Thursday, December 31, 2009

twilight falls on the final day of the decade

So, the burning question on everyone's mind is, will it be twenty-ten or two-thousand ten? Okay, so maybe that's not exactly the burning question. Around Okemo Valley, the talk is all about the "New Year's" blizzard that probably isn't actually going to happen. It's shaping up to be ongoing snow showers with an inch or two here and there throughout the weekend. Sounds like it will be just enough to keep the trails nice with a new coating of pow on top of all the Okemo corduroy.


What's that, you're into natural terrain? Have you found Broken Arrow yet? It's so new, I don't think the sign is even up yet. It's an all-natural terrain park in the trees that's built entirely out of found timber. No live trees were sacrificed for this thrill-seekers folly. Let us know what you think of it when (and if) you find it this weekend.

Well, gotta go over to the Gore to help out with the festivities. Here's wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

spring into winter







What a difference a day makes. Yesterday's conditions were an advance taste of spring with lots of soft snow. As sweet as that was, we're not even close to being ready for spring skiing yet. Then, just a few nightime hours later, we went from a foggy winter bummerland to a snowy winter wonderland. The snow started early this morning and has been snowglobing steadily all morning.

There's pow on that there corduroy!

Fortunately, the clouds cleared in the afternoon, making it a great night for Okemo's torchlight parade and fireworks show.

This week is jam-packed with events and activities, so come pay us a visit and have some family fun.




Special thanks to Donald Dill for sharing his photos from last night's festivities.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

into each life ...

... a little you-know-what must fall. We try hard not to use the "R" word around these parts - it is afterall, a four-letter word.

The rewards for skiers and riders who ventured out and braved the elements today were springlike conditions - not a bad little treat as we're about to embark on another plunge into seasonably winter-like temperatures. And now, in the final hour of the ski day, the rain has stopped and blue sky prevails. Monday is shaping up to be a splendid day. Check out the Okemo snow report.

Visitors to the Okemo Valley for this holiday period will notice a couple of changes to the Ludlow dining landscape. They happen to be very good changes.

The Cool Moose Cafe has taken over the spot where Archie's used to be. Inside and out, things don't look much different but this family-friendly dining option is certain to be a hit. Try the wings and ask about the secret hot powder they kep in the freezer for real hot-stuff afficianados.

The other most notable addition to the dining scene is a total re-do of the building across the street from the shopping plaza where Cool Moose resides. Outback Pizza (yes, the same Outback Pizza of Killington Access Road fame) has opened a new restaurant at the bottom ok Okemo's access road. I hear good things - especially from Okemo workers who get a sizeable discount on pie - thanks, Casey!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Good King Wenceslas looked out ...


Happy Saint Stephen's Day! Yes, today is the day of the feast that good 'ol Wenceslas looked out on. And just like in his day, the snow at Okemo is deep and crisp and even. Wenceslas was known for helping people like the poor man from the song who was gathering winter fuel. Some think that the U.K.'s Boxing Day came about, in part, because of Saint Stephen's Feast. Stephen was a martyr who, in his final words, asked forgivness for those who were stoning him to death.

In that spirit of goodwill, Boxing Day has typically been a day to recognize the things that people do for you all year long. It's also a good day to help those who are less fortunate or to simply offer random acts of kindness throughout the day.

At Okemo, this is shaping up to be our busiest day of the season so far and the whole week ahead is a popular time for skiers and riders to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Today would be a good time to remember Saint Stephen and to offer some simple acts of kindness ... give way to the person who arrives at the lift line the same time you do ... or hold the door for someone headed into the base lodge. Engage in conversation with lift attendants and thank them for holding the chair for you. Smile and wish a stranger a good day while out on the slopes. Imagine what it would be like if everyone on the mountain this week was courteous and giving. You can make it happen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa Claus Came to Town


A few fortunate children and their families got to meet with Santa Claus one last time before his big night of deliveries around the world. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at The Jackson Gore Inn by snow groomer - Okemo's 500 hp "Beast" that is the largest and most powerful groomer manufactured by Prinoth. Although Santa was impressed by the machine, he has no imediate plans to replace his team of flying reindeer.

Santa will return to Okemo on Christmas Day, to make a few runs after he finishes his rounds.


