Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meet "The Beast"

Although the Fourth of July marks the unofficial start of summer for most folks, for me it's time to crank up the volume on my efforts to promote winter. Budgets for the year ahead are in place and capital improvements are underway. We're 20 weeks away from the start of ski season! I know, I can practically hear the collective groan of blog readers, but believe me, that's not a lot of time to get the word out about everything going on at Okemo right now. SKI Magazine has already compiled the results of its annual "Top 50 Resorts" and the industry is buzzing with talk about rankings. Brochures and websites are being designed, trail maps are being updated and I'm writing press releases as fast as my fat fingers can fly across the letters on my computer keyboard.

I don't want to give it all away at once, so in the coming weeks I'll use this blog to keep you updated on what we're working on and the progress we're making.

In this post, I'd like to introduce you to "The Beast." Although a demo model was seen making the rounds of eastern resorts last season, Okemo is officially the first eastern resort to add the Prinoth BR500 grooming machine to its fleet. Okemo Snow Groomer Operator Kyle Marten got to lay some corduroy with this behemoth last winter and sent me some photos he took of the grooming machine that the guys in the maintenance garage are calling The Beast.

The 500-horsepower, dual-turbocharged, mechanical monster is about eight feet wider and ten feet longer than the next largest model, the BR350. The Beast sports a 24-foot-wide tiller and a 20-foot-wide blade. With engineered efficiencies, additional width and an ability to travel at the same speed uphill and downhill, the newest machine in Okemo’s grooming fleet will bring the art of grooming to a new level. In addition, Okemo will be replacing three other machines with Prinoth BR350s, one of which will be outfitted as a park cat for grooming the terrain features in Okemo’s five ski and snowboard terrain parks. Just to make certain that we're optimizing this investment, Okemo sent Kyle and another groomer to Cutters Camp last spring. Terrain park aficionados will have a chance, this winter, to sample what the guys learned during their trip out west.

Stay tuned. There's lots more to come in the next 20 weeks. Cheers!

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