Saddleback Mountain’s slopes opened to the public Tuesday morning after a five-year hiatus.
Eager skiers in Rangeley brushed aside near zero-degree temperatures and strong winds to return to the state’s third-largest ski area.
Skowhegan resident Mike Lambke was giddy about the chance to bring his now-teenage daughter to the hill, which closed while she was still a beginner.
“And now she’s ready to ski anything, so for me it’s — like, I’m going to get to watch Zooey ski the whole mountain,” he says with a laugh. “I’m so excited.”
And they’ll be able to get to the top a lot faster. The area’s new owners this summer tore down an old lift that was seen as one hindrance to the resort’s success and installed a high-speed lift that will carry skiers up in less than half the time.
The Boston-based Arctaris investment group is a so-called impact fund; its plans include providing workforce housing and day care on-site and year-round benefits for seasonal workers as well as permanent staff.