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Saddleback breaks ground on new ski lodge

The ski area is investing $9 million in improvements to the mountain, including a new mid-mountain lodge, 2 new eco-diesel snow groomers, 3 new lifts, and more

RANGELEY, Maine — Saddleback Mountain has broken ground on its new Mid Mountain Lodge.

As part of the mountain's $9 million improvements, the lodge will host three new lifts, two new eco-diesel groomers, nearly $2 million in snowmaking upgrades, new single-track mountain bike trails, and a 7-megawatt solar farm. 

The lodge will be in Bicknell’s Thrush habitat and project leaders have collaborated with the Maine Audubon Society to pay close attention to the needs of that habitat. 

Mating season for this bird is from May 1 through the end of July. As a result, Saddleback delayed construction until August. The plan is to have the building enclosed by October, then focus on the inside. 

“We understand the role we need to play in preserving that and our plans demonstrate that commitment,” said Andy Shepard, General Manager at Saddleback. “The lodge will be built on pedestals, so we have minimal disruption of the watershed. The glass will be designed to minimize bird strikes. And the roof will be an undulation sod roof with native berries and grasses. This architect-designed building will feature strategically placed windows to open the natural environment encompassing views to the west over the Rangeley Lakes Region. That will make the structure appear to be a more natural feature from the limited vantage points along the Appalachian Trail, while also providing habitat for the birds.”

Project planners are partnering with the owners of Eventide, Hugo’s, and Honey Paw restaurants on the design of a kitchen, menu, and food and drink business model for the lodge, according to a press release. 

The lodge is expected to be completed by winter.