Saddleback 4-18-15

Ciscokid asked me for pictures of Saddleback on closing day. My son and I skied Saddleback on closing day, April 18th, 2015 and I did not think at the time that Saddleback would still be closed three years later.

The pictures in descending order are: America, Cupsuptic T-Bar, Golden Smelt, Lower Tightline, Royal Tiger, Silver Doctor, Tightline, Tri-Color and Wheeler.     

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage
America (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 133K
Cupsuptic T-Bar (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 179K
Golden Smelt (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 254K
Lower Tightline (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 215K
Royal Tiger (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 229K
Silver Doctor (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 153K
Tightline (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 216K
Tri-Color (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 171K
Wheeler (Medium).JPG
1024 x 768 - 173K

Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

Comments

  • Beautiful, beautiful beautiful!

    Thanks, brings tears to my eclair tbar riding friends
  • Looking at these photos, great pics btw, it really just makes me ask why and how can a place like this just not make it. I know it's rural, I know the crowds would have to drive past the loaf and Sunday River, but still. This just looks like epic potential wasted.
  • edited May 10
    Sully said:

    Looking at these photos, vgreat pics btw, it really just makes me ask why and how can a place like this just not make it. I know it's rural, I know the crowds would have to drive past the loaf and Sunday River, but still. This just looks like epic potential wasted.

    It's a ski mountain situated in snowmobile country. Lodging is difficult to get prime season and it's a long drive for a day trip. IMHO the area can't support another ski resort.

    The Berrys also made a management mistake by replacing Kenebago T-bar while leaving the ancient and low capacity Rangely double chair servicing the middle of the mountain.

    My personal opinion is that the mountain would have been in a better position to survive with a FGQ or a HSQ in place of the double chair.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • Some more pictures of Saddleback circa 2007-2010.
    Muleskinner-2.jpg
    480 x 360 - 38K
    Saddleback-3.jpg
    480 x 360 - 23K
    Dazzlerdeepsnow.jpg
    480 x 360 - 29K
    CupsupticT-bar.jpg
    480 x 360 - 45K

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • More pictures:
    SoloontheT-bar.jpg
    480 x 360 - 30K
    PeachysPeril.jpg
    480 x 360 - 31K
    Saddleback_zps914fb16f.jpg
    480 x 360 - 35K

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • Is that second mountain picture newer than the first? It looks like more trails.
  • newman said:

    Is that second mountain picture newer than the first? It looks like more trails.

    Yes, the second mountain picture is with the Kenebago Quad and some new trails.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • Such a great ski area! I remember how much fun it was the one time I was able to ski it. These pictures bring back fond memories of that day.
    - Sam
  • edited May 11

    Such a great ski area! I remember how much fun it was the one time I was able to ski it. These pictures bring back fond memories of that day.

    I have around 35 day's at Saddleback circa 1989-2015. I've had some of the best eastern skiing at this mountain. My son considers it the best in Maine and it's a hard loss for us both.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • More pictures:imageimage
    KennebagoT-Bar.jpg
    480 x 360 - 31K
    Deepsnownearthesummit.jpg
    480 x 360 - 31K

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • sugarloaf said:

    Sully said:

    Looking at these photos, vgreat pics btw, it really just makes me ask why and how can a place like this just not make it. I know it's rural, I know the crowds would have to drive past the loaf and Sunday River, but still. This just looks like epic potential wasted.

    It's a ski mountain situated in snowmobile country. Lodging is difficult to get prime season and it's a long drive for a day trip. IMHO the area can't support another ski resort.

    The Berrys also made a management mistake by replacing Kenebago T-bar while leaving the ancient and low capacity Rangely double chair servicing the middle of the mountain.

    My personal opinion is that the mountain would have been in a better position to survive with a FGQ or a HSQ in place of the double chair.

