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March 23, 2020

Saddleback Mountain owners tap Canadian outdoor brand marketing firm

A man skiing with the words we're back in the saddle again Courtesy / Saddleback Mountain Saddleback Mountain's new owners have hired Montreal-based marketing firm Origin, and have a new website up and running.

Saddleback Mountain has hired Montreal-based marketing firm Origin to develop the brand, creative assets and launch strategy for the resort, which is expected to reopen in December after being closed since 2015.

Origin has worked with L.L.Bean Inc. "and brings a deep understanding of the resort industry," with branding campaigns developed for ski resorts including Jay Peak Resort in Vermont, Squaw Valley in California, Taos Ski Resort in New Mexico, Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, and others, according to a news release.

"Saddleback Resort has a long history of being an incredible mountain,” said Origin principal MJ Legault. “Even as a Quebecker, I've heard tales of this place and have had it on my wish list — both as a brand partner and to ski — for years. We couldn't be more excited to have the privilege to work with Saddleback in bringing the brand to life and spreading the message of its revival. Their vision for a true community-based, purposeful approach to the relaunch is inspiring."

Boston-based Arctaris Impact Fund LP closed on the $6.5 million purchase of the Rangeley region mountain in January. Arctaris plans to invest $38 million into the resort, which is Maine’s third-largest ski area. Upgrades will include a high speed detachable quad chairlift, a redesign of the lodge, expansion of the snowmaking system and the addition of mountain bike and fatbike trails. The company also plans to hire more than 200 full- and part-time employees.

Saddleback is already advertising season passes for the 2020-21 ski season on a new website.

Origin's process includes "an envisioning session with key stakeholders, a deep dive into the brand’s stories and characters and a strategy to meet the organization’s long-term goals," according to a news release.

Origin, founded more than 20 years ago, said it is outdoor-focused and digitally driven, with a bilingual suite of capabilities, focused on both Canada and the U.S. The firm has offices in Montreal and Whistler, B.C., as well as a U.S. subsidiary based in Vermont. Other companies it's worked with are lululemon, Smartwool and North Face.

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