Monday, December 29, 2008

What Are You Doing ...

Maybe it’s much too early in the game
Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

Whether you’re looking for memorable family festivities or a romantic interlude that includes dinner and a midnight stroll under the stars to our courtyard fireplace (where you’re guaranteed to see sparks fly, one way or another), Okemo has a New Year’s Eve celebration for you.

Join us at Jackson Gore’s Coleman Brook Tavern for a very special New Year's Eve celebration with dining and dancing after 9 p.m. And enjoy music by The Sherry Winston Band. Call (802) 228-1435 for reservations and information.

If a more active evening is appealing to you, bring your friends and family to Okemo's First Annual Family New Year's Eve party! Enjoy snowtubing, ice skating, snowshoeing, horse drawn wagon rides, games, special activities and more! Plus, join us for a family-friendly pizza and dance party in the Roundhouse, complete with a DJ, balloons and noisemakers.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hot Dog Hill is Open for the Season!

Ketchup, mustard, and relish, may be the more common hot dog toppings, but at Okemo we like to put a little butter on our dogs. Our Hot Dog Hill beginner-level terrain park opened for the season this past Saturday, ushering in another winter of freestyle ski and snowboard progression. From the greats like Ross Powers to your average Joe-y, they all have to start somewhere. The pint-sized park features small jumps and plenty of butters for up-and-coming X-Games medalists to get their start on. After busting your buns in this park for a little while, you'll be ready to move on to one of Okemo's other parks, including our SoBe Super Park on Nor'Easter.

(Interestingly enough, the gateway to Hot Dog Hill was built by a family of beavers, not Dachshunds. I only kid.)

Just because our Pipes and Parks crew is a top-rated team of feature-building experts doesn't mean they forgot about those of us who don't throw down backside 900s on our way to lunch. The history of terrain park building is one which can be characterized by many bucks and trends, but two things have remained constant: safety and progression. Hot Dog Hill is the type of park you can feel comfortable dropping the kids off at, or dropping into. So whether you're young or old, it's never too late to put a little air and butter beneath your feet.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Into each life a little #@*& must fall.

In the ski world - at least at Okemo - we refer to it as the "r" word. and it is most certainly a four-letter word. On most days, it's an easy job to extol the virtues of Okemo's weather and conditions (in fact, the readers of SKI Magazine rated Okemo in the Top Ten in the East for snow, grooming and weather, plus seven other categories) in our snow report but there is the occasional day when we just have to acquiesce to Longfellow ...

Be still sad heart and cease repining;
Behind the clouds the sun is shining,
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life a little rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

My second day on skis, ever, (30 years ago) was spent wearing a black plastic garbage bag at Sugarbush North, and it is still one of my most memorable days on snow. Hard-core skiers and riders know that gray-weather days generally offer up sumptuously soft snow, short or nonexistent lift lines, and wide open trails. It's all about dressing for the weather. Okay, so maybe a snorkel and swimming goggles is a little over the top, but breathable waterproof clothing - or a garbage bag - is amazing on a damp day.

I absolutely delight in the creative writing artistry of snow reporting that fills the blogosphere on days filled with precipitation.

My friend Karen says, "When I worked at [undisclosed ski area] I couldn't tell people it was raining -- I had to say there was "moisture in the air."

What's your favorite euphemism for the "r" word? Have you ever worked as a snow reporter? If so, what was your company line? How would you handle it if you were a snow reporter on a rainy (there, I said it!) day? Cheers.

'Twas a Coupla Days After Christmas...

Many years ago, when I was but a little OkeMoppet, this was my absolute favorite time of the year. Not just for Christmas Day, but for the entire Christmas season, which in my family meant our annual trip up from the wild, untamed wilderness of New Jersey (youse gotta problem wit dat?) to the beautiful, picturesque mountains of Vermont.

Opening the presents on Christmas Day was a blast, but the REAL fun came a couple of days later when we all packed into the ol' Subaru station wagon (color: "yellow creme") and made the drive northward to Okemo, complete with the obligatory "roll down the windows and smell the clean air" pantomime upon crossing the Vermont state border.

Well, I live up here now, and after all these years, I now work for the same resort I used to dream about when I was a kid. (I also still do the "rolling down the windows" thing. People tend to look at me funny.) Trust me -- there's still no better place to be at this time of year.

This year, we've got a brand-new Family New Year's Eve party and a fancy-schmancy adults-only New Year's Eve dinner-and-dancing celebration at the Coleman Brook Tavern. And did I mention the four feet of snow we've gotten this December?

So come on up for the holidays and make your own lifelong memories. It's worth the trip -- even if you don't own a yellow creme Subaru.

Friday, December 26, 2008

What to do on New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is a challenge for me. Staying up until midnight? Not a chance. So in my house, if you're brave enough to stay up all by yourself until midnight - go for it. Grab a blanket and make a nest in front of the tv to watch the ball because there is definitely no mommy service after 10 pm. That's why I'm excited to find out that this year Okemo has planned a whole night full of fun activities for the whole family - and the New Year officially rings in at 10 pm. Perfect.

So, if you are looking for the ultimate compromise (and something a little new) - how about ice skating, snow tubing, cookie decorating, wagon rides, marshmallow roasting, a DJ dance party, pizza, and a good old fashioned count-down at 10 pm complete with noisemakers and balloons. Your kids will think you rock and you'll be in bed long before midnight (if you're lucky)!

Their website has all the details - definitely check it out.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We're going to have to go back into the record books to see if we've ever done this before - 100 percent open before Christmas! That includes our two new trails, White Lightning and Rolling Thunder!
The past two days here have felt a little like life in a snow globe. By the time this two-day dump is done, we'll have two feet of champagne powder on the ground ... and that's on top of all the snow we've been making.
Don't think for a single moment that our snowmakers are sitting by the fire eating bon bons. They're hard at work continuing their efforts to make more of the white stuff - even while Mother Nature does her part.
I can already hear the squeak of the packed powder beneath my skis as I envision what this is going to look like once the groomers add their part to the mix.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Jackson Gore Inn!

It was exactly five years ago today, that Okemo Mountain Resort's Jackson Gore Inn opened for business and welcomed its first guests.

Inn General Manager Charlie Dickerman remembers those early days when construction was still wrapping up and eager owners insisted on being the first visitors. I asked Charlie what he thought was the biggest change in the last five years. He thought about it for a minute and noted that with the addition of the Spring House fitness and aquatic center, the Ice House skating pavillion, plus all the scheduled events and activities, guests enjoy the luxury of parking their cars and leaving them parked for the duration of their stay.

