Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Sworn to secrecy, this crack-squad of kids’ instructors uses whatever non-violent means possible to keep Toby and Philamena together. After being reunited at the end of last season, Toby again disappeared around the beginning of December. Rumors claiming Toby was back at the J.G. Snow Stars H.Q. were impossible to confirm until yesterday. Upon learning of the location of their beloved bird, the S.S.P.P.D. sprang into action late last night.
It is my honor to announce that the penguin duo has once again been reunited! Although a ransom note has been dispatched to the J.G. Snow Stars staff, the demands are not expected to be met. A Jackson Gore Snow Stars official who refused to be identified said, "The Waffles aren't the issue so much as the smelling of [Snow Stars Assistant Manager] Kyle's feet!"
It is hoped that by publishing the previously classified details of the on-going penguin war, public outcry will lead to a détente between the two sides. Stay tuned for more information...
I like to ski and have fun, just like the next guy, but I can say from experience, please, please, take your time when getting around the mountain and around the valley this week. We're all here to have fun and enjoy time with friends and family. Let's share our space with new people and we'll all have a really good time. When possible, remember to "pass it forward"....being nice has a great way of building up your Karmic energy reserves.
Speaking of good times and reserves. Have fun on new Year's Eve. Make reservations at a party or at a local hot spot. Drink responsibly, drive safe and see you on the snow on New Year's morning.
PS. It's supposed to snow on New Year's Eve too. Sweet!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Mark your calendar for the next Ride with Ross Day, Sat., Jan. 5. Meet up with Ross at the bottom of the SoBe Superpipe at 9 a.m. Depending on what the group wants to do, Ross will lead on a jibbing tour of the mountain or ride the halfpipe, demonstrating the steez that won him Olympic Gold.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Is alive and well at Okemo! Okay women, here is your chance to take your skiing or riding up a notch!
WAA stands for Women's Alpine Adventures ~ a women's only learning program here on the mountain. I've attended 2 years in a row, and am counting down the days until my first clinic this year, which runs over a 3-day weekend January 11-13. In fact, I'm signed up for two sessions this season!
If you're a great skier, an okay skier, or even a non-skier, this is the place for you! My first year I went from a non-skier (not able to complete a parallel turn) to skiing blues and blacks in just two days! Something about being taught by women, in a group of all women, gives you confidence you didn't know existed.
Skiing aside for a minute, the clinic offers so much more. Led by one of "America's Best Instructor's" (according to Skiing magazine), Maria Tomaselli leads morning strectches, fear and balance clinics and offers support in just about any facet of the sport. Add to that the delectable delights of a hot breakfast in the morning and lunch ready and waiting as you come off the hill, and it just can't get much better! (Okay, maybe a soak in the hot tub when the lifts stop turning!)
Anyway, if this sounds up your alley, definitely check it out.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
And looking ahead to the weekend, don't miss our Ride with Ross Powers Day this Saturday ~ join two time Olympic Medalist Ross Powers at the bottom of the SoBe Superpipe and take a run with him!
Then, it's the Okemo Powers Series Slopestyle at 11 am. If you'd like to participate, registration begins at 8am in the base lodge mezzanine. And this year it's important to come to all three of the Okemo Series competitions as Okemo has put $2000 on the line for overall winners. Prizes for each competition will be handed out as well. Bring your board, bring your skis and go big on this slopestyle competition.
CU on the hill!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I guess I should thank him in person, since he's here at Okemo right now. That fat dude is like the EverReady Bunny - he just keeps going. After a round-the-world-trip of delivering presents and sliding up and down chimneys all night, he made a point of coming back to Okemo this morning to take a few runs and to hand out some sweet treats to his friends on the slopes. He doesn't look any worse for wear and his "ho ho ho" is as sincere as these winter nights are long.
Okemo Videographer captured some footage of Santa during his pre-flight visit to Okemo Saturday night. Check out the video online and have a very merry Christmas. Cheers!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Besides, didn't you have some shopping you wanted to do for that special blogger in your life (hint hint)?