Here's wishing you lots of warm Santa hugs and a very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

totally tubular, dude

Tubing season at Okemo begins on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 3 p.m. Pricing remains the same as last winter at $9 per hour and there is a limit of 100 tubers per hour. Hours of operation run from 3 – 6 p.m. through the holiday week.

Okemo's tubing lanes are located at Jackson Gore and are serviced by a user-friendly conveyor-style surface lift.

It's a treat to be heading into the holiday week with off-slope amenities in full gear. If you're not the tuber type, how about ice skating at Jackson Gore's Ice House? Rental skates are available. Learn more by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

What happens when you try to tape a TV commercial about Okemo's wicked smaaat snowmaking and the HKD guns are a little too loud? Heck -- you use subtitles, that's what you do.

Does that actually work? Well....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I love that Van Morrison song!


What? ... oh, I thought you said Tupelo Honey. What's that? You said it's two below, honey?

I glanced at the digital thermometer as I pulled out of the garage this morning and it read 14 degrees. "Hmmmm," I thought, "that's not as cold as I expected." By the time I made it through the village and to the intersection of Rt. 103 (a three minute drive), the digital reading had dropped 10 degrees. At the Mount Holly Flats, the readout showed two below.

The crazy thing is, it's actually warmer at the summit. We're experiencing a bit of an inversion today and by simply dressing appropriately, skiers and riders are going to have a great day on the snow. The bright sunshine and blue skies are going to help with the psychological factor and an occasional cup of hot cocoa will keep them warm from within.

On the bright side (isn't there always a bright side with me?) the snow is going to stay nice all day and The Ice House at Jackson Gore opens for ice skating today! (another excuse to drink hot cocoa - what's ice skating without cocoa?)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shooting Stars?

It's another early morning for me here at Okemo and it's nice to see a clear, stary sky on my way into the office. The darkness is deceptive, though, and what looked like a super-bright star low on the horizon, started moving across the sky. It didn't take long to recognize it as the groomer that it actually was - up at the top of the mountain.

We've been singing the praises of snowmakers during the last couple of weeks and they deserve every bit of credit we can give them. But let's not forget what superstars our groomers are too. The first few weeks of the ski and ride season offer a number of challenges as a base is established and natural snowfall mixes with the manufactured white stuff. It's all good in the end thanks to the guys who churn it all up and lay down some sweet swaths of corduroy all over the mountain.

Thanks, guys. It appears I wasn't mistaken at all - thinking I saw a star in the night sky.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I <3 Snowmakers!

Six new trails today - that's amazing. Okemo's snowmakers are true magicians and they're working their magic to try and get Jackson Gore open this weekend. No promises ... but as I told Ops-Guy Eb this morning, "I BELIEVE!"

Maybe it's like in The Adventures of Peter Pan ... in chapter 13, when Tinker Bell is so distressed and Peter says, "If you believe, clap your hands; don't let Tink die."

What do you think? Would you clap your hands to get Jackson Gore open this weekend? Oh, that's just a silly notion that couldn't possibly work. But what if it did work? It worked for Tink. Couldn't it work for Tuck (Okemo's VP of Operations Barry Tucker is affectionately know as Tuck) and his crew too? Are you willing to risk it? I hope not. Start clapping! Clap your hands if you believe. Don't let Tuck down.

I'll see yopu on Lower Limelight ;-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

A magical event, indeed.

"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?"
                                                                     ~ J. B. (John Boynton) Priestley

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cue the snow .... and ... ACTION!

It looks like a movie production comapny came in overnight and transformed the entire Okemo Valley into the perfect winter wonderland just for our opening weekend. Everything is frosted in white this morning. Icicles dangle from the roofline of the base lodge and smoke curls as it rises from chimneys in the village.

That's New England for you ... one day we're all walking around in shirtsleeves remarking on how warm it is ... the next day it's instantly winter. That's nothing new for Okemo's team of snowmakers. They do that a lot at this time of year - transform a brown autumn meadow into a wintry snow-covered slope for skiing and riding. They happen to be extremely good at it and have recently overcome some challenging marginal temperatures to offer up some early summit snow sliding in time for our season opening this weekend.

