ski Area Season Pass Guide


Sugarloaf - Carrabassett Valley
Sugarloaf Season Pass Link
Offering big mountain skiing with a variety of pass levels based on age and blackout dates including a new Nitro pass aimed at the twenty-something crowd. Most Sugarloaf season passes are good to use at Sunday River and Loon (NH) as well. Early bird deadline October 14th.

Full Adult Pass Price $1,419 | Walk Up Ticket Price $105 | Trip ROI 14 ski days


Sunday River - Newry
Sunday River Season Pass Link
Big resort skiing with a variety of pass levels based on age and blackout dates including a new Nitro pass aimed at the twenty-something crowd. Most Sunday River season passes are good to use at Sugarloaf and Loon (NH) as well. Early bird deadline October 14th.

Full Adult Pass Price $1,419 | Walk Up Ticket Price $105 | Trip ROI 14 ski days


Shawnee Peak - Bridgton
Shawnee Peak Season Pass Link
The Shawnee Peak season pass provides access to an accessible southern Maine ski area with a variety of pass options including a popular night only pass option.

Full Adult Pass Price $770 | Walk Up Ticket Price $75 | Trip ROI 11 ski days


Titcomb Mountain - Farmington
Titcomb Mountain Season Pass Link
Fun community mountain offering children, young adult and adult season passes. A Titcomb mountain season pass also has the option to add nordic skiing to the pass. Early bird deadline December 14th.

Full Adult Pass Price $216 | Walk Up Ticket Price $24 | Trip ROI 9 ski days


Mt. Abram - Greenwood 
Mt. Abram Season Pass Link
The Mount Abram season pass gives you access to a great mid-sized mountain with community, Military, Adult, Children and Family passes available. Early bird deadline November 15th.

Full Adult Pass Price $609 | Walk Up Ticket Price $49 | Trip ROI 13 ski days



Super community ski mountain with some of the best maintained glades in Maine. With a Black Mountain of Maine season pass you also can add a nordic pass that gives access to a world-class nordic facility. Early bird deadline October 31.

Full Adult Pass Price $450 | Walk Up Ticket Price $45 | Trip ROI 10 ski days


Lost Valley - Auburn 

The Lost Valley season pass gives you access to a very accessible southern Maine ski area with pass options for child, junior, adults and families. Early bird deadline October 15th.

Full Adult Pass Price $575 | Walk Up Ticket Price $60 | Trip ROI 10 ski days


Camden Snow Bowl - Camden 
A Camden Snow Bowl season pass provides access to a popular coastal ski area with views of the Atlantic offering family, adult, student, military, youth and senior passes. Also special discounts for residents of Camden. Early bird deadline November 7th.

Full Adult Pass Price $529 | Walk Up Ticket Price $43 | Trip ROI 12 ski days


Bigrock Mountain - Mars Hill
A Bigrock Mountain season pass grants skiing at an impressive ski area located in “The County” offering adult, youth, children and senior passes. Early bird deadline December 1st.

Full Adult Pass Price $365 | Walk Up Ticket Price $40 | Trip ROI 10 ski days


New Hermon Mountain - Hermon 
A New Hermon Mountain season pass gives you access to a community ski area offering junior, student, adult and family passes. Early bird deadline October 31st.

Full Adult Pass Price $385 | Walk Up Ticket Price $35 | Trip ROI 11 ski days

A Lonesome Pines season pass grants you access to a community ski area at the northern tip of Maine offering adult, student, child and tykes passes.

Full Adult Pass Price $205 | Walk Up Ticket Price $25 | Trip ROI 10 ski days


Ski Maine Mountain Pass
Not a season’s pass but buying a Ski Maine Mountain Pass provides 26 lift ticket vouchers to Maine alpine ski areas. Typically use 2 per mountain.