Friday, December 21, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I've been skiing and snowboarding at Okemo since I was 12, and I can only remember one December that was anywhere near as good as this one has been so far. With the 10+ inches of new snow we have so far from today's storm, we're going to be close to 100% open in a New York minute. Not only is it fun to report we have that much terrain open, it's also going to be fun to ski and ride that much open terrain!
So thanks, Mother Nature. You've been doing a great job...keep up the good work!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
The proceeds of the show will benefit the Vermont and New Hampshire Food Banks, Reverb and the Ross Powers Foundation. Tickets for this event are available through www.picklebarrelnightclub.com. It promises to be a very special night, so grab your tickets today and we'll see you at the show! Stay in touch with the Okemo blog for more. Look for a special Okemo lift ticket deal for concert ticket holders for skiing and riding on January 9. Details soon.
Us mid-week folk will save some for you!
If you're a fan of the Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies or Guster you don't want to miss this special holiday treat!
A benefit concert is in the works for Wednesday, January 9th at the Pickle Barrel Nightclub in Killington. A collaboration between Okemo Mountain Resort and Warren Miller Entertainment, the Pickle Barrel will host this special event with proceeds to benefit charitable organizations including the Vermont and New Hampshire Food Banks and the environmental non-profit group Reverb.
Tickets go on sale beginning December 10 at 12 noon. Interested? Check the Okemo Newsroom for details.
PS Did I mention its snowing! Yipeee!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
The condition right now feel like mid-winter....really. and I'll admit, i love getting out on the hill mid-week. Sorry to all you Mon-Fri office slaves....but you really should consider taking a "personal wellness" day sometime soon.
Anybody who's come up for Hanukkah is in for a pleasant surprise. Because if you were here last winter......eewww...it was nasty. Last year Okemo had 11 trails open...this year...between yesterday and today...the hill opened 13 trails....go figure....and there are now 71 trails open....the most terrain in the EAST!
So get up here and get out on the snow...and if you can't get to Okemo....get somewhere and get on the snow.
PS. goin' out again today.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
This is absolutely the best early season skiing I've ever had. I'm not kidding. The conditions were packed powder, perfect corduroy, and some untouched trails to get the legs burning. Skiing over at south face was silent - sometimes the occasional squeak from the cold snow, but that was about it.
All I can say is this - get up here. It doesn't get any better. These are the conditions we dream of for December (or February for that matter!).
This weekend we've got the Rome Rail Jam, and the first stop this winter for the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge. Come up and enjoy the snow - it is perfect in every way!
Snowboarding has become for me a lot like sailing was. Not as fast moving, feeling the terrain under my feet, and exploring the sides of the trails, turning back and forth, using the hill, standing against gravity, well, tacking and jibing my way down. Maybe it’s my past experiences 20-plus years ago racing sailboats on Long Island Sound. Or maybe it’s just a newfound connection with the mountain, I don’t really know for sure. All I do know is that it’s a great way to unwind, chill out and appreciate being in the moment. It’s also sobering to try a new sport from the ground up. Or should I say, from up to the ground?
I have been wearing wrist guards lately, at least until my proficiency and confidence builds. These are essentially Velcro wraps with a bent piece of hard plastic that supports and protects the underside of the wrist in case of a forward fall. Most people cannot resist the urge to stiff-arm a toe-side fall, usually resulting in a trip to First Aid and a few weeks in a cast. Since the wrist guards are worn under the glove and cuff, they are in close contact to the wrist, so there’s no room to wear a wrist watch. Yeah, I know, I’m old school, or maybe just old… why wear a watch when I carry my digital pocket watch (cell phone) and every lift shack at Okemo has a clock for skiers and riders to reference on every lift ride?
I suppose that’s precisely the point… the only time of day that matters is when it’s time to ride!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
14-16 inches of new powder on top of Okemo's monster snowmaking capacity has given the hill something to show off.......46 trails as of the snow report I saw this morning. Plus the trails at Jackson Gore are scheduled to open on Thursday. That expansion will put the hill at 50-60 trails by the weekend.....perfect for some Hanukkah holiday turns....and another reason to skip Christmas shopping. The snow was great on Monday....and winter is in full-swing today....nice and cold and snowy!