Happy birthday, Jackson Gore Inn! Many happy returns.


Friday, December 19, 2008

I am NOT a Root Vegetable!

That's right, I am a tuber. I am not a potato or other rhizome-type of plant product. I happen to enjoy alternative types of snowsports as well as skiing. On certain days, I am proud to say that I am a tuber. I love the thrill of flopping down on an inflatable inner tube-type snow sled and sliding downhill in a specially prepared lane with other like-minded snow tube enthusiasts.

Okemo started to offer afternoon tubing a couple of winters ago and it was received with an inflated sense of enthusiasm. We're gearing up again and tubing operations will begin on the day after Christmas and run through Dec. 30 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Jackson Gore base area. Then on New Year's Eve, you can almost tube your way into the new year with hours from 3 to 8 p.m. Then on Jan. 1 through 3, it's back to 3 to 6 p.m. Still haven't had enough inflatable fun? Okemo will round out the holiday week with tubing on Sunday, Jan. 4 with tubing from 3 to 5 p.m.

Look for more tubing on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the winter season.

Tubing rates and times, as well as information about other alpine alternatives, are posted online.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Deck the Bus with Boards of Holly (title © Gravity Hound)

Wow, it's been a while since the last post in here. I guess everyone (including myself) has been a little preoccupied with all the great skiing and riding we've had lately and all the events happening. With today's little coating on top of the 4-6'' from yesterday, Okemo is prime right now and looking great going into the holidays.

Last weekend, we unveiled the new Pepsi Amp Bus at the base of Nor'Easter. It's amazing that what began as someone's delusional nightmare is now a feature in our SoBe Superpark, but I guess that's innovation for ya. I've gotta hand it to them though, they did a great job with it and now it looks all dreamy sitting there burried in the snow.

Speaking of being burried in the snow, have you seen the weather forecast lately?! Al Roker and friends have us expecting several inches of snow tomorrow (Friday) with a chance of snow almost every day after that. A coworker and I were just saying the other day that we could't wait until you know what was out of the question. Well, I think we made it to that point! Winter is definitely here! Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What a charming first day

I finally made it out on the snow on Tuesday, Dec 9 for my first day of the year. What a great first day on the snow. Okemo had some new snow from Monday, which made for some wonderful conditions. I needed to get out on the snow so I could take part in the first week of the Okemo Innkeepers' Race Series. On my third run of the season, I was racing down Wardance. I succeeded at my goal of making it to the bottom in once piece. And my team is not in last place!

If' you've never done any racing, I highly recommend trying to find a race league near you, that you can join with some friend. What a fun time. You get to go out an slide on the snow, then like most recreation race leagues, there's an apres ski party each week. Yesterday our apres party was hosted by Killarney's Irish Restaurant right at the bottom of the mountain road. Killarney's sponsors a team and they also host 1-2 apres parties each winter. Each week a different pub or restaurant hosts the apres party. The apres parties give the racers a chance to catch up after a day on the snow. It's a perfect opportunity to give someone a good ribbing about going slowly and to compliment people on how they did.

If you happen to live and work near Okemo, and you'd like to take part in the Okemo Innkeeper's race series, you can learn more about it at

See you out there!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Almost time to get on the bus!

From concept to completion - the AMP Bus will be ready to rock by the weekend. Right now it sits in a heated garage and is being wrapped with AMP and Okemo logos. From the 32 foot roof ride, to the scooped out quarter, to the flat box hood, to the detachable box off of the front bumper this thing is quite impressive. It would look cool in my backyard jib park, but my wife would kill me. Every year there is one feature in the park that just seems to have my number. Last year it was the Cota & Cota Propane Tank. That thing had it out for me - I swear! I even switched to ordering propane from Irving Oil this summer because of that tank. I have a funny feeling that this bus will be the feature to recon with this year. Am I already psyching myself out? We'll see. Bus rides start soon - either you're in or you're out! GravityHound

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Okemo sold...True. Tim & Diane lease it back...

True… there’s been many rumors flying around the mountain. True… Okemo has been sold. BUT this is not your traditional sale of a ski resort. This a sale-leaseback which means that The Muellers remain owners of the companies that operate Okemo and Mount Sunapee and Crested Butte Mountain Resort. CNL Lifestyle Properties owns just the underlying resort assets.

CNL Lifestyle Properties, the purchaser, is what is known as a real estate investment trust, or REIT. By law, a REIT cannot be involved in the operation of their holdings, or in this case the ski resorts.

In a recent letter, Tim and Diane wrote: “everything will stay the same from the guest’s perspective and the employee’s perspective. CNL cannot get involved in the operations of the resorts. They are strictly a landlord and financing entity. This is a great move for us and our resorts. In this time of economic instability, for CNL to commit sizable dollars to our resorts is a testament to their confidence in us and our entire Team. As you know, Triple Peaks’ resorts are recognized for operational excellence and success within the ski industry. In today’s environment, there are not a lot of companies able to complete transactions of this nature. This is also indicative of CNL’s financial strength and confidence in our management team and in the ski industry. They are a well capitalized, stable company and we are pleased to be associated with them.”

The three resorts of Triple Peaks are each growing companies that require sustained capital infusion. As you can imagine in this financial environment, short-term loans are very risky, and there’s not a lot of funding available. A sale-leaseback partnership with CNL allows for stable, long-term capital. This is a creative way to finance this growth without taking on operating partners or attempting to finance through banks at this challenging time. Only because of The Mueller’s vision, and Okemo's strong operating history and reputation is this arrangement with CNL even possible today.

As for the past 26 years, Tim & Diane remain committed to the future success of each resort and their surrounding communities.

Friday, December 5, 2008

From the inside looking out

The time is near for Okemo Parks & Pipes newest project to hit the snow. Fourteen months in R&D and production and we're now 1 week away from pulling the bus into its new home at Okemo. When the bus arrives next weekend we plan on celebrating, Okemo style. Let's get the tunes cranking and let people test this thing out!

