An early snowfall provided an early start to skiing at Saddleback Mountain near Rangeley, but the official opening is still about two months off.

The resumption of skiing follows five years of uncertainty over the fate of the resort. It had been operated by the Berry family since 2003, but the owners announced they were closing in 2015 because they could not afford to replace an outdated lift.

The proposed sale to an Australian developer fell through in 2018 when the developer, Sebastian Monsour, was arrested in Australia and charged with fraud for allegedly misusing $5 million he got from a Chinese investor.

About a year ago, Arctaris Impact Fund of Boston announced a deal to buy the resort from the family owners.

Andy Shepard, chief executive officer and general manager of the resort, said some skiers went up the hill on their own and skied down Saturday. Workers are still installing a new lift that is expected to be ready for the official opening of the resort on Dec. 15, Shepard said.

He said about 10 inches of snow fell at the lodge and a foot or more on the mountain.

Shepard said the new owners are also making other investments at the resort, including a new heating and ventilation system in the lodge designed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He also said a new snowmaking system will be tested this week.


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