I finished all my wood splitting and outdoor projects just in time........as the snowflakes started to fall on Sunday afternoon. Did I mention I have great neighbors? They helped me plow out my driveway on Monday...which it quite long.
Remember, there's no such thing as a bad weather day when you are skiing and snowboarding, just a poor choice in clothing.
See you on the snow!
Apologies on the live cam - we're, as they say, experiencing some technical difficulties and hope to have the live video back soon. Cheers!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
There is a 30-day buffer around which to protect a bear migration corridor that exists atop the mountain at Jackson Gore. The date by which the bears are supposed to be "clear" is November 1 - so add thirty days and we're at December 1st. Enter Okemo snowmaking.
Right now our target date to open that base area is by Friday, December 7. (Of course, you all know that is contigent on weather - that goes without saying right?) Following closely behind will be opening of the snow tubing park and the snow playground, which we currently target for December 22. As always, stick close to the snow report for developing details.
Oh, and I almost forgot: The Ice House. We've been building the base layer of ice and I believe we're up to about an inch. The ol' rumor mill suggests maybe this weekend? Who knows, only time will tell.
One last thing: it's snowing. Life is good @ Okemo.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Also, don't forget to check out the line up at the Sitting Bull on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 3-6pm. We're bringing back the old favs and adding some new talent to the roster as well.
That's all for now - back to work for this guy - and then out on the slopes tomorrow morning for the free Nordica Demo's!
"I don't have any equipment ... it's too expensive ... it's too hard ... what if I don't catch on right away and I feel stupid ... what if I invest all that time and money into lessons and then don't like it? ... it's been years since I've been on skis ... I tried it once but I don't think I'd remember how to ski ..."
The list goes on and on.
Okemo just put an end to the excuses! From now through Dec. 21, 2007, anyone age 7 and older can learn to ski or snowboard for free. I don't normally read minds, but I know what you're thinking ... "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is ... there's got to be a catch ... this has got to be some scheme to turn my friends into marketing victims of some pyramid scam ..."
See, there you go - sounding just like your friends with all of their excuses.
The truth is, there's no catch, nothing to buy, no brand-loyalty brainwashing or anything. It's simply a complimentary group lesson package that anyone can take advantage of. It includes a level 1 or level 2 group lesson, specialized beginner rental equipment and a lower-mountain lift ticket ... all for FREE.
Still skeptical? I would be too. Check out the details and see for yourself. Cheers!
"I don't know if you get this kind of input, but I am VERY THANKFUL to Okemo this evening, after the food drive today. We inventoried 1,001 items that will be used in the food baskets. We took approximately another 350-400 items back to the store for distribution, as they were not items for the Christmas dinner baskets (not on our menus). thanks and congratulations on a job well done." - Ray - Black River Good Neighbors.
Thank you to all the Okemo Staff and Okemo Guests who supported this great program. I can't thank you enough for making this such a success.
Vice-President & General manager
Okemo Mountain Resort
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
The snowmaking teams are at Solitude today in hopes of Screamin' Deamon and Heaven's Gate for the weekend.
They've also been spotted at South Face making snow on trails including Blind Faith, Stump Jumper, Upper Wild Thing and Sun Dog.
The news just keeps on getting better! Stay tuned to the Snow Report for official updates!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Probably the biggest change is the new "No Bags under the tables" policy. Yes you heard correctly. NO BAGS UNDER THE TABLES. What a change that will be for the dining experience!! Actually having space to sit down and stretch out your legs. We've built some new cubbies to hold your bags and the basket check will still be available. If bags are left under the tables, they will be pleasently moved to the nearest cubbie until you return.
All of us here at Okemo are excited about this new change. You will see Okemo staff members around the lodge reminding guests about our new policy and we are hopeful everyone will understand we are trying to make the skiing experience at Okemo that much better.
Let us know how we are doing.
Vice-President & General Manager
Okemo Mountain Resort
Just to give you some idea of Okemo's dedication to snowmaking, we've already pumped 50 million gallons of water through our snowmaking system. And as soon as the mercury drops in the thermometer, we'll be out there making more snow. We're testing out some new technology on lower elevations. We've installed 15 SV10 HKD tower guns on the Open Slope above the Clock Tower base area. They are able to make snow efficiently at close-to-freezing temps. Assistant Mountain Manager Eb Kinney says, "They're wicked efficient."
