New England What's up with Saddleback - 2019 ?

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by pipestem, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. pipestem

    pipestem Booting up Skier

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    Hey. I believe the Aussie thing has failed spectacularly. Who actually owns Saddleback ? Anything going on ? I've only been there one day, but it was grand! I'd love to think one day I could go back.
     
  2. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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  3. KevinF

    KevinF Gathermeister-Stowe Team Gathermeister

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  4. Erik Timmerman

    Erik Timmerman Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    If it does, we need to have the next Gathering there. I drove past the place on Wednesday and it is impressive looking.
     
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  5. Mike Thomas

    Mike Thomas Whiteroom Pugski Sponsor

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    Breaking news- Boston investment firm wants to light money on fire. More news at 10!!!
     
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  6. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    So the Aussie plan to make Saddleback the premier ski resort in North America has failed? I'm shocked :rolleyes:
    We all called that the moment they put out those statements. I hope a new plan works out.
     
  7. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    [from Facebook]

    Arcteris offer sheet:
    The March 4th email titled “Latest Update to Rock Pond Condo Owners” ... It is not our intention to negotiate through general distribution. However, due to the importance of this issue to all of you, we wanted to ensure you have a more accurate understanding of both our intentions and our offer.

    Arctaris remains sincerely committed to working with the Berry family to complete a sale transaction that will reopen Saddleback Mountain as quickly as possible, restore a critical economic engine for the greater Rangeley community, and to be able to honor the legacy of the Berry family’s long commitment to western Maine. Reopening the mountain with adequate capitalization would support the health of numerous Rangeley businesses, real estate, tourism, and the community overall. We understand that continued inaction on the mountain is the greatest risk to the Rangeley community, affecting every business and property owner.

    With that in mind it is important to clarify our offer, process, and position:

    * Arctaris Offer: The Arctaris offer was well in excess of what we understand to be the Berry’s total debt on the property. In response to repeated questions about financial capacity, questions that we repeatedly answered, the Arctaris Impact Fund, a $500,000,000 target fund, provided a signed letter from PNC Bank to the Berry family’s advisers that confirmed our cash deposits alone exceeded the cash amounts due at closing to purchase Saddleback. As a managed investment fund with committed capital from limited partners that include several national banks and other strong institutions, Arctaris does not need to raise capital for this transaction. If we proceed with Saddleback, Arctaris would use its own capital to fund the purchase. There is no financing contingency.

    * Closing Process: As a fiduciary for our investors, Arctaris is a methodical investor. To that end, we follow a process before closing on any transaction, which includes buying a ski mountain. Hence, we indicated that we expected 120 days to close the transaction, which is typical for any prudent purchase of an asset of this size.

    * NMTC Contingency: In order to rationalize the purchase of an asset that has traditionally underperformed financially it is necessary to leverage programs designed for this type of venture. To that end, as it is accustomed to doing, Arctaris would obtain equity derived from New Market Tax Credits (NMTC). The Berry’s advisers have been skeptical of the region’s eligibility for this program (it’s eligible) and of our chances to succeed in obtaining the tax credits (we don’t share that skepticism). However, to provide further comfort of our commitment to closing, Arctaris, in early February, removed receipt of New Markets Tax Credits as a condition to closing. Feedback from others suggest that the Berry’s advisors have often discounted and misconstrued our offer to purchase the mountain. Weeks after we removed the NMTC contingency, that contingency continues to be cited as a basis for not accepting our offer. Again, securing New Markets Tax Credits is no longer a condition to closing.

    * New Chairlifts: Arctaris originally recommended in 2018 that the State of Maine designate Rangeley as an Opportunity Zone (OZ), opening the way for a tax-advantaged acquisition of Saddleback Mountain. Although the administration passed over Rangeley, we were subsequently contacted by several Maine-based charitable foundations and other philanthropically-minded individuals who inquired whether there were any other paths forward to reopen the mountain. These discussions culminated in several encouraging scenarios whereby Arctaris would purchase the mountain and dedicate the funds for its renewal, and the community would raise donations to purchase a new chair lift and T-bar. We believe that the community is sincere in its intention to purchase the new lifts to re-open the mountain, though this process may take the full 120 days to complete. All recognize that the window for placing a deposit on lifts is closing.

    * Challenges: Saddleback has faced numerous challenges finding buyers because of the upfront initial purchase price, the high cost of replacing aged equipment, and the initial working capital strain associated with rehiring the 120 staff members who were laid off after the mountain shut. Further, the mountain requires adequate capitalization and reserves to ensure that it does not turn insolvent again in several years whenever we have another light snow season. For whomever owns the mountain next, any potential investment “upside” will come from development of real estate – but that will take years to complete, given that it will take some time to convince the real estate market of the stability of the ski area and given that the Berry family and others still own a significant backlog of condominium inventory and undeveloped Magalloway lots. The unfortunate reality is that this investment simply doesn’t pencil out for a financial buyer or for the owners of other ski areas in the area who have enjoyed increased skier visits since Saddleback closed. It pencils out for Arctaris only because of our mission-driven investment goals and because of our skill and experience with leveraging non-traditional sources of capital.