Replacing the wall ride at the bottom of the SoBe Superpark, this new feature will be 40' of riding pleasure. You'll have a huge new curved wall ride to head up (oh yeah, it's clear too, so don't be surprised to see a park ranger in there watching you), a 32' box on the roof of the bus, and a box the size of a hood on the front. Not enough? There will be a rail in place of the bumper for those of you wishing to grind down a rail. Still not satisfied? How about tunes pumping out of the bus for your listening enjoyment?
Look for the bus next weekend and brush up on your bus riding skills. On February 28th we're throwing $1000 into the mix to see what you can bring to the table (errr bus).
See you on the hill!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taking a Load Off, One Chair at a Time

Our new unloading carpet on the South Ridge Quad B is under construction and will begin carrying skiers and boarders off the lift shortly. Working in unison with the loading carpet at the base, the unloading carpet will improve the lift's efficiency and be a welcome sight to inexperienced chairlift riders. Our staff is doing a great job of putting all the pieces together and will have us riding the wave of the future in just a couple more days. Okemo is proud to be the first ski resort in the United States to utilize this lift-unloading technology.

Simply keep the base of your skis or snowboard down when your chair reaches the conveyor belt and you'll be whisked away effortlessly onto the top of the trail. No more riding your buddy's coattail off the chair or waiting helplessly on your rump like a set of bowling pins at the bottom of the unloading ramp. Just think of all the catastrophes (and laughs) that will be avoided. Here's a short video of the carpet in action from the manufacturer. We'll be sure to give you our own take once the carpet is up and running, but in the meantime enjoy the photos.

I swung by the scene of the new unloading carpet today to find the second set of rollers installed and the belts tightly wound. Hey, if you still fall getting off the lift you can't say you didn't see the unloading carpet coming.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Looking into the eyes of The Beast

Move over, The Beast is coming!

My fellow snowreporter and I hit the trails today to check out Okemo’s new grooming monster, “The Beast”, which will be making its grooming debut this season on the slopes of Okemo. This monster of a machine features a driving cabin that looks like it could launch you into outer space and tracks large enough to crush anything and everything in its path. (Luckily for us, the grooming process only takes place overnight so we won’t have to worry about crossing trails with the Beast when it’s awake.)

This machine is making its first appearance on the east coast as the newest addition to Okemo’s grooming fleet. Technically known as the Prinoth BR500, The Beast sports a 500-horsepower engine along with the ability to travel at the same speed up and downhill. Outfitted with a 24-foot-wide tiller and a 20-foot-wide blade, this “Beast” is the largest groomer of its kind and will help us bring you even more comfortable corduroy out on the slopes this year!

Feast your Eyes on Some Rail Jam Photos!

Check out the photos of yesterday's "What I Learned This Summer Rail Jam." The event was a huge success! Thanks to the 40 competitors for giving it their all on our 115 foot straight box and keeping the vibe at the contest very fun and mellow. Also, thanks to all the spectators and Okemo staff who helped make the season's first ski/snowboard contest better than ever imagined. Look for video footage of the rail jam later this week in the Video of the Week section at the top of our homepage.

Special congrats to our winners:

Mens Under 16 Ski – Parker Clarkson

Mens 16 and over Ski – Dale Talkington

Mens Under 16 Board – Luke Sundean

Mens 16 and over Board – Benji Farrow

Women’s over 16 Board – Maggie Seiple

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Okemo Cares & Shares Food Drive

Tis' the season to stock the shelves at local food banks.

Bring at least 3 non-perishable food items, a new child's toy, or new clothing item to the ticket window at Okemo next Sunday, December 7, 2008 and ski or ride the entire day for just $30!

Okemo Mountain Ambassadors will be accepting contributions in the Clock Tower base area 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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Show Us Whatcha Learned

I just walked up with Jeff from events to scope out the setup for tomorrow's "What I Learned This Summer Rail Jam." Skiers and riders will be faced with a box so long they could eat a ham sandwich while sliding it. According to the Okemo Parks facebook page, the box is 115 feet long! There could even be a surprise feature at the end. The Parks and Pipes crew is still stirring their cauldron coming up with new concoctions, and we don't bother them when they're doing their mad scientist thing. Doesn't it look like that snowmobile is sliding the box? That would be pretty gnarly.

A live DJ will keep the energy level up all day with fresh tracks to get your shred on to. There's up to $500 in cash prizes to be awarded to the winners and a t-shirt toss at the end of the day. This is serious business. Not too serious though, because we like to keep it fun. If you're competing, good luck. If you're not, bring a camera! It's gonna be fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New cell tower

Great news! Verizon activated a new cell site in Ludlow! Here's to better coverage while skiing and riding at Okemo! Read all about it>>>

Monday, November 24, 2008


Okay, so I know Okemo has a reputation for great snow, but is really worth stealing.? These snow bandits were caught white-handed loading snow boulders into a Subaru getaway car.

I guess there's going to be a really sick rail jam tonight in Reading, coutesy of Okemo. Getting ready for the What I Learned This Summer Rail Jam this weekend, boys?


Investment Advice???

You can't deny that times are tough. I get that, really I do. But there is just something about booting up, hopping on a chair lift and riding to the top of a mountain - especially on a Monday with bright blue skies and crisp, cold air that makes it all go away.

I also love chatting with people on the chair - and today was no exception. Today's conversations quickly focused in on the tough economic times and all the
'doom and gloom' in the news... but in one case quickly turned to excitement as it was this gentlemen's first trip to the mountain for the season. (I had just taken my very first run down Sapphire and was equally excited about the snow - see photo!) He mentioned that he had brought along three teenage girls - who evidently had just finished their final exams for the semester and were here to celebrate. "Let the celebration begin!" I thought.

But in that same vein he offered that no matter lies ahead this winter, his ski budget had been set aside... and if that meant he'd drive a Volkswagon instead of a BMW, so be it, because that was the investment that provided him the best return on his money.

So while I wasn't particularly looking for advice on my 401K, I think I scored some pretty solid advice.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Opening-Day Jitters

I don't know about you, but every year when I'm heading up the lift for my first run of the season I'm a little bit nervous. Maybe it's a combination of being anxious to take my first run and worrying that over the summer my body somehow forgot how to snowboard. But sure enough, every year when I strap in and get going it all comes back to me and I can breathe a sigh of relief. Muscle memory is an amazing thing. It's funny because I'm usually pretty confident in my abilities, but for that brief few minutes when I'm riding the first chair of the season to the top of the run, I have doubts whether I'll be able to pickup where I left off the previous season.
(No opening-weekend worries here. For this ripper, the rails on Sapphire were a welcome sight after a long off season.)

So all this got me thinking yesterday while I was riding the Sachem chair up to the top for my inaugural run. Do the first-day jitters ever go away? At a certain age and after decades of skiing or snowboarding does the year's first run become no big deal? Maybe after experiencing opening-day anxiety enough times and subsequently overcoming it, you realize that it's not worth harping on. I'm not sure though, because I still get it. Maybe after another decade or two I'll see the other side. It's kind of nice though when you take that first run and after just a few yards down the trail, all your worries wash away -- both the first-day jitters and all the rest too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

And we're off!