Yesterday's natural snowfall will not play a major role in allowing us to open up more terrain. It was more like a wink from Mother Nature ... a small gesture to recognize our perseverance in spite of her shenanigans ... and a token to say, "good job." The big reward comes in the colder temperatures she's serving us. Round-the-clock snowmaking will allow us to open additional trails quickly as the week progresses. Our operations team has been in touch with the local electric provider and coordinated our higher-than-usual demand for power as we plan our snowmaking assault. We've also brought in a powerful generator to supplement our electrical needs.


The low hum of air compressors is a sweet sound of welcome to skiers and snowboarders arriving at the mountain this morning as the sun's first rays cast a golden glow over the expanse of white. They're eager to make their first turns of the season and they'll have a few inches of fresh snow and bluebird skies to kick off their 2009/2010 season of snowsliding. Visit Okemo's online snow report for full details.

See you on the slopes!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GAME ON!

Official word has just come down from on high ... literally! Okemo will open for the 2009-2010 ski and ride season on Saturday, Dec. 5. Terrain will likely be limited to advanced summit terrain, so don't plan on bringing your baby sister for her first day on snow. This weekend is for real skiers and riders.

This from General Manager Bruce Schmidt, "Many thanks to the snowmaking, grooming and Mountain Operations staff….. The plan is for there to be skiing and riding on the upper mountain to include Buckhorn, Count Down, Upper World Cup and Drop Off. "

We're still contemplating what lifts will be running and a lift ticket price has not been established yet.

Stay tuned to the Okemo Snow Report for updates or follow us (okemomountain) on Twitter and friend us on Facebook for breaking news and special deals.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

1st Annual Trot-it-Off

5 inches of fluffy white snow on Okemo's summit couldn't stop 72 runners from trotting in the 1st Annual Trot-it-Off 5k and Tots Trot held at the Jackson Gore base area of Okemo this morning. Well, the fact was that the snowline was well above the course, but it did make for a beautiful view from my vantage point at the first major turn of the race. AND, it was chilly and windy at race time!

Traditional Turkey Trots take place the same day as the turkey eating- Thanksgiving Thursday, but Okemo's take on the classic race- take Thanksgiving off! Rest, relax...then punish yourself for your turkey day transgressions on our hilly course. We'll throw in a nice headwind for you, that's the Okemo Difference!

The start sounded at 9:15 in the AM today for 18 young sprinters in our 0.5 mile Tots Trot. Once around the Jackson Gore in as parents and pedestrians cheered for kids aged 5 to 12. Congrats to MacKenzie Spadinger and her winning time 3:32.55. That's fast!

After a few late entries in the adult 5 k (3.16 miles today) race, the starting gun sounded and they were off at 9:45. Under 38 degree sunny skies, Mike Ioffredo ran away with it over dirt, around turns, into a thick headwind along route 100 and back to the Jackson Gore Inn. Despite the raw conditions, runners and walkers alike were in good spirits- all 54 of them. And they should have been- all the proceeds from the race benefit the Patch Chit Neighbor in Need Fuel Assistance Program which helps local families with heating oil for their homes.

Thanks to all the runners and their supporters, as well as Okemo staff and volunteers that made the 1st Annual Trot-it-Off a huge success! See you next year- the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Results:
Tots Trot
1) 3:32.55 MacKenzie Spadinger
2) 3:52.34 Olivia Thayer
3) 4:07.40 Will Hornyak
4) 4:21.72 Lucas Thayer
5) 4:45.83 Jennifer Stone
6) 4:56.35 Morgan Satter
7) 5:05.14 Max Foster
8) 5:09.82 Jack Grills
9) 5:10.98 Daniel Sattler
10) 5:20.72 Theanne Feldman
11) 5:33.92 Evee Gulick
12) 5:35.67 Keeler Lambertson
13) 5:40.75 Devan Grills
14) 6:08.31 Ryan Hornyak
15) Maverick Foster
16) Luke Hornyak
17) Clay Gulick
18) Sophia Feldman

