Saddleback Mountain announced plans last month to develop a $4.5 million employee housing facility. Construction on the 100-bed building could start as early as late spring, 2022.
Local philanthropists Susan and Fritz Onion, a Maine couple who grew up skiing at Saddleback, in collaboration with Venn Foundation, a non-profit, public charity, made a $1.5 million donation. That helped to launch a campaign to raise a total of $2.5 million in charitable capital to build housing for seasonal workers in Rangeley, Maine and on Saddleback Mountain. Saddleback, which was purchased Arctaris Impact Fund, an opportunity zone investment leader, in 2020, seeks to raise an addition $1 million in charitable gifts for affordable workforce housing and the remaining $2 million in construction costs will come from other sources.
“Our efforts to work with the community to help solve for challenges like affordable housing for employees, access to childcare and being able to provide seasonal workers with year-round benefits are all a part of the mission that goes along with being owned by an impact fund,” Saddleback general manager Andy Shepard said.
The lodging is designed to attract and retain staff who might work on Saddleback Mountain during the winter and at local restaurants, retail shops, and other local businesses during the summer. The goal is to make Rangeley a national destination for those who want to live and work in the community.