Where will the guns be fired up next? The plan is to start working our way toward Solitude and then South Face. Once we get into December (and all the migrating bears are deemed safely asleep in their winter beds) we'll start blasting the guns on Jackson Gore.
So make a plan to gobble up the gobbler (and all those yummy fixin's) and head to Okemo for a great weekend of skiing. We're working toward a goal of having 25 trails open and 8 lifts running this weekend. Get all the details at our online snow report or call Okemo's snowphone at (802) 228-5222. Cheers!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Do you ever get that feeling, though, on that first trip out each season...."Am I going to remember how to do this?" The first run is always interesting, but by the bottom you start to get back into the groove. I guess skiing is a lot like riding a bike, not really something you forget.
My first trip up the Northstar was with a few girls from the Cannon Mountain ski team. They were participating in a two-day Turkey Day Training Camp. Sounds like the perfect way to spend the holiday to me.
My trail pick goes to Sapphire. Lots of snow, plenty of room to turn. And lots of tricks to watch as practice continues for Saturday's rail jam. If you're a jibber you should check it out - its open to all abilities and the purse is $500! Check the events calendar for details.
Anyway, the fun is offically over. I have to get back to work.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Our plan for the next 10 days or so will be to continue to add and expand terrain. We'll be concentrating on the South Face area with snowmaking on Rimrock and then down Blind Faith. I anticpate that opening before Thanksgiving. We'll also start moving towards the Solitude area with snowmaking on Coleman Brook & Heaven's Gate/Screamin Demon. At the same time of working to expand terrain, we'll also be trying to get Lower World Cup Open as well as trying to widen and adding base depths to the existing trails we have open.
I'd anticipate 25 trails opening for the Thanksgiving Holiday period and probabaly around 8 lifts. Of course this is contingent on the weather holding out.
V.P & G.M.
Okemo Mountain Resort
We're skiing top-to-bottom on 13 trails today and we have terrain for all ability levels. Keep up-to-date on conditions at Okemo's snow report page or call the snow phone at (802) 228-5222.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Advanced and Intermediate skiers can now enjoy Timberline, Sapphire, Route 103, Upper and Lower Arrow, Double Dipper and Lower Mountain Road.
Check the snow report for full details. See you on the hill!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Like cowboys, snowmakers are a different breed. They are a hearty lot with a willingness to work in all elements, hauling hoses and lugging snowguns around in freezing cold and wet conditions - day or night.
It's not a job that I'd want to tackle. I like knowing that while I'm snug in my bed, those hard-working souls are out on the mountain, braving the elements to prepare a surface for me to experience the thrill of a well executed turn on skis. I get to come as close as a person can get to the sensation of flying, thanks to their willingness to combine compressed air and water in the chill of the night.
Opening day is just a few days away and it's looking like we could have as many as four lifts accessing up to a dozen trails. Stay tuned at okemo.com for up-to-the-minute info. Cheers!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
With the help we’ve been getting from Mother Nature, we’ll be skiing in no time!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
SCR, or selective catalytic reduction is a means of removing nitrogen oxides, often the most abundant and polluting component in exhaust gases, through a chemical reaction between the exhaust gases, a (reductant) additive, and a catalyst.
Last year, Okemo made news with its commitment to environmental stewardship through the purchase of renewable energy certificates - enough to offset 100 percent of the resort's annual use of electricity. In addition, Okemo owners Tim and Diane Mueller purchased enough kilowatt hours of wind-generated power to offset the electrical need of their other two resorts as well. That same commitment to the environment continues with the purchase of renewable enrgy certificates this year - and other aggressive programs like the one mentioned above.
“Protection of the environment is one of our core values. It is also very important to our guests,” says Tim Mueller. “We have the ability to demonstrate that Okemo, Mount Sunapee and Crested Butte are good community and corporate citizens working toward energy independence for America through clean, renewable sources like wind energy.”
