Exciting developments for Maine’s Favorite Ski Mountain as part of Arctaris Impact’s comprehensive economic development plan in Western Maine
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Arctaris Impact Investors, LLC (“Arctaris”), a Boston-based impact investment firm, and Saddleback Mountain, a ski resort near Rangeley, Maine, are pleased to announce the completion of Saddleback House, a workforce housing solution for employees of Saddleback Mountain, a mid-mountain lodge and the activation of a 7MW solar field which generates double the mountain’s annual electricity consumption. As the largest independent ski resort in Maine welcoming over 90,000 visitors during peak skiing season, Saddleback has been recognized by DownEast magazine twice as Maine’s ‘Best Ski Mountain’.
Saddleback House is a ski-in/ski-out affordable mountainside accommodation for 60-80 people. Situated slope side, its primary goal is to offer short-term rental accommodations to employees of the resort, reducing reliance on older or unaffordable seasonal housing in the region that can often result in long, and dangerous, commutes in the Maine winter. The property has 42 private and shared dormitory-style units and is located on a 4.3-acre slope-side mountain footprint.
“We at Saddleback are beyond excited to have our own employee housing located right on the mountain with ski and ride access,” said Saddleback’s General Manager and longtime veteran of the mountain, Jim Quimby. “This will help attract reliable, hard-working employees that will hopefully become part of the Saddleback family we have all grown to love.”
As the mountain continues to welcome record-breaking annual visitation numbers, it has struggled to provide its workforce with affordable housing. Saddleback Ski Resort currently pays for or subsidizes off-mountain rental accommodations for seasonal staff as a benefit to attract and retain workers. During the ski season, the resort has over 250 full- and part-time employees with roughly 50 employees during the summer.
“This project has been a huge undertaking for Saddleback, our property maintenance team, and our partners. I cannot say enough about the work this team has done to make the staff house doors open in time for the 2023/2024 season. This project will allow Saddleback to offer brand new affordable, local housing for our dedicated team members as well as other Rangeley businesses,” Bruce Lancaster, Director of Facilities and Property Management, remarked.
With minimal construction in the Rangeley area over the past 10 years, there is a significant shortage of workforce housing and general visitor accommodation near the mountain. This investment, which was partially funded by a donation from Fritz and Susan Onion, will help to address this housing shortage.
“The ability to house 60-80 people will be a huge boost to our operations for both full-time and seasonal employees,” said Quimby. “The Saddleback House will be a huge asset to Saddleback and the Rangeley Region as we become more of a four-season operation. We are very excited.”
In January 2020, Arctaris partnered with the State of Maine to purchase Saddleback. The resort re-opened in December 2020 for the first time since being shuttered in 2015. With 6,000-plus acres of terrain available for skiing and/or real estate development, an extensive runway for real estate development beyond 2023, and opportunities for year-round tourism, Saddleback has tremendous potential for additional growth. Arctaris continues to work closely with the company to secure financing for various projects, manage real estate developments, and streamline operations.
Jonathan Tower, CEO of Arctaris, stated, “As a strategic partner of Saddleback Mountain we are thrilled to see Saddleback House open in time for the 2023/2024 ski season. We believe this workforce housing will be a huge competitive advantage to help Saddleback attract the best talent, and we are excited for all the upcoming expansions to the mountain. We feel confident in the company’s ability to build on the success of this ski season and plan for an increase in skier visitation next winter.”
In exploring options to strengthen the economics and environmental profile of Saddleback, Arctaris identified solar development as a sensible way to improve its approach to powering the mountain. Saddleback took great care in selecting the location for the solar farm, a site that comprises less than one percent of Saddleback’s real estate and engaged with Nexamp for the construction of the new 31-acre community solar farm on its property that now generates 7MW of clean energy.
Saddleback also finished the Mid-Mountain Lodge located at the top of the Rangeley quad lift which offers visitors stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes from 3,100 feet of elevation. The 2,700-square-foot building seats ~80 guests and will host an elevated restaurant led by a head chef Coco Chretien, previously of Nebo Lodge on North Haven Island in Maine.
About Arctaris Impact Investors
Arctaris Impact Investors, LLC is a Boston-based impact investment firm with experience spanning more than 14 years over 7 funds. The firm manages funds which invest in growth-oriented operating businesses and community infrastructure projects located in underserved communities. Founded in 2009, Arctaris has partnered with the Kresge Foundation, Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter’s Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, and multiple other foundation, federal and state government agencies to invest in Opportunity Zones, inner cities and targeted rural communities throughout the U.S., with the aim of delivering above-market investment returns alongside positive social impact. For more information visit https://arctaris.com or for press inquiries contact email@example.com.
Nexamp is leading the transformation to the new energy economy with proven solar and storage solutions that make clean energy more accessible for our customers and partners. Our comprehensive solar and energy storage capabilities—including project development and acquisition, design, construction, and operations—enable clean energy savings and benefits for more customers. Nexamp’s industry-leading community solar platform makes solar an option for anyone, offering guaranteed savings on annual electricity costs. With more than 1 GW of renewable energy generating assets currently in operation or under construction, we are building a decarbonized energy future.
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