RANGELEY, Maine — There may not be any snow on the ground, but things are still busy at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley, Maine. The ski area is coming off of its first ski season back open after being close for five years, and the summer looks to continue to keep the ski area busy.
"There's an old saying in the ski industry... That people come for the winter but stay for the summer. And the Saddleback and Rangeley area is the epitome of that statement," said PJ McSparran, Chief Business Development Officer at Saddleback.
This past week, the mountain reopened its pub for offseason guests. On Saturday, more than 20 people were up at the lodge waiting to dine with a view as soon as it opened for the day.
"The word is getting out," said McSparran.
The pub will be open Wednesday through Sunday over the summer and will host live music every Friday and Saturday night.
"It feels like life has been breathed into this place again. It's unreal seeing the live music play last night. Seeing all of the people come in and eat with their families and friends. It's really amazing to see," said the Pub at Saddleback front of house manager Sarah McDonald.
It's not just the food that folks are coming to Saddleback for in the offseason, however. Dozens hiked to the top of the mountain on Saturday. Starting at the end of June, Saddleback will offer numerous outdoor programs to facilitate exploration in the region.
"Some of our outdoor programs are going to consist of guided hiking, bird watching, paddling, and we're really excited to offer some Maine guides to go along with those programs. We really cater to those that love the outdoors," said McSparren.
"The possibilities of what we can do up here are really endless. It's like a blank slate for us," said McDonald.
The team at Saddleback hopes to build upon the success of the ski season too. There are multiple upgrades for the ski area on the table. Notably, a new J bar will be installed in an area for beginning skiers.