[R343R, Saddleback] Maine honored John Christie recently, looking back to its roots and ahead to a 10-year-plan aimed at cementing the resort's future.

In the announcement of their decision to honor Christie, resort operators said, "Christie owned Saddleback from 1972 until 1975. He came to the mountain with quite a bit of ski industry history, first as General Manager at Sugarloaf where he is credited with overseeing the project that built a four person gondola, and then as VP and GM of Mount Snow.

"He bought Saddleback and took on the task of developing it beyond a local ski hill. He cut the trails that are now called Warden's Worry, Tightline and Supervisor, tapping into the early potential of the mountain that continues to grow today. He brought an enthusiasm and passion for making the area a destination point for skiers and built the original 20 White Birch condominiums at Saddleback."

Christie said, "I still have a tremendous amount of optimism for the development potential of Saddleback. The people who are there now seem to have the same passion for the sport that I did at the time I was there, and still do."

Christie also is a founding member and past president of the Ski Museum of Maine.

Saddleback operators say they pride themselves on their mountain's longstanding history in the industry, and the sport, of skiing. Having grown from a remote local ski area to one of Maine's top three ski destinations, it offers 64 trails and glades with terrain for everyone from experts to families. Saddleback is well on its way to becoming the destination resort area John Christie envisioned it to be, with the recent addition of the new Kennebago quad chairlift that makes its 4,120 foot summit more readily accessible to all levels of skiers and riders, the 46 percent increase in terrain with new trails, increased snowmaking (now at 85 percent of terrain), new grooming equipment, and the ongoing development of rental and privately owned properties.

He realized that the combination of lakes in the summer and mountains in the winter is something that no one else in the state of Maine really has. Ongoing development plans include maximizing the opportunities afforded by the unique and abundant natural beauty of the legendary Rangeley Lakes area and its offerings for the year-round outdoor enthusiast.