The investment group that’s trying to reopen the Saddleback Mountain ski resort is scheduled to meet Wednesday with the Maine Rural Development Authority board to discuss a loan needed to close the $6.5 million land deal.

Arctaris Impact Investors, a Boston firm, also is seeking loan insurance from the Finance Authority of Maine and is set to meet with the FAME board on Jan. 16, said Bill Norbert, FAME spokesman.

Arctaris signed a purchase-and-sale agreement with the Berry family in November to buy the ski area, which was the third largest in the state and one of the biggest employers in Franklin County before it closed in 2015.

In December, FAME was expected to review a commercial loan guarantee application from Arc Saddleback Co. LLC that would help close the land deal by the end of 2019 and reopen the mountain for the 2020-21 ski season, said Jonathan Tower, managing partner of Arctaris. That review was postponed.

“Given the complexity of this transaction involving support from both federal and state government partners, FAME requested today that we consider advancing this discussion to their January board meeting,” Tower said in a Dec. 19 written statement.

“Arctaris remains confident that the purchase will be completed in January and on the same terms as previously agreed,” Tower said. “We appreciate the continued teamwork from our federal, state and philanthropic partners, as well as the Berry family, toward this effort.”

Arctaris plans to invest $38 million in the ski resort to upgrade lifts, the lodge and potentially develop more housing and lodging. The firm wants to redevelop the resort as a four-season destination and an economic engine for western Maine.

Arctaris has pledged to put $28 million into the project. The company plans to get $5 million from the New Markets Tax Credit program designed to encourage investment in low-income communities and raise $5 million from local donors through a philanthropic partnership with the nonprofit Saddleback Mountain Foundation.

In his Dec. 19 statement, Tower said Arctaris was “close to reaching its $2 million December (fundraising) target, and we are focused on securing the additional $2 million required to complete the New Markets Tax Credit transaction in January.”


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