Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pantry Raid!

Got your attention? Look closely -it says "pantry" (with an "r")! You know - the place in the kitchen where you keep all your non-mentionables ... I mean non-perishables! All those canned vegetables, jars of spaghetti sauce, dried beans, pasta and rice are really going to come in handy on Sunday, November 25.

During this season of giving thanks, it is also time to consider the needs of those less fortunate. Okemo is hosting its annual Cares and Shares Food Drive tomorrow, November 25. When skiers and snowboarders donate at least three non-perishable food items, a new child’s toy or new clothing item, their generosity will be rewarded with an entire day of skiing and riding at Okemo for just $25.

Okemo Mountain Ambassadors will be accepting contributions outside the Clock Tower base lodge throughout the day and Black River Good Neighbor Services Christmas Basket Program will help distribute the donated items to needy families in time for the December holidays.

So dig deep, clear out one of those pantry shelves, and Okemo will thank you for your generosity with a deeply discounted lift ticket.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Snowmaking On!

Wow, what a difference a day makes! I can hear the buzz of the snowmaking guns even tucked into my warm office here at the base of the mountain.

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

Okemo Base 68

So you've heard about the snow, you've heard were making snow and you can't believe Okemo is open with 19 trails.......what can be better? Well how about checking out the new look in the Base Lodge. The new name says it all Base 68. The Okemo Base Lodge was built in 1968 and thus the name. There are some 60's colors, groovy looks and some great carpet.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Bruce Schmidt
Vice-President & General Manager
Okemo Mountain Resort

A Day of Rest for Snowmaking

It looks like Mother Nature may be giving Okemo's top-rated snowmaking team a day of rest today. With temperatures already inching their way up toward the freezing mark in these pre-dawn hours, we're in for a temperate day on the slopes.

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

Finally... to take my first turns of the season! I've been sitting in my office like a caged tiger since Friday and today was finally the day. And snow? Boy do we have snow. I bet this storm dropped upwards of 4-5" up top. Hats off to Mother Nature. Coverage was excellent.

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.

Blanket of Snow

There's nothing like a fresh blanket of snow to make the world a happier place ... at least this little corner of the world. Okemo received a few inches at the base, and by the looks of that cloud hovering over the mountain, from about the third lift tower up, I'd say it's probably still coming down at upper elevations. One of our bloggers is out there now and I'll have to get her to post some first-hand accounts upon her return. For now, you'll just have to live vicariously through the skiers in this pic. Visit the snow report page on our website for more conditions info. Cheers!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

G.M. Update

Well we've gotten open for skiing and riding and it is looking good. Things had to be better than last year's opening and it has been!! Top to bottom skiing on the 2nd day of skiing is always a good thing. Can't say enough about the hard work of all the Okemo staff members to get the ski season started. Snowmakers have been hard at work making the snow and the groomers have been coming in early to lay it out. They even had the winch cat out on Saturday working on Defiance! The other behind the scenes staff are all those in the other operations. Maintenance, Culinary, season's passes, call centers, lodging, Housekeeping. The list is endlesss. With out the team work, it wouldn't be possible.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving

Bruce Schmidt
V.P & G.M.
Okemo Mountain Resort

It's a Top-to-Bottom Bluebird Day

Ahhhh, what a beautiful day it is. The only clouds in the sky are the low-lying ethereal clouds of snow being generated by the snowguns. From my vantage point, the base area appears in soft focus - like a leading lady close-up in an old-time movie. Were it not for the roar of the compressed air escaping from the valves of the HKD snowguns, I'm sure I'd hear a choir of angels singing the Allelujah chorus. After all, this is the weather we've all been praying for as this season gets underway.

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.