RANGELEY, Maine — Saddleback Ski Area in Rangeley, Maine, has received approval for its plan to develop a four season resort village and to construct nine new lifts and associated trails, snowmaking and skier facilities.
The mountain’s Petition to Amend its 10-year Development Plan and Petition for Rezoning were approved unanimously by the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission at their July 11 meeting in Presque Isle.
The Petition to Rezone will add an additional 1,898 acres to the 1,960 acres that comprise the Planned Development District on Saddleback Mountain. The rezoning of the land to planned development will enable Saddleback to carefully craft an environmentally conscious, four season, recreational resort. Saddleback owns 8000 acres of mountains and lakes and most of it will remain as untouched wilderness.
“After three years of extensive studies, considerable expense and an abiding commitment to the natural beauty of Maine, the Berry family is one step closer to realizing their vision for Saddleback Mountain,” commented John Cannizzaro, Development Manager.
Saddleback was purchased in 2003 by the Berry family of Maine. Since then, they have built a large post and beam base lodge, added 44% to the ski terrain, increased snowmaking to 85%, added a quad chairlift and trail system for beginners and families, and increased capacity on the Rangeley Chair, among other improvements.
The first phase of the development plan includes construction of the Magalloway lift and trail network; new trails in the high-elevation False Peak advanced area; an amenities center with indoor pool, spa and fitness center; tubing park; and tennis courts. Trailside lodging will be expanded with the construction of whole and fractional ownership condominiums and private homesites.
Further phases of development at Saddleback include continued real estate offerings, two inns, a hotel, village amenities, additional lift and trail systems and two day lodges. Snowmaking will expand with trail development.
Development in the village area will be in small clusters scattered throughout the development zone with each cluster not visible from the others. “This is a low density, low profile project that is different from real estate developments at other ski areas,” Cannizzaro said.
The ski area also provides a different ski experience. It hosts classic New England ski trails with more trails per lift, resulting in fewer skiers per trail.
Saddleback Maine currently has five lifts and 60 trails with a 2000 ft. vertical drop. It is only one of seven ski mountains in New England with a top elevation over 4000 feet.