Lifts are turning, trails are open, and Opening Day 2008 is underway!

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Can you believe it?!

This is it...the eve of opening day for the '08-'09 season! Our snowmakers have done an outstanding job of covering the entire mountain in a way that will have us skiing and riding from top to bottom tomorrow. The Northstar Express high-speed quad will be spinning us back up to the peak so we can get in as many runs as possible from open to close. Although this is my first season working at Okemo, it's been said that this may be the best opening day ever (or at least in recent history). The weather couldn't be better right now -- sunny with base temps in the upper 20s. It's expected to be much the same tomorrow and for the weekend, so dress accordingly, and not in your typical opening day shells and lightweight baselayers. In my opinion, temps in the mid 20s are ideal for riding; the conditions stay good all day and you don't overheat at the end of each run.(This was taken today from across the valley. If you look closely (or click the pic to enlarge), you can see snowmaking on the far right side. Also, the cats were already out smoothing the surface for us. )

Give yourselves a pat on the back for making it to this moment. I know, it hasn't been easy. Tonight, skiers and snowboarders everywhere will be putting the final tunes on their equipment and laying out all their gear so it's good to go in the morning. I know I will. Put some coffee in me and a little food for fuel and I am out the door. I look forward to seeing you all out on the slopes tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Opening Day This Friday!

Well Okemo Skiers and Riders winter is in full motion here at the mountain, cold temperatures are here to stay, and our snowguns have been blasting all week long covering our trails in white! And, thanks to all the great weather and snowmaking happening around the mountain we’ve bumped up our opening day to this Friday! That’s right everyone, the wait is almost over and you now have just two more days to prepare for the start of the winter ski season. So make sure you have your skis and boards ready for this weekend so you don’t have to sit home while we’re all out cruising the fresh slopes.

For Friday’s opening we will have six trails open with top to bottom skiing and riding, serviced by three lifts. Our F-10 carpet will surf you up to our Sachem Quad where you can then take a run down Lower World Cup to our Northstar Express Quad to ride the rest of our open terrain. The other five trails open will include Upper World Cup, Countdown, Link, Fairway and Open Slope. On Saturday we will be adding even more trails to the mix, so stay tuned, and two additional lifts with the Green Ridge Triple, and South Ridge Quad A. All this will make for some awesome opening weekend skiing and riding conditions!

For all you jibbers out there, we’ve still got a little something for you on opening weekend with a few small bumps and jumps, and at least one rail and one box. Make sure to look out for much more to come this season because Okemo’s parks and pipes were ranked number one in Vermont by Transworld Snowboarding magazine this year and our crew of park guys are awesome! They will be bringing you new and innovative terrain park features to the mountain, along with superior upkeep on our superpipe, and our brand new SoBe Bus which will be parked at the bottom of the Superpark on Nor’easter. If you’re curious about this crazy bus feature, check out our Parks and Pipes page.

It’s crunch time now, so if you’re still looking for gear to sport for the winter season, don’t forget about Okemo Mountain School’s annual Ski Swap Sale happening this weekend on Friday from 4-7 pm; Saturday from 9-5 pm; and Sunday from 9-1 pm. If you need new equipment or a new jacket, OMS’s swap has great deals on both new and used equipment and outerwear. Purchases made at the sale will benefit the kids at OMS, so you can get some great gear for the winter all while helping out a good cause. If you’d like to sell some of your own used gear at the sale, today is your last day to drop-off equipment. You can bring your used gear down to the First Aid Building at the Main Base of Okemo.

Also, don't forget to check out the Rates and Rentals section of our website for Okemo's steals and deals this season. We've got plenty of ways for you to save this winter, and options for every type of skier and rider. So whether you visit the mountain religiously all season long or if you can only make it out a few times a year we have many ways for you to help keep your wallet full. Some great options for our frequent skiers and riders include the Flex Card offering visitors the utlimate in flexible savings, and our Okemo Pack Deals. There are also many discount days offered this year as well as online deals so make sure you stay updated by visiting our website.

Just two days skiers and riders until we’re carving the fresh powder for the first time this season! Grab your buddies and get on up to the mountain this Friday, November 21st for what will be an opening day you don’t want to miss. Keep checking back with our snow report for all the latest updates on the mountain, and we’ll see you all out on the slopes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Inside Scoop on Snowmaking

The cold temperatures have been AWESOME! Okemo snowmakers have been hard at work on Buckhorn, Count Down, Upper World Cup, Lower World Cup, Defiance, Sapphire, Upper Arrow, Route 103, Drop Off, Link and Fairway. Check out our photo of the day!

The better news is that the temps are here to stay! For Opening Day on Saturday Nov 22nd we anticipate having top to bottom skiing and riding on Upper & Lower World Cup as well as Sapphire, Route 103 & Upper Arrow. Lifts on tap include the F-10 carpet, Sachem Quad, Northstar Express and Green Ridge Triple. As always, this is subject to change, so please keep a close eye on

Oh yeah, one more detail. Lift ticket rates. Look for those to be available sometime on Friday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

5 Days till Riding... :-)

We’re down to the final stretch. Opening day is almost here and it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been out boarding on the snow. Recently I’ve been craving getting out on the snow so bad due to my large dosage and intake of ski/board movies this past weekend. My ultimate favorite, which I have watched about three times now in the past few days (and am now thinking I may have to watch again tonight), is Warren Miller’s Playground. This movie shows some sick locations around the world that skiers and boarders travel to in order to get their fix of adrenaline through their love of snowsports, and on top of that it has a sweet soundtrack! These places they visit have more fresh powder than I could ever dream of, with terrain so steep and extreme, and cliffs so high you get chills while watching. But if you share the same love of snowsports, no matter how scaled down your own boarding actions and available mountains may be, you can’t help but get drawn in while watching and dream of what you may be capable of yourself.