    Despite Saddleback’s considerable challenges, Arctaris believes that there is a path to reopening Saddleback which includes combining our capital with the philanthropic contributions from the Rangeley community. For scale, we are budgeting for a $25-30 million-dollar investment plan over the medium term that would include a $3-5 million-dollar philanthropic component. Our firm is an impact investment firm that works in partnership with banks, foundations, and economic development agencies to revitalize communities. Arctaris is uniquely suited to lead this type of bold initiative that will help to stabilize the Rangeley community, bringing back local businesses, jobs, and real estate values.

    We look forward to working directly with the Berry family to find a mutually agreeable path to reopening Saddleback Mountain.

    Thanks,

    Jonathan Tower
     
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  8. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    I wish them well. Skiing is tremendous.
    It's an incredibly huge challenge. They have never been able to attract 100K skiers in a season.
    We'll see. Best looking alternative this far.
    Of note is that NOBODY IN the ski business has been interested, going back to when it was quietly being discussed as available for a sale. That's about 8 years ago.

    Great mountain. Beautiful. Tough, tough location. Fingers crossed.
     
  9. EBG18T

    EBG18T Luv da snow! Skier

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    I’d love to see Saddleback back in operation, but as Muleski mentioned its in a tough location. I wish the best of luck to Acertirs
     
  10. KevinF

    KevinF Gathermeister-Stowe Team Gathermeister

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    The New England Gathermeister would love to send some business Saddleback’s way.
     
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  11. noggin

    noggin Booting up Skier

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    This is fantastic news for skiers and the Rangely community!! Will be glad when its back up and running it has been sorely missed.
     
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  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Pugski Yurt??
     
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  13. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    The roads from 95 to Bethel and Rangley are not fit for efficient travel. Besides Maine almost every other successful ski area is less than 45 minutes from a major highway.
     
  14. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Bethel is disqualified out of hand, for reasons the NE Gathermeister ( @KevinF ) can speak to. The roads to Rangeley (Saddleback) and Carrabassett Valley (Sugarloaf) are indeed NOT fit for efficient travel, that's true. Thank God for small favors, is what I say. Efficiency and joy don't always go hand in hand. If you were forced by bad roads to go slow just before the moose walked across the road, you were a lucky man.
     
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  15. KevinF

    KevinF Gathermeister-Stowe Team Gathermeister

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    Yeah, Sunday River will not be the location of a New England Gathering until I give up my New England Gathermeister title. Sorry. I like to restrict the Gathering to locations where there's some chance of having decent conditions.

    Are you referring to this guy who showed up while you and I were making the Saddleback to Sugarloaf commute? MaineGathering 018.JPG
     
  16. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    But...but... Land of Oz??
    (Is it ever good there?)
     
  17. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    I'm gonna say no.
     
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  18. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    I was referring to Saddleback's difficult location for much of the skiing population. Sugarloaf makes it work. Wish them the best.

    The drive to Sunday River isn't so bad but it just get's bogged down so frequently.

    As far as conditions, if you don't go you don't know, but no sake in arguing There's a reason we always see weekday cherry picked pow videos of VT, they might as well call the whole front side the waterfall.
     
  19. x10003q

    x10003q Getting off the lift Skier

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    What is this about??? Arctaris has enough money to buy and operate Saddleback, but they need donations for the lifts?

    * New Chairlifts: Arctaris originally recommended in 2018 that the State of Maine designate Rangeley as an Opportunity Zone (OZ), opening the way for a tax-advantaged acquisition of Saddleback Mountain. Although the administration passed over Rangeley, we were subsequently contacted by several Maine-based charitable foundations and other philanthropically-minded individuals who inquired whether there were any other paths forward to reopen the mountain. These discussions culminated in several encouraging scenarios whereby Arctaris would purchase the mountain and dedicate the funds for its renewal, and the community would raise donations to purchase a new chair lift and T-bar. We believe that the community is sincere in its intention to purchase the new lifts to re-open the mountain, though this process may take the full 120 days to complete. All recognize that the window for placing a deposit on lifts is closing.
     
  20. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    These companies specialize in tax or otherwise incentivized projects. If there's no acronym attached to the deal then they'll look elsewhere. The idea is that the community will eventually generate more taxes from increased land value and economic output. It's also a sneaky way to smooth out local permitting.

    How do you think all those new apartments in Portland are being funded?
     

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