Trot-it-Off 5k
1) 20:32.21 Mike Ioffredo
2) 20:44.63 Clay Howland
3) 20:52.55 David Burrows
4) 22:14.54 Richard Galera
5) 22:19.19 Mark Foster
6) 23:17.48 Andrew Spadinger
7) 23:43.11 Kay Griffin
8) 25:12.38 Sean Mullen
9) 25:13.30 John Germano
10) 25:51.40 Paul McKeon
11)26:31.93 Lauren Germano
12) 27:06.30 Amy Grundt
13) 27.28.75 Teresa Eagan
14) 27:49.91 Kateri Danay
15) 28:04.12 Harrison Feldman
16) 28:23.77 Sydney Spadinger
17) 29:01.34 Jim Faller
18) 29:14.83 Chris Kassons
19) 30:19.76 Wendy Reeves
20) 30:35.14 Mackenzie Spadinger
21) 30:59.09 Lindy Davis
22) 31:03.68 Megan McKee
23) 31:06.76 Scott Clarkson
24) 31:37.89 Faith Alberti
25) 31:49.99 Regina Corr
26) 31:56.05 Ted Reeves
27) 32:17.68 Stephen McLean
28) 32:44.24 Lee Davis
29) 33:02.81 Judy Flemming
30) 33:13.29 Thomas Philbin
31) 33:18.06 Penelope Kassons
32) 34:04.20 Kelly Rice
33) 35:09.95 Robert Thayer
34) 36:05.19 Natalie Thayer
35) 36:54.13 Lorin Borghini
36) 36:54.43 Chris DeTemple
37) 38:06.75 Laura Bellantoni
38) 38:07.68 Karen Zigmont
39) 42:12.72 Jonathan Zigamont
40) 45:09.62 Kathy McMahon
41) 50:48.12 Patty Greenwood
42) 51:06.98 Jack Hopler
43) Julie McLean
44) Jack DeTemple
45) Pamela DeTemple
46) Ashley Ellis
47) Kevin Ryan
48) Danny McKee
49) Leddy Naudin
50) Henry Corr
51) Jacquie Lambertson
52) Emily Faller
53) Jay Irabucco
54) Elizabeth Trubullo

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We're Here So You Don't Have to Be (Not that you don't want to be)

Tom (Twitter @OkemoMtnRoadie) and Rafael (Twitter @RafaelOkemo)

The postponement of opening day is always a total bum-ski, but it wasn't due to lack of effort. Despite the high level of optimism, frequent sacrifices to the snow gods, and all the tribal snow séances, Okemo was just not meant to open on November 21st. Trust us, we are just as eager to start slope sliding as anybody, and our snowmakers have the itchiest trigger fingers in the East. But Mother Nature is hanging on to every bit of warmth she has left before Old Man Winter gives her the boot (he's gentle but thorough, so don't worry).

Rafael and I will be here for you all season long, bringing you the latest snow reports and conditions updates directly from the "snojo" (the snow-reporting dojo), or as the uninspired like to call it, "the office." The snojo is where it all goes down -- live updates on Facebook, Twitter, your mobile devices and Okemo.com to keep you connected to the mountain no matter where you may be.

In a nutshell, here's what's coming up in the days ahead to keep your snow cravings at bay, or to make them even worse (so sorry!):

Annual Ski + Ride Swap for the benefit of the Okemo Mountain School: Begins Friday at 4 p.m in the Clocktower Base Lodge and runs all weekend.

Jason at www.Iwearyourshirt.com reps Okemo all day this Friday, Nov. 20, with free passes and other things to get you ready for the season. Tune in and win.

Okemo storms Boston for the Boston Globe Ski & Snowboard Show at the Bayside Expo Center this Thursday through Sunday. Mr. Ross Powers will be making an appearance Thursday and Friday evenings and the Okemo team has a fun, family activity in store for the crowd.

The Coleman Brook Tavern hosts a Thanksgiving Buffet on Nov. 26 to fill your ski or ride fuel tank to the brim. Call (802) 228-1435 to reserve your part of the bird and much more.

Nov. 28th: "What I Learned This Summer" Rail Jam presented by the Killarney.
"Trot-it-Off 5K Race and Tot's Trot"

Any day now: We open for the 09.10 season! Stay tuned!

Now for an update directly from the slopes with Rafael! http://www.okemo.com/okemowinter/ourmountain/snow/helmetcams.asp



Friday, November 13, 2009

Just One More Week... We Can Do It!!!