Now, I don’t expect to be featured in any Warren Miller movies anytime soon, but the excitement and energy of the pros featured in the film is contagious. Watching all the speed and air some of these riders catch on the mountains has gotten me so excited about trying to conquer some of those huge jumps that are often laid out across the Superpark on Nor’easter. In the past I’ve been incredibly intimidated by most of the jumps in Okemo’s parks, but this year it will be different. Because firstly, this year will be the most time I’ve ever spent on my snowboard and I intend on pushing my limits as far as I possibly can, and secondly I am awaiting the arrival of my helmet in the mail. I've never worn one before but I have changed my ways and decided to deal with the "hair effect" and I’m hoping this will not only boost my level of safety but give me that “whatever, I’m just going to go for it” attitude when riding the mountain. I will state now, that it is my personal goal this year, not only to improve my skills overall, but to conquer (and land) the massive bumps and jumps in the terrain park and possibly even the Superpipe. I say that last part with caution because it is still early in the season, and I’m unsure if the pipe is a little too ambitious. But we’ll see, and I will try. And at least I’ll have my helmet now.

The picture you see on this post, that will be me this season.

P.S. If you haven’t watched this Playground movie yet, I highly recommend it. I also would like to use the end of this “p.s.” segment of the blog to repeat my favorite line from the film just because I think it's funny. The Burton Smalls kiddos (wicked good 7 -12 year olds sponsored by Burton) are featured in a segment of the film showing off their skills and being interviewed about what they want to do when they grow up. Most of the kids say pro snowboarders, one kid says a Dentist, and this one other kid ponders the question, saying, “When I grow up I just want to…I don’t know…chill.” Haha, wouldn’t that be the life, boarding and chilling for a living. Dream big Burton Smalls, dream big.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Funnies

Okay, so this may be a bit corny, but it's fun when you put a picture of your BFF in the video and let it roll. Hey, it's Friday right? Check it out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

10 Days: It's a love hate thing

It’s funny how excited I am about next week’s weather forecast and it doesn’t even include a hurricane or a major snowstorm. As an avid surfer and snowboarder, the weather has become a regular friend and foe in my daily life and plays a pretty big role in deciding what I’ll be doing with my time. I always tell myself not to trust any weather forecasts beyond four days, but when the Weather Channel’s magical 10-day forecast is exactly what I want to see, as if I am Father Nature myself, I forget all about the numerous letdowns of past forecasts and put complete faith in it. I don’t recommend the Weather Channel as the most accurate weather source, and I’m not saying it’s bad either, but when it comes to providing fantasy forecasts they’re like J.K. Rowling. In my opinion, the 10 day forecast borders on scientific storytelling, but maybe less and less with new technology. When the call was made yesterday to delay our opening day by one week, I cried and cried like a little baby, and then I tuned to and it was as if someone had given me a giant lollipop and a sang me a lullaby—all was well in my little snowboard-obsessed world.

The thing is, the extended forecast for next week looks so promising, that even if it's wrong it will still be good. Right now we’re looking at high temperatures in the lower 30s next week, which means mountain temps will be in the high 20s during the daytime. All of this results in snowmaking coming out of our ears during the days leading up to our opening day on November 22. Might I add opening day is expected to be sunny and around 30 degrees, as if things could be any better.

Adding to yesterday’s turn of events, we took a little trip out to the work site of our new SoBe bus. It’s coming along nicely and should be ready to go in a few weeks. The wallride portion of the bus will be covered in clear plastic, so you’ll actually be able to see the look on the bus driver’s face while you do things that would normally get you weeks of detention. Alright, there won’t actually be a bus driver inside, but there may be a DJ. Bottom line, there’s a million and one ways to jib this thing, so start planning your attack now. In between sessions of brain shredding the new SoBe bus, I’ll be looking at the extended forecast a few hundred more times. Have I mentioned it's good?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Snowmaking: It’s not only what you’ve got... it’s how and when you use it.

We’re moving toward Opening Day… but it isn't going to be this Saturday, November 15 as we had hoped :(

As always, November openings are weather permitting and the temperature volatility is really tough to bet on this time of year... and the forecast calls for another warm up into this weekend. Rest assured, the snowmaking crews are not letting any opportunities go by... in fact the snow guns began blasting Okemo's 3,343 ft. summit white again today at about 11 AM, and the guns are on outside as I post this entry. The last effort that ended on Sunday, November 2 brought the snow to the top of the steep on Upper World Cup. The focus now is to make on the summit area and to push down World Cup as far as we can go with a goal of top-to-bottom coverage as soon as we can get it.

Okemo will continue to be very aggressive, but as expensive as energy is these days, we won’t be foolish. Our system is designed to make optimal snow at temperatures below 29 degrees F wet bulb. When mountain temperatures are within our design range, Okemo snowmakers can open more acreage faster with our HKD air-water system than other systems can produce... even fan guns. Okemo has the ability in both water capacity (pumping and storage) and air plant to be more competitive than anyone else in the state when temperatures are within our range.

If you’re counting, you know that 96% of Okemo’s trails have snowmaking. This year’s operational focus is on energy-efficient, early-season snowmaking. Last winter, Okemo tested some new energy-efficient HKD guns and the HKD SV-10 and Genesis tower guns were a huge success. So much so that 80 of these new snowmaking guns were added to the Okemo arsenal this
year. Due to the ability to make snow more efficiently at closer-to-freezing
temperatures, Okemo can now make more snow than in previous years using much less energy… a fuel-cost savings of $377,000.

While it looks like it's going to be too warm to make snow from Wednesday onward through this weekend... please stay in touch with for the latest or better yet, read this blog daily.

Keep your fingers crossed and your tips up!

One if by Land, Two if by Sea

It's quite fascinating when late fall rolls around and all of the sudden there's a constant rumbling sound in the background at the resort. It's the sound of snowmaking compressors and pumps, moving water and air up the hill.

The other great part about late fall is all the new ski and snowboard movies come out and the ski sales, swap meets and big shows all take place. I had a chance on Saturday night to see the new Warren Miller movie on Saturday night. And yes, while Okemo and Crested Butte are indeed featured in the movie...what really got me pumped up was all the snow, big air and big fat smiles on the people's faces. Man, winter is the best!

A reminder for all of you from New England. Okemo is coming! Okemo is coming! Okemo will be in Boston from November 20-23 at the Boston Globe Ski and Snowboard Expo. It will be hosted at the Bayside Expo, just off I-93 south of Bean Town. It's near the UMass Boston Campus, on the Red Line. Look for the JFK/UMass stop on the T map. Simply Google the expo name and you'll find all sorts of information about the show.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Snowmaking has resumed

Great news skiers and riders - the Okemo snowmaking team just fired up the guns at the summit! In fact, I can see the cloud of white from my office right now. The season is so close, its palpable!

New Carpet is Ready to Go and so am I !