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
She starts her review of Okemo, "Popular with East Coasters, this resort is stepping up its services for parents and kids alike."
It's always interesting to see a magazine's top picks for a story like this and Okemo is in some good company here. Other resorts featured are: Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Beaver Creek, Colorado; and Northstar at Tahoe, California.
The November issue of Parents is on newsstands now, so pick up a copy. And if family travel is of particular interest to you, you can pick up some great tips at the magazine's blog Wish You Were Here. Cheers!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
-Friday and Saturday night deluxe accommodations at the Jackson Gore Inn
-Access to the new Spring House fitness and aquatic center
-A ski- and snowboard-specific pilates class
-An hour with a personal trainer to develop a fall workout program
-An Okemo water bottle to keep you hydrated while you are working out!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Anyway, you wouldn't believe what we found. Dirty diapers (okay, that's gross), ski poles, socks and mittens, some loose change (but not much), the backs of lift tickets ( ALOT!), tons of soda and beer cans... but by far the most?
Cigarette butts. We probably picked up 1,000 butts each (there were about 10 of us, including Tim Mueller himself). The bad news was there were about 500,000 more we didn't. It honestly looked like it had hailed cigarette butts. We could have spent a week just picking them up.
So here is my plea: if you do smoke, I am begging you not to drop your butts on the snow in the base area this year. Pretty please? I don't want to have to pick them up come Spring. I know, selfish me.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The redo became the summer project of Okemo owner Diane Mueller. And, if you know Diane, you should know that when she sets her mind to something you better watch out. No cheating, no cutting corners. The inside of the base lodge is now vintage 1968, and the cafeteria is now known as "Base68".
So, what’s old is new again with some crazy avocado green paint, funky carpeting, all new chairs, and ORANGE Formica countertops! Skeptical myself, I took a walk up yesterday to view the "work of art". I left pleasantly surprised... it really does look good!
Now I could post a picture so you could get a little preview....but that would take away all the fun. I might just make you wait and come see it up close and personal. What do you think?
Monday, October 8, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I know, in this day and age its hard to really trust free. But you can really count on these two deals...they are really free. Skiers and boarders take note...
Crested Butte is giving away Free Lift Tickets between November 25 and December 15, 2007. Absolutely, positively, incredibly, 100 percent FREE, no strings attached! Check their site if you want to read more.
At Okemo you can learn to ski or snowboard completely free. Free lower-mountain lift ticket, free rentals, and a free level 1 or 2 beginner lesson. No joke. Tell a friend and come on out! Read more on our site.
Monday, October 1, 2007
I’ve learned that Okemo’s opening date has been slated for Saturday, November 17, 2007, weather permitting, of course. Or should I say temperatures permitting? We all know what Okemo’s mountain operations team can lay down when Mother Nature cooperates.
As for variety, there’s truly an offering for just about everyone. Whether you are a weekday, a weekend, or a weekend/holiday slider. Or maybe you’d like to try nearby Stratton Mountain on occasion, or perhaps venture to Crested Butte Colorado. If you’d like to save all season, you should consider the Flex Card that offers between 25% and 50% off every day of the season on full-day as well as half-day and Sunday Solution tickets. There is also the 8-Pack and 12-Pack which is a good bet for primarily weekend holiday skiers and riders that gives you one free ticket with the purchase of seven, or two free tickets with the purchase of 11 tickets. 8/12 Packs are transferable, Flex Cards are not. Season passes are direct-to-lift. Flex Cards and 8/12 Packs require a stop at the ticket window.
You don’t have to own a second home in the mountains to enjoy the many cool benefits of owning a season pass. The best value is value’s namesake, the Value Pass Plus, aimed at weekday and weekenders this pass has only 17 black out days (those holidays, when you probably have other commitments anyway!) all season and is good at Okemo, Mount Sunapee and Stratton.
For the gotta-have-the-best set, the Ultra Pass may be used at Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Stratton or Crested Butte every day the lifts turn. For first trackers, Okemo and Stratton will send you up the lifts at least 15 minutes before the rest so you can enjoy a few magical moments of powdery bliss or corduroy solitude like only a ski patroller can.