Here we are, in the final week before our anticipated opening day for the 09.10 season -- November 21! I tore through my closet the other day and made two piles: one full of the stuff I'll be using in a few days and one full of stuff I'll be selling. The annual Ski & Ride Swap for the benefit of the Okemo Mountain School is coming up this Friday, Nov. 20th - 22nd. I plan on making bank and walking away with a wad of cash, which I will then promptly spend on more new gear (and the vicious cycle continues infinitely). I'm telling you, I need to get out on the slopes already because all this idle time is bad for my bank account. Luckily though, the Ski & Ride Swap has a lot of great deals on both new and used equipment, including hard and soft goods. Also, I just took a stroll through the Snowsports Shop and they have a lot of really great gear from companies like Grenade, Quicksilver, Burton, Bern and Oakley. That place is dangerous, and I like it!

A little bird told me about a special promo going on right now on the official Okemo Mountain Facebook page. Something about the 12 days of Okemo and an exclusive Facebook opening day... That's all I'm saying, or that little bird might morph into Big Bird (Happy 40th Anniversary by the way!) and put a hurtin' on me when he finds all these people on his beloved ski slope.

Alright, I obviously need to get out on the snow soon... very, very soon. It won't be long now. In the meantime, join me on Twitter (@OkemoMountainRoadie). You can also add @RafaelOkemo (my snow-reporting compadre) and the mothership -- @OkemoMountain. Snow reports, special offers, some juicy insider info, and more of my incoherent ramblings are all included free of charge. Enjoy, and we'll catch you on the slopes soon!

P.S. - Look out for Okemo Mountain next week in Boston. We'll be at the Boston Globe Ski & Snowboard Expo from November 19 - 22 at the Bayside Expo Center. A lot of shenanigans will be going on, for sure, so don't miss out on this legendary tribute to the upcoming season.

And while you're in Boston feast your eyes on what's already being called one of the greatest ski films ever made-- The Edge of Never. It will be premiering in the Boston area on the 17th and 18th.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stick Season Special at Spring House

The leaves are gone and the sticks are showing here at scenic Okemo mountain. Unfortunately, the sticks are legs. Chicken legs. They're in a desperate state of atrophy after a summer of reading about skiing and riding rather actually skiing and riding. Looks like disc golf lunches didn't do enough to keep the legs in shape for crushing bumps on the Plunge and ripping the tree lines at the Gore. It's really quite depressing. I suspect I'm not the only one in this condition.

My old man always said "If you're gonna talk about it, be about it." Leave me alone Dad! I'm going to do something about it. I'm going to start hammering the quads with squats and leg presses, and ramping up the incline on the ellipitcal. I will punish myself to get ready for the season starting...now.

Luckily, it won't cost me an arm and a (stick) leg. The Spring House pool and fitness center at Jackson Gore is offering a $6 midweek day pass from now until 11/25. Six bucks, tax included. From open 'til close. Every Monday - Friday.

That's 15 days worth of torture that I can endure to make sure I'm ready to hike that Sobe S-rail one more time to finally clean the whole thing this winter. I'm sure I'll get it this year.

Come on down and work out with me for $6. Or go for a swim. Or hit the sauna. I'll be the one on the step with the dumbbell crying and sweating...but not stopping!!

Starting...now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Recession Will Soon Be Over, Says White House

Okemo Mountain Resort Announces Third Consecutive Year of Record Season Pass Sales


"We're Just Going to Start Doing Whatever Okemo's Doing," Says Fed


LUDLOW, VT—Noting the third consecutive year of season pass sales success at Vermont's Okemo Mountain Resort, President Barack Obama on Monday formally announced the beginning of the end of the twenty-two month Great Recession.


"I am, and always have been, most impressed by the commitment to excellence shown by the fine upstanding Vermont-Americans at Okemo Mountain, and I am most impressed that, in these soon-to-be-formerly difficult times, Okemo has shown season pass sales unit increases of 14%, year-to-year... and that on top of two previous consecutive years of growth.


"Let me be clear: whatever they're doing, we're going to start doing," Obama said.


Rep. John R. Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader, immediately endorsed Obama's position.


"The President and I agree on very little, but this is a clear area for consensus: offer American consumers an excellent product at an excellent price, and Americans will start spending again -- and enjoying their newfound independence from lift-ticket prices and ticket window lines," said Boehner. "We can learn a lot from Okemo, even if it is located in Vermont."