Hopefully you all got out and enjoyed the wretchedly warm weather this weekend because it won’t last long. It better not, or else we’re all going to need to find new wintertime hobbies. Luckily for us though, we shouldn’t have to resort to picking up knitting or painting with Bob Ross because Okemo has some of the world’s best snowmaking. There’s some wet snow falling today and winter is definitely making a push for us. Tonight, temperatures should be plenty cold for our snowmakers to begin blanketing the top of the mountain so we have plenty of snow for opening day this Saturday. It feels weird to even say that, but it’s true. Just five more days!

The loading carpet at the base of the South Ridge Quad B is all set up and ready to roll. Personally, I think making the chairlift experience more fun and exciting is the next great phase in ski resort evolution. Don’t be surprised if you see flat-screen TVs and heated, messaging recliner seats on chairlifts in the near future. You heard it here first. There’s only so much we can do to make snow, and we’re doing it all. But the possibilities for chair lifts are endless.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Almost Time for a Magic Carpet Ride

Fresh off the boat from Europe, it’s hard to imagine why this bright orange container would get stuck at Customs, but at last the final pieces of our new loading and unloading carpets for the South Ridge Quad B have made their way to the mountain. Our operations crew is hard at work putting the jigsaw puzzle together and assembling the carpets so they’ll be ready just in time to shoot you onto the lift like you’re a piece of produce at the grocery store. Whether you’re a delicate little tomato who’s just getting acquainted with the whole skiing or snowboarding thing or a hot shot jalapeno, the carpet will take you to the top of the lift with ease and efficiency.

All vegetable metaphors aside, this technology is the hottest thing to hit the slopes since ‘80s day-glo, and it’s European, so you know it’s good. The buzz has reached as far as my home state of New Jersey, where we especially love all things imported from Europe, like pizza and french fries.

If you haven’t noticed, we’re goin’ bananas here at the mountain in anticipation of opening day and we hope you are too. We'll have to wait a little while until we have snow at the base to ride the new rugs, but the upper part of the mountain is set to open November 15. We're all really anxious to get our magic genie on, but please do not try to ride your grocery store’s checkout counter. Trust me, it won’t be the same.

Afternoon Update:

The cement void beneath our South Ridge Quad B has been filled with the frame for our new loading carpet this afternoon. Next, our mountain operations staff will mount the rubbery tread on the frame, plug it in, and scour the resort to find a willing test pilot. Weeeeee!

You can see a teaser vid of the loading and unloading carpets in action here. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

May I climb? Climb away!

There are times at Okemo when the multitude of activities slow for a few short weeks. Yes, the golf course is still open, yes there is snow at the top of the mountain, yes the Spring House fitness facility at Jackson Gore calls my name every time I loosen my belt, but occasionally I want a totally different activity. That's when it is great to be at the center of it all. Just a short drive up Rt 103 and you're in Rutland Vermont, home of the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center. With the days a bit shorter now and no time to play 9 holes of golf after work we're forced to find alternatives. Last night I was coaxed into indoor rock climbing. Now I don't exactly have the body of a rock climber (more the body of a sturdy belay base), but I'm always up for something new.

For a little more the $20 I got a lesson in rock climbing safety, and 2 hours of climbing (you can climb all day if you want, we just went from 6pm until they closed at 8pm). After two hours I was ready to plant my feet on the ground for a while. Having never climbed before I was surprised at the relative ease of the sport - until we started taking 'routes'.

There are a lot of rocks on the walls all around you, and if you just climb up using whatever is close it's really not that hard. We then started taking routes up. Rocks marked with various colors of tape (for different difficulty levels). The object being that you can only use, for instance, a rock with a red mark next to it. Let me tell you, that adds a lot of difficulty to the sport. With a little team work and a lot of trust in each other we were able to make it up MOST of the routes we tried. What's going to keep me coming back? We made it up MOST of the routes we tried, and the hardest route we tried was level 2 of the 8 or so levels they offer.

So, when you visit Okemo this winter and you're looking for some Apres Ski activity for the kids, head up to Rutland for the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center - I'm sure you'll have a great time working together to get to the top. Remember, when you get up, tap your head on the ceiling - the mark of success.

Ready to climb - Ready to belay - May I climb? - Climb away!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Put Yer Dukes Up Fall

We all make mistakes, and so it turns out I was wrong when I said Halloween marked the end of warm weather. The forecast for this week is far from wintry, but with every last warm day I know it’s only a matter of time until they’re a thing of the past and it’s all-out wintertime. Our thermometers have been shooting up and down like those strong man games at carnivals guys hit with the giant sledgehammer to win their girlfriends cheap stuffed animals, and it appears that the battle is on. Fall and winter are in a game of tug of war, and I think we all know who’s going to come out the victor.

With Okemo’s state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment and our team of snowgun slingin’ outlaws, I highly doubt fall will rear its rain-favorin’ head around here for much longer. Our guys got the snowmaking underway this weekend up on Buckhorn and Countdown, but they’ve had to holster their snowguns for just a little bit until the temps dip back down. I took a trip up earlier to check out their handiwork and couldn’t help but let out a big yeehaw!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Snowy Sunday @ Okemo

It's a great day at Okemo! The sky is blue, the temperatures are cold, and the snow is flying!

In fact, we officially kicked off the 08/09 season last night, when our Snow Pros took to the mountain and began covering the mountain in a beautiful blanket of white! Snowmaking commenced around 6pm and will continue throughout the day today. Snowmakers concentrated on covering the area around the summit with a eye toward covering Buckhorn, Count Down and Upper World Cup.

Opening day is planned for Saturday, November 15th - just under two weeeks away!

Get your skis and boards ready - it's going to be a FANTASTIC season.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Snowmaking Begins!

Spooktacular news for Halloween - Okemo is going to start making snow this weekend! Opening day is a mere 15 days away. How's that for a treat!?

Stay tuned to our snow report for all the latest.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Farmer's Almanac Says...

Well folks, I know it’s only October but get ready to break out those flannels and long johns, and keep your boots and shovels nearby because according to the 2008 Farmer’s Almanac, this winter is going to be a harsh one for the east. I use the word “harsh” cautiously because I came to the realization the other day, when talking with a friend, how very different the winter mindset is amongst skiers/riders versus people who do not like to participate in winter sports. When conversing with her I brought up how excited I was about the winter to come and getting back out on the slopes again, and proceeded to mention how awesome this season is expected to be according to the Farmer’s Almanac (I really don’t know where this “farmer” information comes from but I’ve come to know it to be surprisingly accurate). Anyways, to this comment she quickly responded by saying, “Really, I heard it was supposed to be a horrible winter!” Puzzled, I looked at her for a second and then said, “Wait a minute…what do you mean a horrible winter?” To which she responded, “Like really cold and snowy.”

