Saturday, January 12, 2008

What people are saying...

Good ol' Mother Nature has thrown us a few curve balls the last few days, but that doesn't stop Okemo from delivering the best conditions possible. In fact, here's what a few recent guests reported:

****
We went out today with low expectations. Monday was soft and wonderful, but there was not much left a the top of the mountain. We skipped Tuesday and Wednesday. But we decided to give the mountain a try today since it had finally gone below that beautiful 32 degree mark again.

Wow! The groomers found some snow somewhere to push onto the top of the Northstar. Chief was a dream. Even the top that is often blown off was carvable. The lower parts were pure pleasure. Give our thanks to the grooming team. I don’t know how they did it, but today was great. ~David from CT



*****
One of the reasons Okemo is my favorite mountain is your outstanding snow making and grooming operation. Despite knowing you're great in that department, I was impressed that the mountain was as skiable as it was on Wed. -- a day when I heard that Stratton had actually closed. On Thursday I rated some trails especially Chief and World Cup as close to excellent. ~Dave from NY



*****
What can I say, your grooming team rocks. They pulled off nothing short of a miracle. Keep up the good work! ~Chrissie from PA

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good Times!

What a blast! The Yukon Kornelius concert was so much fun and even offered an end-of show surprise guest who rocked the house.

The concert was just the adrenalin jolt we needed to get us through this warm spell. The weekend is shaping up to be a good one. Check out the snow report. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jason Biggs - Ay-OK...E-M-O!

It seems as if every time I turn around, I'm being paid to do something I never thought I'd be doing. Whether riding ridiculous amounts of powder earlier this season, participating in multiple film and photo-shoots with an athlete the caliber of one Ross Powers, or filming bona-fide movie star Jason Biggs (of American Pie fame), the perks of this job just keep getting better!

Yesterday I was able to play cameraman for Jason and his girlfriend Jenny Mollen as Jason did an impromptu interview with several unsuspecting skiers sunning themselves around the firepit at Jackson Gore. My words won't be able to do justice to how funny Jason was, but fortunately you can check out the video below to see for yourself!

I'd like to personally say Thank You to Jason - When I bought my first camcorder for $300, I never imagined I'd one day have an opportunity to film a true professional. The experience was something I'll never forget.

Chris

video

P.S. If the video doesn't work, you can still check it out by going to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEm86KCQE-o

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Game on!

For years, I've worked in the sports industry. I bounced around after my 7 year stint in the NFL to minor league baseball to the Major Indoor Soccer League finishing with a spell in the AHL (American Hockey League). Out of 14 years, only two teams I worked for went all the way. Yeah, there were years with winning records, but not the big prize - a championship. There is no Bowl game or World Series in the resort business, but I have to tell ya - I feel that we here at Okemo are a winning organization pointed in the right direction. The vibe I am sensing is that of a Championship caliber team. We may be knee deep into a January thaw, but the team is looking ahead with anticipation of winter's return.
It's game on here at Okemo!
GravityHound

Sunday, January 6, 2008

One Cool Day

Caption for chairlift photo: (L to R) Adam Gardner, Jason Biggs, Stefan Lessard and Ed Robertson ride the Northstar Express to Okemo's summit on Friday, January 4, 2008.

Working at Okemo is pretty cool most days, but some days are definitely way cooler than others. Today was one of those days. I mean how often do you get to ride with Stefan Lessard, bass player for the Dave Matthews Band, Ed Robertson, singer, lead guitar for Barenaked Ladies, Adam Gardner, singer, songwriter, guitar for Guster, Eric Fawcett, drummer for N.E.R.D., Jason Biggs of American Pie movie fame, and Ross Powers, Olympic Gold Medalist in the Men’s Halfpipe… all at the same time? The answer is not very often. And wow! These friends were at Okemo over the past several days filming a segment for the 2008 Warren Miller project, all culminating with a concert under the band name Yukon Kornelius to benefit the Vermont and New Hampshire Food Banks. The set list will consist of various classic rock and pop covers that you’ll all know, and a few surprises are guaranteed. This is one show you won’t want to miss. (For tickets visit www.picklebarrelnightclub.com or call (802) 422-3035) Pretty cool, huh? All that and a bag of chips. Since I was helping to organize Okemo’s role in the project, it was all considered work too!

Stefan Lessard has been riding at Okemo just about every year for the past 5 and often snowboards here with his son Diego (shown left last February). Ed Robertson and his family of five just finished their fourth visit to Jackson Gore. Many times Ed will show up at The Sitting Bull Bar & Restaurant, plug in and entertain the audience along with the house band. Tonight he jumped in at the employee party, sang Pinch Me and If I Had A Million Dollars and thanked the staff for making his Okemo family vacations so great over the years. Adam Gardner spent a weekend at Okemo last March with his project the Reverb Eco-Village. Adam is not only a very strong skier, he is a passionate environmentalist that has greened several tours for music acts across the country. Eric Fawcett flew in from Minnesota to provide the beat for the band, and to learn to snowboard. At the urgings of the others, Jason Biggs was visiting Okemo for the first time with his girlfriend, actress Jenny Mollen. Jason has big plans to play cowbell with the band. Ross Powers is of course Okemo’s Ambassador of Snowboarding and still goes as big in the Okemo pipe as he did for his gold medal run.

These guys are all very relaxed, very approachable, and down-to-earth. And they’re fairly accomplished skiers and snowboarders in addition to their many musical and acting talents. They are so easy-going that they instantly shared a special chemistry on snow as well as on stage.

Having gotten to know these men over the past few days has been a very amazing and entertaining experience. We all share a certain zest for music and life in the mountains. My biggest thrill was being able to attend the private rehearsals in a secluded place up on the mountain. My fingers were still tingling from marathon sessions of Guitar Hero after Santa’s visit, and now I’m blogging in a room with some of the best in the music business. We’re all fortunate to have these fine musicians and friends enjoying the Okemo Valley.

One of the funniest moments was when Ed Robertson proclaimed that every band has one member that is the glue that holds everything together, then, gesturing toward Jason Biggs he added “And Jason put the “korn” in Yukon Kornelius.” It was a had-to-be-there moment for sure. And there were many, many more, but the good folks from Warren Miller wouldn’t be very happy if I stole their thunder. Like me, you’ll just have to wait for the movie.

Until then, keep enjoying music and the mountains.