    I agree with most of that, but with the Kenebago T-Bar, snowboarders were unlikely to go to Saddleback and that's a substantial share of the market to kiss off.
  • All great pics Sugarloaf, thanks again!
  • edited May 18
    The State, the condo owners, local businesses, and the coop group need to get together and hammer out a creative solution. Saddleback is a beautiful place with distinctive skiing. I really believe some day it will reopen.
  • With Boyne just buying Sugarloaf and Sunday River, maybe they should take a look at Saddleback

  • phil said:

    With Boyne just buying Sugarloaf and Sunday River, maybe they should take a look at Saddleback

    All the commercial "big boys" have looked at SB.  The financials are such that all have concluded that it can't be a successful commercial venture, which is why SMF is the only real option.
  • Why do the Berrys not seem interested in the SMF offer if it's the only really option at this point?
    - Sam
  • Why do the Berrys not seem interested in the SMF offer if it's the only really option at this point?

    Good question.  My guess is there is great confusion in the various wings and factions of the Berry family who share ownership.  For those familiar with New England, perhaps analogous to the Artie T. vs. the Artie S. Dimoulas conflict with respect to running the DeMoulas supermarket chain.
  • ...My guess is there is great confusion in the various wings and factions of the Berry family who share ownership.  For those familiar with New England, perhaps analogous to the Artie T. vs. the Artie S. Dimoulas conflict with respect to running the DeMoulas supermarket chain.

    Joshua, your comments have usually proved very insightful and even prescient.  Is the above comment speculation on your part, or is it an informed opinion based on facts some of the rest of us may not know?
  • edited May 19

    ...My guess is there is great confusion in the various wings and factions of the Berry family who share ownership.  For those familiar with New England, perhaps analogous to the Artie T. vs. the Artie S. Dimoulas conflict with respect to running the DeMoulas supermarket chain.

    Joshua, your comments have usually proved very insightful and even prescient.  Is the above comment speculation on your part, or is it an informed opinion based on facts some of the rest of us may not know?
    It's my conclusions but is based on insider info.
  • edited May 19
    OK Joshua.  One more question.  Do you know if the Berrys are in a post-Majella mindset?  Or do they believe that Sebastian Monsour's latest move, setting up a dunk booth he will be manning in Portland ME to raise sufficient funding to close the deal, will prove to be the missing link to the final closing?
  • OK Joshua.  One more question.  Do you know if the Berrys are in a post-Majella mindset?  Or do they believe that Sebastian Monsour's latest move, setting up a dunk booth he will be manning in Portland ME to raise sufficient funding to close the deal, will prove to be the missing link to the final closing?

    See PM
  • edited May 20
    Fascinating to read that things might have gotten to that level of disagreement amongst the Berry family. I wonder what is causing some to lean one way and some the other. At this point in the game are you not losing value every day? I mean a few years ago I was buying, in the summer anyways, an active business with a wedding business in operation most weekends and more booked plus a ski area with a customer base that was already buying season passes for my first year of operation and hell I might have even had condo owners, locals, and anyone interested come out in the summer for some kind of cookout/fly fishing/meet and greet event. Now it has been three years since a paying customer walked through those doors, the lucrative side businesses like weddings, events, and even real estate are long gone, rust has crept in while buildings age, infrastructure has sat and barely if at all been run and tested in over 1,000 days, major infrastructure investment is required just to open, shady overseas businesses have tried to buy in, but not for the ski area, and worst of all the resort's reputation is shattered and gone while the customer base left long ago and is now heading into season 4 of a new season pass at a new mountain. OH and now it is WAY too late for me to recapture them for next year so I am now looking at 2019/2020 as the first season I could have some kind of real season pass base.... This all sounds like it is going to really successful.
  • edited May 21

    OK Joshua.  One more question.  Do you know if the Berrys are in a post-Majella mindset?  Or do they believe that Sebastian Monsour's latest move, setting up a dunk booth he will be manning in Portland ME to raise sufficient funding to close the deal, will prove to be the missing link to the final closing?

    See PM
    Joshua, or anyone else who can answer, do we know how much Majella is buying Saddleback for?