The joke among marketing folks in the industry is that ski season starts August first. All the prep work that goes into ad buys, brochures and press kits starts well before that, but it all reaches the boiling point in mid-summer. By October, we're counting down the hours until opening day and everyone in the department is consumed by thoughts of winter and hopes for plentiful snow.
Granted, I can be in a fog before that first cup of java brings the world into focus ... and I have been surprised to find the weather in Ludlow much different from my point of origin 20 minutes south, but one day last week I found myself wondering how in the world it could have snowed in September!? I could hardly believe what my eyes were seeing as I made my daily pilgrimage to, as one co-worker refers to it, the muffin place.
The ground beneath the stairs was covered in white and as I climbed each step I felt certain I was in a dream. A light dusting of snow appeared to have fallen - but it was 60 degrees! It had the look of a typical first snow - just a light cover of granulated crystals that collect on less-than-frozen ground and melt away within hours of settling. It was as bright white as the season's first snow and it looked like a light breeze could send the frozen flakes aloft again.
It only took a few seconds for me to realize that what I was seeing was the result of a delivery-gone-bad. A wayward bag of sugar destined for the baker's oven must have broken open, leaving a coating of what my winter-obsessed mind could only interpret as snow. I felt foolish and delighted at the same time and was thankful for the brief premonition of the season ahead.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
That's the word on the street - Gravity Hound
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I haven't chipped-in in a while...so here it goes. As much as Ludlow's lookin' all fancy and new....did anyone look up on the hillsides around the valley. The colors are already changing. At my house I've seen really bright reds from the maple trees. If you get a chance to drive by some VT bogs (not blogs) or swamps.....they are approaching peak colors.
and.....and....did you know there's less than 2 months until the snow flies? yup......at least if Mother Nature cooperates.....there will be snow soon. Are you getting in shape yet? I've been slacking for a few weeks...so it's time for me to go running again.
Get off yur duff and get outside?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
VT Route 103, from Chester to Ludlow has been completely regraded, repaved, repainted and new guard rails now sparkle on either side of the road.
Plus! - the crosswalks in downtown were all redone in brick and new lamposts line the streets. Should make for a great Norman Rockwell scene come winter.
Kudos to all the road and paving crews. You guys did a great job!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I normally don’t talk about individuals when I write for the blog. We are all a TEAM here at Okemo and inadvertently, I will miss someone who should be mentioned. I am going to break my own rules this time.
There was a surprise birthday celebration held at the Maintenance shop on Friday August 24th. You might ask, why would anyone have a birthday party in the end bay of the Maintenance shop? Well it was fitting that Barry Tucker was honored for a milestone birthday. Due to scheduling difficulties, I was unable to make the party, but from what I hear, it was well attended and a complete surprise to Barry. I wanted to summarize what I would have said if I had attended…..
I have known Barry Tucker most of my life, either as a ski racing figure or as an Okemo employee. You do not even have to mention his last name at Okemo. When “Barry” is mentioned, it is well known who is being described. Barry has his quirks no doubt. We all know he drives too fast. He supports his staff to the nth degree. I never knew we had so many guys in Mountain Operations who were “the backbone of the operation”……. and depending on the job that needs to be done, he’ll tell you that it will take at least 1-2 weeks longer than it really does…….
The other side of Barry is his ability to provide a special form of leadership. The type that you only read about in books. Barry leads by example and makes you want to work harder than you feel you can. His can do attitude and sense of humor makes the job go that much faster. As someone who worked side by side with Barry for over 12 years during the early Okemo construction projects, I know first hand how his presence and leadership can affect staff and the ability to complete a project.
The celebration of Barry’s birthday is also a celebration of him as an Okemo Icon. Probably many people do not even know that it took two tries to name a trail after him. The original name for “The Plunge” trail was actually “Tucker’s Revenge”. Barry did not feel that should be the name, so it was changed. When we named the trail in Jackson Gore, Tuckered Out, we did not even ask him about it. We knew the answer!!
I can honestly say that I would not be were I am today with out Barry’s help and guidance. Barry was very humbled with all the fan-fare for the celebration of his birthday and thanked everyone many times. It is probably we who should be thanking him for his part in making Okemo Mountain what it is today.