I laughed, and at that moment realized just how different the skier/snowboarder mentality is from those “others”, and then rejoiced in the fact that my information had been confirmed. So get excited folks, because whether or not you’ve heard it’s going to be an awesome or dreadful winter, it’s official that we are (according to the Farmers) in store for a cold and awesomely snowy season to come. Whether you are a skier/snowboarder or a hater of the winter season, get out those layers and thick socks. And if you do happen to be one of those winter-haters, stop sulking over cold weather, bundle up, and get your butts out on the slopes to have some fun! You can be sure that us skiers and boarders won’t be staying in and pouting over the “horrible” weather. We will be riding and enjoying this sweetness all winter long! Get ready…snow is coming!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Season's First Tracks

If faced with the ultimatum of choosing either oxygen or snowboarding, I think our events guys, Jeff, would choose snowboarding. And if faced with the choice of not snowboarding another day or snowboarding on a few inches of snow with mud and rocks in the mix, he’d strap in and throw a rocky, muddy blast of snow in your general direction. This guy is so amped up for the season to start it’s contagious, and I really wish I had taken his word for it when he told me yesterday that he was riding this morning.

We loaded into the Okemobile and gunned it for the summit this morning. At the top, I stood and watched in a frozen stupor as Jeff laced up, strapped in, and rode down the mountain until he disappeared from sight. Then I turned to my snow reporting colleague, Sara, and asked, “Did Jeff give you the car keys?” Only one person can claim first tracks each year on the mountain, and only a few can say they’ve ridden in October. Jeff added both notches to his snowboarding belt this morning, and officially rang in the start to another great winter of skiing and riding at Okemo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Snow is coming; I can feel it in my hip!"

The skies look angry this afternoon, and it makes me happy to see them that way. Thanks to breakthroughs in weather forecasting technology, I know it’s not the apocalypse approaching but in fact something much more alarming—a snowstorm. Sorry, I try not to throw that word around lightly because I know it can cause the kind of involuntary, jubilation-induced spasms that will have your coworkers suspiciously rescheduling their plans to go out to lunch with you. But yes, there’s a snowstorm approaching us that could bring up to half a foot of snow!

There’s no doubt something is brewing out there, but with temperatures still in the 40s at the moment, we’re pulling out all of our good-luck charms for this one to come together. Some are saying it's too early for such a big snowfall. Our snowmaking crew pleaded with the storm, trying to get it to save the snow for November, but not I. Sure we may not be able to ski and ride just yet, even if we do get the forecasted amounts, but at least it’ll be a nice backdrop for when I go trick-or-treating in my abominable snowman costume on Friday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

All Aboard the SoBe Bus

The snowboarders on the bus jib all around the roof, all around the roof, all around the roof…

That may not be the same old tune you sang back in kindergarten, but this isn’t the same old bus either. Okemo’s park and pipe crew took it up a notch with this one. We gave them an old SoBe school bus, and they turned it into a fun house. This behemoth will park itself at the bottom of the SoBe Superpark (formerly the Nor’Easter terrain park). Not only is it a playground for skiers and snowboarders, but it’s going to be packed with a stereo system that’ll trigger avalanches in Argentina. The park guys are working hard to get it ready for our anticipated opening on November 15 so no one “misses the bus” when it comes time to shred the roof off.

Let’s not forget to give the Okemo Mountain park and pipes crew big props for helping Okemo take top spots in this year’s Transworld Snowboarding East Coast Resort Poll. Okemo placed in the top five in all three categories: overall resorts, top pipes, and top parks.

I wonder what song they’ll play out of the SoBe bus first? How about Kriss Kross’s “I missed the bus?”

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hello everyone, and welcome to winter here at Okemo! That's right, it's Wednesday morning and the snow has fallen, covering the top of our mountain with a good 1-2 inches of fresh white powder, and we at Okemo couldn't be more excited!! Like my fellow blogger below, I am one of the new snow reporters for the mountain, and I couldn't be happier spending the winter up in Vermont getting to do what I love! So, even though my apartment's heater is currently still broken (forcing me to wear winter gear inside) and the snowy conditions probably don't help my apartment temperature, it certainly put a smile on my face when I woke up this morning to snowflakes flurrying outside my window. I'm sure back in Massachusetts (I'm from Northampton) it's just cold and rainy, but here, here it is beautiful and white! And I Love it!

This morning I climbed to the top of the mountain with our Okemobile to take some photos of the freshly fallen snow and couldn't believe the amount my boots sunk into it when I stepped out of the truck. This is exciting news folks and even more exciting is the fact that we will be on the mountain before you know it. This can only mean one thing - it's time for me to get my board waxed and tuned up because we will be cruising down the slopes of this wonderful mountain come November 15, our anticipated opening day. So, if you didn't believe it before, believe it now, because winter has arrived and it's going to be an awesome season! Can't wait to see you all out on the slopes!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Checking In

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the Okemo community and as a Philadelphia transplant, make nice with all the Red Sox fans out there. But perhaps not as nice as I would have had to make if the Red Sox made it into the World Series. Don’t get down on yourselves though guys, because we’ll be out on the mountain before we know it and the Red Sox’s shortcomings will be a distant memory. In the meantime, I’ll be watching my Phillies in the World Series. Alright, maybe I got off on the wrong foot.

Originally from the sandy shores of southern New Jersey (I was neither raised at an oil refinery or in a casino, it was a under a boardwalk actually), I’ve come to Okemo for the winter to bring you daily snow reports and answer all your snow conditions curiosities. Having recently done a two-year stint in Philadelphia, I am thrilled to be here in Vermont where I can take refuge from Philadelphia’s notoriously harsh winters. Trust me, they get ugly – as in not nearly as picturesque and outdoor-sport inducing as Vermont’s. In fact, it has always been a goal of mine to spend at least one winter in the mountains and now I’m doing it. So, here’s to a good season and a snowy one. It’s an honor to be a part of the Okemo community and I look forwarded to seeing you all out on the slopes. And in case you’re still mad at me for having a team in the World Series, as penance I’ll be forced to watch Patriots games instead of my beloved Eagles for the remainder of the season.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Private fly-by of our ski hill

This post is a bit delayed due to a busy schedule, but I wanted to share a fun picture with you. On Saturday, October 4th, I got to take a plane ride with my cousin, who had flown in for a regional "fly-in" breakfast at the Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport. We enjoyed a great breakfast of homemade blueberry pancakes with Vermont maple syrup, then we hopped in my cousin's plane and flew around the central Vermont countryside.