    Edit: A quic google search brought up a Dec 2012 Portland Press Herald that said the Berry's were looking for $12 million now 5 and a half years ago. Overall the market has gone up, but back then those first potential buyers got a walk through of real life operating, dare I say healthy resort with possible expansion on the horizon and on the trail maps for years. I remember reading about how big an issue the land could be because the family waas holding on to most of the property and then at the last minute they opted to add in the extra acreage for the right price type of thing. 
  • What has me puzzled about the whole Saddleback situation is that doing nothing has to be just as bad an option for the Berrys as anything.  Why?  Because there has to be debt service on the company, although who knows how much debt there is?  I can't imagine the Berrys paid cash for everything.  So if they built an expensive new lodge and put in expensive new chairs, then there are likely monthly payments associated with those items (among others).  With no income coming in, that would mean they're just financially bleeding indefinitely.  So what I don't understand is why they appear to be hanging on to a fraudulent transaction with Majella, instead of moving forward on other fronts, be it the SMF or other prospective buyers (who may be few and far between).  At some point, the rubber has to hit the road.  I can't imagine the situation will remain unresolved for too much longer.
  • What has me puzzled about the whole Saddleback situation is that doing nothing has to be just as bad an option for the Berrys as anything.  Why?  Because there has to be debt service on the company, although who knows how much debt there is?  I can't imagine the Berrys paid cash for everything.  So if they built an expensive new lodge and put in expensive new chairs, then there are likely monthly payments associated with those items (among others).  With no income coming in, that would mean they're just financially bleeding indefinitely.  So what I don't understand is why they appear to be hanging on to a fraudulent transaction with Majella, instead of moving forward on other fronts, be it the SMF or other prospective buyers (who may be few and far between).  At some point, the rubber has to hit the road.  I can't imagine the situation will remain unresolved for too much longer.

    I may have the missing piece to your puzzle... there is always money in Berry stand! In all honesty the family is LOADED and maybe they do not mind the lost value and as some moves have suggested, they seem to be very stubborn. I kind of get the feeling they have taken care of their debts. Think about it, they only paid $8 million to buy in way back when. Then the lodge went up, and the chairlift came later on. They bought a cheapish option with a not super long fixed grip quad that easily might have cost them $1.5 million, but again that is not the biggest number to the family here. Also that was 6 years ago so if it was financed it is probably paid up by now. 

    That's the only reason not to have gone into fire sale mode three years on.
  • They have $5mil +or- of debt.  I don't think there is any hidden conspiracy here.  That's the part that is so maddening.  The Berry's are inept...It's hard to imagine a more dysfunctional situation.  I agree.. It doesn't make any sense that they would sit on this thing for 3 years as value continues to diminish...It became obvious they were incompetent when they gave the public 2 weeks to find them  $3mil to finance a new lift or they were closing their doors...They will only deal with fraudsters because they're the only ones that will agree to their terms.  Any legitimate buyer isn't going to pay more than $6 or $7 mil...which only leaves the Berry's walking away with $1-$2 after the debt is cleared. 
  • edited May 22

    They have $5mil +or- of debt.  I don't think there is any hidden conspiracy here.  That's the part that is so maddening.  The Berry's are inept...It's hard to imagine a more dysfunctional situation.  I agree.. It doesn't make any sense that they would sit on this thing for 3 years as value continues to diminish...It became obvious they were incompetent when they gave the public 2 weeks to find them  $3mil to finance a new lift or they were closing their doors...They will only deal with fraudsters because they're the only ones that will agree to their terms.  Any legitimate buyer isn't going to pay more than $6 or $7 mil...which only leaves the Berry's walking away with $1-$2 after the debt is cleared. 

    At this point, anybody who is looking to operate SB as a profit making business will have to be paid to take this off the Berrys hands. The actual paid visits (numbers from 4 seasons ago and older) probably cannot support even a small purchase price ($1mill-$2mill)  and then you have to factor in cost of a replacement chair for the double and some kind of fix for the t-bar. You have to also factor in all the lost momentum of a ski area closed for 3 seasons and looking to be closed in the upcoming season. Then, there is the loss of customers, further lowering the potential to make money.

    While their hearts might have been in the right place, the Berrys have proven to be completely inept in the ski business and their money covered up the mess they have created. Now, as they wait for who knows what, what little value and good will SB had is fading fast.

    This is just how they operate.
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