After five years, and several attempts, Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley is opening again for skiing on Dec. 15.
General Manager and CEO Andy Shepherd says Saddleback's old chair lift, which took 11 minutes to get people up the mountain, has been replaced with a new $7.2 million quad lift that has shortened the ride to just four minutes.
"And it'll take 2,400 people up the mountain," Shepherd says. "So we feel like we've taken one of the biggest negatives of the Saddleback experience - which was it took forever to get up the mountain - we've taken that off the table with this new high speed detachable quad."
Shepherd says renovations have also been made to the lodge, which will enhance views, greatly increase seating capacity. He says snowmaking has also been expanded.
Saddleback closed five years ago under financial duress, and was purchased last January by Arctaris Impact Fund of Boston, which Shepherd says invests in economically distressed communities, and in particular those that have lost their primary employer.