Happy Birthday to Barry Tucker from all of us at Okemo Mountain Resort.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I showed up for work today to see the parking lot coned off. I thought to myself, oh, they must be repaving the lot at the administration building. I couldn't have been more wrong. At about 9:30am a low-boy trailer showed up carrying a yurt. Our mountain operations staff had managed to move this huge structure early in the morning, put it on a trailer at the Solitude Lodge, and drive it down the hill to the Clocktower base area! With about 15 guys on hand, and one very skilled driver, the Yurt was quickly delivered to its new home, right next to the rental shop. This year the yurt will house the Salomon and Atomic Demo Center, a great place to go demo the latest equipment and have a tune done on your current skis.
Props to the Mountain Ops team for carefully moving the building into place. It amazes me what the staff here can do.
One thing to note though - while watching them I could only laugh and think about "that guy with his hand on the mattress on top of his car"! Apparently we hired all our ops guys straight out of ESPN's World's Strongest Man competitions.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
It wasn't with the intention of dozing in starlit darkness that I ventured out the other night with a quilt and pillow. A cold front brought crystal clear skies that coincided with the Perceid meteor showers. Vermont Public Radio held a star gazing party up at Burke Mountain and conducted a live broadcast with call-in questions and commentary by my favorite Eye On The Sky meteorologist Mark Breen. I cranked up the volume on the radio and headed out to the front lawn. It was pretty chilly for a midsummer night, so it felt good to have Nelson, my dog, curl up under the covers with me.
The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift Tuttle. I learned that the streaks of light darting about in the night sky at this time of year are actually pebble-sized fragments hitting the earth's atmosphere 100 miles above us. The light show is supposed to improve as the night wears on and I tried my best to keep up with the proliferation of shooting stars, but the radio talk of constellations and galaxies yielded to classical strains that lulled me to sleep and the next thing I knew, I was waking to the low growl of Nelson warning off imaginary night specters. I dragged my dew-covered quilt into the house, thankful that no warm-water-wielding marauders had happened upon me.
When was the last time you settled back to take in the night sky? Cheers!
Friday, August 10, 2007
So build yourself a campfire or just make a marshmallow mess of yourself at Okemo.
The Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series continues tonight with a free concert by The Brightwings. The Brightwings, a Boston-based band, consists of three singer/songwriters: Matt Rafal, Dave Dombroski and Dan Holden. Jayme Tardiff rounds out the line-up on drums. Their name is taken from an episode of the television show "The Wonder Years," which was set in the late '60s and early '70s. The Brightwings are influenced by that same era, hinting at the honest and simple sounds of The Eagles, CSNY, Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band incorporates this nostalgic vibe into their songwriting, creating modern songs with a classic rock feel. Three part vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars and heartfelt lyrics are all key elements of the Brightwings sound. On Friday nights throughout the summer season, the lawn in the courtyard at Okemo’s Jackson Gore Inn is transformed into an outdoor concert venue featuring renowned local and regional entertainers. Admission to the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series is free and the grounds open at 5 p.m. Concerts are slated to begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. Families are welcome and all attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. In case of rain, the concerts will move undercover. An outdoor barbecue is available, as well as dining in Jackson Gore’s Coleman Brook Tavern. Cheers!
Monday, August 6, 2007
Now, keep in mind, winter is less than 90 days away(assuming the season starts at the beginning of November), so the weekend was not all lounging and drinking. I went running on Sat and Sun morning...after the humidity broke. Saturday afternoon I hopped on my Laser and sailed all afternoon....the wind was fantastic..... and the water was warm, warm, warm. What a perfect afternoon.
Which brings up the topic of sunscreen. No matter how diligent you might be when applying sunscreen.....Mother Nature and the sun god always find the one spot that you missed. The back of my right arm....needless to say....it was crispy on Saturday night. I thought I'd slathered every piece of exposed skin.....even my feet were covered. I'm blaming the burn in "life vest rub". It simply wore off the sunscreen.