Rumors that radio personality Rush Limbaugh was part of a group seeking to purchase Okemo Mountain Resort could not be confirmed by press time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Peak Week


The concensus around the marketing office is that the fall foliage is at, or approaching, peak color this week. It's perfect timing for a long weekend away and Okemo's annual Parrothead Party on Sat., Oct. 10.


The concert, featuring the Reggae beat of Spiritual Rez and Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitudes, is free and open to the public. There will be booze in the blender to render some frozen concoctions and Coleman Brook Tavern will be on hand to provide fresh-from-the-grill burgers, bow wows, and such. Spiritual Rez takes to the stage at 1 p.m.


Okemo's Season Pass early-bird cutoff is approaching Oct. 12, so the Parrothead Party would be a good time to renew your pass for some great pre-season savings.


New this year, the Sunday One-Day Season Pass is a great “starter” pass for weekend day trippers and is priced right at an early-bird rate of $299 for adults ($359 after Oct. 12). This direct-to-lift season pass has four blackout dates, but is valid all other Sundays throughout the season.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

OkeMoose on the Loose







.













The foliage is nearing its peak display of color. Temps are starting to feel more seasonal and critters are on the crawl in preparation for winter. Sightings of dumpster bears have been reported and a lonely little moose has been seen wandering the grounds of Kettle Brook. We know he's an authentic Okemo Moose because ... well ... see for yourself!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Opening Day Just 82 Days Away!


Wow! Where did the summer go? We're closing in on Fall here at Okemo, with the days warm and the nights getting cooler. In fact, temperatures tonight are predicted to drop as low as 37 degrees! Oh yeah, did I mention opening day is a mere 82 days away?

If you have not secured your 09/10 Season Pass - be sure to purchase on or before October 12th to get the pre-season pricing. We've also introduced a new Sunday One-Day Pass this season, so if you're within an hour or two drive from the mountain this might be a perfect starter pass. And, Flex Cards, 8 & 12 packs are also on sale now in the online store.

In terms of what else is new for the 09.10 season, here are a few highlights:


  • We'll introduce a new after 2 pm ticket and many more online ticket deals to save $

  • The longest superpipe in the East will increase its vertical pitch by 13 feet!

  • Fans of Okemo on Facebook and Twitter Followers will have opportunities to win free tickets and take advantage of special offers

  • We're reconfiguring our entire HKD tower gun snowmaking system with a focus on enhanced resurfacing response time (this is the East right?)

  • We have a ton of ways to ski free, or learn to ski free

  • and that's just a start!


Finally, Okemo is holding the line on our slopeside lodging rates for the upcoming season AND offering guests that book early up to 30% off! Get all the details on this ski & stay savings offer here>>>

Monday, August 10, 2009

music,beer, beer, cider, music and beer

What an awesome weekend, that just transpired. Friday night music in the courtyard at Jackson Gore, with the Roots of Creation and a picnic dinner with friends...and cool evening temps. Saturday morning arrived early, with temps in the low 40's (winter is coming).

I joined a small group of cyclists (at 7:30 am) who rode a 62 mile fundraising tour, which took us through Cavendish, Reading (Felchville), back of the Tyson/Plymouth road (also know as the Alps), then swooping down into Echo Lake with a turn north to Rte 4 East. A yummy snack stop at the general store at the corner of Rte 4 and Rte 100A south, then back down to finish our ride at the stone archway of the Jackson Gore Inn. We were pleased to finish in 4 hours.

Once we recovered, some of us contniued on to the 1st Annual Hops in the Hills beer festival for an afternoon of sampling flavors from nine different regional craft brewers. I hope this is OK...my favorite was the Adirondack Lager from Saranac. The afternoon affair was accompanied by the Chris Kleeman Band and headlined by Nobby Reed. Both bands played some soulful blues.

The weather was perfect all day long. I suspect most people had nice tan lines or wicked sunburns by days end. I personally had some lobster lines.....more sunscreen next time.

Take Care.

PS. See you Friday night for more free music at Okemo!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Late bloomers, undergarments and free lift tickets

How's that for a headline? :D

I never skied as a child. I hated the winter. Considering I grew up and went to college right in the snow belt of upstate New York, that’s surprising to many.

