Saddleback Blog

Archive: January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Plans

I was just asked, if I had big plans for New Years Eve. Yes I do! Right after our fireworks go off (8:00 PM at the base lodge), home for a New Years toast, then looking at the back of my eyelids, hopefully sound asleep. This has become my New Years tradition. Why? Because, New Years day is one of the best days to ski. The plan is to be up early, hangover free and ready to ski!

Skiing on January 1st is fantastic! It is a legal holiday, yet nobody is here until half day begins. Even after half day starts, it is very un-crowded. Tomorrow looks as if there may be some new natural snow to enjoy, so an even better reason to give up the night for a great ski day at… Read More >>

A Powder Day For Maine Day!

You might be asking yourself, why a new blog on Wednesday? Well, normally I do take Wednesdays off but, in our business, holiday weeks are 7 day work weeks. I will rest next Wednesday. I have just received an update on the impending storm. The storm models are now saying that the system is a slower mover and will not start until late Friday. The heaviest snow will fall Saturday into early Sunday. We are thinking one to two feet by the end of Sunday.

The snow is just in time to make our first Maine day a powder day! We have Maine days every first Sunday of the Month. Maine residents ski for only $35 during Maine days. We have other special days. During… Read More >>

Snow Last Night, Lot's More For The Weekend!

In Sunday's blog, we were moaning about the weather and the seemingly doom and gloom brought on by high winds, warm weather and rain. Just as promised, both snowmaking and grooming crews have done an exceptional job providing good surfaces on most of our open trails. Mother Nature also changed her tune and provided four inches of new snow last night. This bit of new snow has allowed some of the natural snow trails to re-open.

This weeks forecast is taking shape and is very exciting. Two weather systems in the west seem to be converging to create one large system. Should this system track as thought, it will be a huge east coast snow event. A nor'easter! It is thought to be a… Read More >>

Kennebago Station Opens!

Kennebago Station, Saddleback's new mid-mountain restaurant & bar, opened for the first time today. At 11:00 AM, I had the pleasure of joining CEO Warren Cook, Hospitality Director JoAnne Taylor and cooks Greg & Graves to cut the ribbon and welcome the first visitors to the yurt. If you check today's photo of the day, you can see us cutting the ribbon and see the new yurt. Notice the large deck, which I am certain will be the place to hang out during those sunny spring days in March & April.

All of our lifts are named after local rivers. The Kennebago Station is located at the base of the Kennebago Quad. Back in the 1800's the train track ended in Oquossoc. There was a smaller track with a single train car that traveled from Oquossoc along the kennebago river to the Kennebago Station. Hence, the history of the name. Kennebago Station will be open weekends and holiday periods. There will be daily specials and some standard fare. Today we were serving bacon potato cheddar soup, a hearty seafood chowder, brie fondue, a variety of deli sandwiches, hot dogs, Saddleback Signature Fudge, Whoopie pies, cookies, sodas, water, plus a variety of beers and wines. Now you can ski the advanced terrain at the Kennebago lift all day long and never have to come down!

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Mother Nature can be so cruel! This day is one of those difficult days in the ski resort business. We invest lots of time and money to provide a quality ski vacation and then the weather turns foul and the high winds prevent the lifts from turning. So, we are all hunkered down in the base lodge waiting for this weather system to move through. The staff is just lying in wait, like a tightly coiled spring, ready to spring into action.

As soon as the mercury drops, the snow drains out a bit and the winds subside, the Saddleback team will spring into action to create the recovery. The snow makers will fire up the guns on Tricolor and the brand new grooming fleet of Pisten… Read More >>

Try To Buy Demo Program

When shopping for a new pair of skis, have you been confused as to what to buy? There are so many choices and the advertising hype can make for a very difficult buying decision. Even advice from friends or ski shop personnel does not guarantee that a particular ski is best suited for you. Saddleback Ski Shop Director Ian Grierson has the ultimate solution, introducing the Saddleback Try To Buy Program.

The Try To Buy Program is the ultimate demo plan. For $50 per day you can take your choice of demo skis to try out. You can swap skis during the day up to four times. You can participate in the plan for as many days as you like until you have finally decided on which pair that… Read More >>

T'was The Day Before The Holiday Week

Today was a typical Christmas day at a ski area. A quiet day with not a lot of skiers. Those that were here were laid back and in a festive mood. Christmas music was playing in the lodge and Santa was enjoying our slopes and visiting the children in the base lodge.

As today is the calm before the storm, I put my skies on to take a tour of our open trails to see first hand what our holiday guests will experience.  The snowmakers had spent days in the South Branch beginner area and it shows! There is a good deep base there on all of the trails and the mini terrain park in Gee Wiz is in good shape and is ready to go. The Wheeler slope was in good shape also and one large jump… Read More >>

Air VS. Airless Snowmaking Systems

I had a great day off yesterday. I took the opportunity to ski at another ski resort. It is always fun and interesting to ski around. You can see a variety of different ways to do things plus you have more fun skiing. When skiing our own area, as an operator, we tend to focus on current operatons rather than enjoying our turns. Of course, while skiing someplace else, we cannot help but make comparisons to our resort, both good and bad.

In comparison, the biggest difference that I noticed was the quality of snow surfaces. Where I was skiing, the surface was quite firm and by 11:00 AM very skied off. This resort uses an air / water system. They had obviously made what we… Read More >>

Ski In / Ski Out Convenience

When vacationing at a ski resort, nothing beats the convenience of lodging in a ski in / ski out accommodation. At Saddleback, we have a wide variety to choose. We have from one bedroom units, to Single family four bedroom accommodations. These units are perfect for families. The kids can come and go as they please. Those who want first tracks can go early, while leaving others behind who want to sleep in. Lunch time is great too, as you have the full kitchen to use and the comfort of the sofa to relax. We have 44 units currently in our rental pool. Most are booked for the holidays, but, we do still have a few vacancies here and there. In January we are running a… Read More >>

Soups On!

There are very few ski resorts that make their own homemade soups, Saddleback is the exception! When visiting us this winter, be sure to have some our home made soups. While Hospitality Director JoAnne Taylor and Chef Carol Moore, take great pride in all of their food offerings, the soups are always front and center. Both Chef Carol and Jason Plog are the soup creators. Every thing is done from scratch with fresh ingredients and when possible, local ingredients. Both the New England clam chowder & the homemade chili have been first place winners of the Rangeley Chili cook off.

One of my favorites is the Chicken Marsala soup. It contains chicken, mushrooms and rice. The… Read More >>

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