And lastly.....I can't believe there's only 4 weeks until the kids go back to school.....and for some towns it's even earlier. Oh well, all good things must come to an end. I hope they enjoyed summer camp, soccer camp, sailing camp, lacrosse camp, hockey camp, horseback riding camp, etc. Whatever happened to the daily rec department program and swimming at the local lake......everyone is so programmed these days.
So remember, get out there and exercise. Winter is coming fast and you want to be in good shape for your first turns of the winter.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Paleoindians were the first Native Americans to appear in North America about 500 years after the glaciers receded. They are thought to have been a nomadic people who traveled in small extended family groups. Evidence shows they were superb at stone tool manufacturing, but preferred to make their spear heads (this was prior to the invention of bows and arrows) of stone indigenous to areas now known as northern Maine and Pennsylvania.
The big mystery is - how did the stone from so far away end up at Jackson Gore - through trade or did the natives travel that extensively in their nomadic lifestyles?
Okemo’s Jackson Gore seems like an unlikely place to find evidence of a people who appear to have preferred high, sandy terraces and large river valleys, according to Project Supervisor Jess Robinson. “This must have been an exceptional place,” he said, “one of fine east/west access or perhaps an established travel corridor for game and hence, natives."
Monday, July 30, 2007
Pie Boys Flat took the stage last Friday as thunder rumbled in the distance. The sky's looked threatening, the rain was surely falling in Belmont and Mount Holly, but we decided an outdoor music festival should be held outdoors! The unique sounds from the NYC based band rocked the slopes at Jackson Gore until 9pm, and by that time the sky's had cleared leaving a great night for stargazing.
Those who agreed with my weather forecast enjoyed a beautiful evening on the lawn, great food from the BBQ, and a perfect summer evening.
This week the stage will once again come to life with the unbelievable voice of Skyla Burrell and the Skyla Burrell Blues Band. Again, I'll do my best to make sure it doesn't rain - so come on out and enjoy the show! Skyla's music is listed in the Jackson Gore Music Series page at Okemo.com.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
And, does anyone have some children I can borrow....for dancing in the rain. Sounds like there will be plenty of opportunity later this week. I recall from childhood (blurry as it was) that storms were best spent in mud puddles. So be sure to have plenty of puddles for your kids....make 'em wide and slightly deeper than they expect.
as for those mice......sounds like Silver Linings has started a deep sea diving program for her local herd of furry critters. I must admit, mice do like to proliferate in the VT countryside. I used to think they were only a winter probably, as they came indoors to enjoy the warmth and some free food. But now I realize, with my own house, that mice like to hang out all summer long too.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Okay ... so here it is ... here's that segue I've been building up to in the telling of this story ...
Speaking of one side ... The Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series continues tonight with ONESIDE and their "banjo-sweetened music that ranges from indie-flavored jangle pop to straight-out newgrass."
(Ah, I can almost hear the groans as I type the words)
In a time when banjos, fiddles and mandolins are often used for excessive jamming, Boston-based band ONESIDE puts them back in the framework of concise, well written songs. While ONESIDE offers up plenty of solos and tasty licks, the band's songs are also chock full of carefully crafted hooks. The leads are there to serve the song. This organic variety of music has been fondly dubbed "Electrified Yankee Roots/Rock" by lead singer/songwriter Ned deBary. "I see many bands with banjos, fiddles etc… playing strictly "old timey", bluegrass and traditional songs. I love those types of songs and love to play them, but I don't see us being limited to one style of music just because of our instrumentation. I think all these instruments fit very well in the context of a modern pop/rock song." Critics have likened ONESIDE's music to that of Wilco, The Shins, and early REM, but with a stronger basis in Americana. For more information about the band, visit http://www.onesidemusic.com/.
On Friday nights throughout the summer season, the lawn in the courtyard at Okemo’s Jackson Gore Inn is transformed into an outdoor concert venue featuring renowned local and regional entertainers. Admission to the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series is free and the grounds open at 5 p.m. Concerts are slated to begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. Families are welcome and all attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. In case of rain, the concerts will move undercover. A barbecue buffet is available, as well as dining in Jackson Gore’s Coleman Brook Tavern. Cheers!