The most exciting part for me was flying over my house....very cool indeed. Since I live on the side of a very woody mountain and you can't see my house from far away, it was great to get up in a plane to see my home.

Anyway...The photo in this post shows the magnificent colors on Okemo that morning. Although some of the colors have peaked, many of the oranges and yellows are still very strong.
less than 30 days until our projected opening day. See you on the snow!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Make Way for Loading & Unloading Carpets

The site work is finished. The concrete has set up nicely, the earth is graded and seeded. Now we just have to wait to take delivery of the new loading and unloading carpets and install them on the South Ridge Quad B. It's all about innovation at Okemo this year. The loading carpet at the base is the first of its kind in the eastern U.S. And the unloading carpet at the top is making its national debut here at Okemo.

Here's wishing you a fantastic holiday weekend. Don't forget the Parrotthead Party on Saturday. Admission is free and the bands start playing at 1 p.m. at Jackson Gore. Cheers!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

PHAT - Protect Your Head at All Times

Last week I attended the PHAT Conference in Burlington and wanted to pass on the cliff notes.

The conference was a unique collaborative effort designed to make Vermont Skiing And Riding not only the "BEST" in the nation but also the "SAFEST"
It was sponsored by the Vermont Snow Sports Research Team, home of the PHAT program. The PHAT initiative (Protect you Head at All Times, Protect your Head on All Terrain) is a program designed to voluntarily improve ski helmet use throughout our state and the entire nation. The program delivers a positive, noncoercive message stressing the benefits of both skiing and snowboarding as well as responsible helmet use.
The PHAT program was originally developed as an academic/industry collaboration between The University of Vermont and Smugglers Notch Resort. Over the past six years the team has refined the program and documented it’s success in over 70,000 observations of skier behavior.

Items discussed:

- The science behind the role of helmets in skiing and snowboarding.
- A neurosurgeon’s perspective on ski helmets and head injuries
- Public Health implications of injury prevention programs
- Making the culture of a resort helmet friendly
- Spreading PHAT in Vermont and Beyond

Currently, Okemo, Smuggs, Bolton, Jay, Bromley, Sugarbush, Ascutney are the 7 resorts that support the PHAT effort.

We have the PHAT people booked to kick off National Safety Week here at Okemo on
January 18th and a return visit on PHAT Tuesday, February 24th.

Interesting facts per recent studies:

- 135,000 – 5-18yr olds incur head injuries each year in the U.S. (all sports)
- Snowboarders are 3 to 4 times more likely to sustain a head injury than skiers
- Impact damage to helmets can be invisible to the human eye
- Adult male snowboarders are the most likely to wear helmets
- Nationwide helmet use is around 30%
- Females are still less likely to wear a helmet (possible hair effect)
- Tourists are less invested in safety
- 2005 – present there has been a 40-62% reduction in head injuries due to increased helmet use

Helmet usage is very important to me. I’ve had my share of concussions – 2 were severe and one had me in the hospital for days suffering from amnesia.
My wife suffered an equestrian accident a few years ago, besides the 30 stitches to her face, the brim of her helmet saved her nose and cheek bones from being crushed.
Last year there were over 46,000 Equestrian accidents with over 20% being head and neck injuries.

I look forward to Okemo's continued support of the PHAT initiative. More PHAT information can be found at

Be safe out there!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Columbus Day Weekend Events @ Okemo

It's the last party of the summer and the first of winter (and the foliage is absolutely beautiful)! In true summer style, Okemo has two great bands lined up to play this weekend at Jackson Gore. 'J-San and the Analogues' will kick off the afternoon and will be followed by the Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band 'Changes in Latitudes'. Throw in a BBQ complete with margaritas and Corona, beach balls and leis, and its a party!

Plus, families can join the fun with pumpkin carving, a VINS presentation, a night hike and marshmallow roasting, and the showing of a Warren Miller film.

Schedule of Events:

Noon- 4: Hayrides leaving the drop off circle all afternoon
1-2:45: J-San and the Analogues on stage
3:30-5:30: Changes in Latitudes on stage
6:30-7:30: Night hike and marshmallow roasting at the Fire Pit
8: Warren Miller movie in the Cornerstone Room

Guided foliage hikes at 9 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm leaving from the Fire Pit
10-11: Pumpkin carving and decorating at the Fire Pit
11-12:30: "Raptor Encounter" presentation by VINS

Hope to see you on the mountain this weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

What are the odds?

As if getting a hole-in-one wasn’t a great enough stroke of luck, imagine the odds of a husband and wife making the first holes-in-one of their lives on the same course, nine days apart. That’s exactly what happened to Jim and Karen Brown, Okemo Valley Golf Club members from Ludlow, Vt., and Vero Beach, Fla.

“There’s a couple who should run right out and buy a lottery ticket,” said Okemo Valley Golf Club Head Professional Michael Santa Maria.

Jim Brown aced the fourth hole on Sept. 8. He used his 8-iron to make the 137-yard shot from the white tee. The feat was witnessed by Brown’s golf partners that day, Ed Gordon, Peter Cooney and Howie Cox.

On the following Wednesday, Sept. 17, Karen Brown shot a hole-in-one on the eighth hole. She used her 7-hybrid club to make the 122-yard ace from the gold tee. Sue Latta, Leslie Gordon and Judy Zilvitis witnessed the accomplishment.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Okemo Makes SKIING's "Best of the East" Top Ten

My October issue of Skiing Magazine showed up in the mail yesterday. The arrival of publications like this elicit feelings of delight that the start of ski season is close at hand and panic that the start of ski season is close at hand - so much to do, so little time.

What I found in the pages of Skiing favored the delight response more than panic. The magazine's first annual resort awards included Okemo in the Readers' Choice for Best of the East! I didn't even know they were doing a first annual resort awards. With dozens of categories of distinction, it was actually a little disappointing to see what little recognition eastern resorts received - but that's just the way it always is.

Upon closer inspection, I have to say I'm not all that disappointed that Okemo didn't place in the "best resort you've never skied" category or "best cougar hunting" category (and we're not talking catamounts here) or "best meat market." Although I think they missed the boat with their designation for "best actual meat market." With Singleton's and Lisai's located in Okemo Valley, we should win, hands down, in that division. Thankfully, a certain publisher of Ski Press Magazine knows his meat. Keep your eyes peeled for a Cheap and Steep feature on Okemo in a coming issue of that publication. Cheers!