After college I moved to Vermont. Go figure. Another cold climate. Anyway, about 5+ years ago I applied for a job at a ski resort. I almost didn’t get the job, not because I wasn’t qualified, but because I wasn’t an “intermediate” skier. Psh. Give me a pair of skis, I WILL learn to ski. Translation: are you challenging me?


I remember my first group lesson, which must have been in the early winter of 04’ – renting skis, buying snowpants for the first time in 15+ years. I think back to that day and remember how intimidated I was. Learning to ski in my 30’s. Was I crazy?

Fast forward 5 seasons, three Women’s Alpine Adventure programs, and about 40-50 days on snow each winter and I am a newfound snow sports enthusiast. I find myself wishing for snow in July#$#?!. How is that for crazy?



Don’t get me wrong, I’m still by no means an expert skier. I just love to ski! There is something about the cold crisp air, the inspiring mountain scenery, and good times with friends and family that can wipe the stress away in one short run. And fitness? Man, skiing keeps your legs in some pretty fantastic shape!

I’ll never forget the last day of the 08/09 season. It was a Sunday – I was here chaperoning a school trip with my son and his friends. A group of 9 & 10 year olds are tough to keep up with – especially by this point in the season when they are feeling pretty darn confident in themselves. Anyway, during that last week a tree had managed to accumulate some undergarments down near the base off the mountain. Well, you can imagine those made quite an impression on these young boys. Underwear? Nothing funnier.

The last few rides past that tree found ski poles “fishing” for a catch. We must have made three laps hoping something would bite. Well, they finally managed to jar one of the garments loose, falling to the ground right on the trail below. You can imagine how fast we skied down to see if it was still there.

One of the boys skied to the side of the trail, immediately clicked out of his skis and attempted to climb up the short lip of snow to retrieve the lost garment. As this was happening, people on the chair above us saw what was happening and began hootin’ and hollerin’ for him, urging him onto his goal. It became quite a show as he scooped it up, attached it to the back of his helmet in the google snap, and skied down the rest of the mountain pumping his arms as if he’d won the lottery.

We laughed for the next hour. It made for quite a good story to tell the girls on the bus ride home.

Do you have a favorite story from last season? Share your story by commenting below. If we get 40 comments with stories by Sept 1 I’ll pick two lucky winners for some free lift tickets.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Okemo Mountain Resort opens new 9-hole course




On July 27th, 2009 Okemo Mountain Resort added 9-holes of championship golf to the activities at Jackson Gore. With the completion of this new course Okemo now boasts 45 holes of golf at 3 separate courses. Yes, Tater Hill offers 18 holes of Vermont beauty, including the challenging 15th dog-leg hole (I say go for it every time, the 15th is no place to play it safe). Yes, Okemo Valley Golf Club offers a Heathland-style course unlike any other resort course in New England. However, I'm writing today to talk about Okemo's newest addition The Maples. Designed by resident expert Adam Ford and Spring House Mogul K.C. Gandee, with help from Okemo's own mountain operations crew, The Maples offers an educational twist at every tee box. As you work your way around this par-3 course you'll learn about the maple sugaring process that has put Vermont on the map for years.

Here's the catch. Leave your clubs at home, put on your Birkenstock footwear, grow your hair out a little bit, splash some patchouli on, enjoy a Bob Marley tune on your way to the course, and reminisce about the best Phish show you ever saw as you work your way to the start of your DISC GOLF EXPERIENCE.

Your golf game starts at The Spring House where you can pick up a score sheet, greens fees, and rentals for a recession-friendly price of only $5. If you brought your own the price is only $2 for the greens fee! Head out through the courtyard at Jackson Gore to the first tee, located just off the Coleman Brook Express lift. The course will take you up the hill, across the field that is "Inn Bound" in the winter time, and across Coleman Brook on the 8th before ending up by the Snow Stars learning area for the 9th 'hole'.

A few words of wisdom from someone who has had the opportunity to play:
Shorts - good
Shoes - necessary (okay, you can still wear sandals or flip flops, but you might end up in the brush looking for your disc)
Tie-dye shirts - not necessary, but really adds to the experience
Discs - rentals include "The Panther" a long range driver, "The Shark" a mid range disc, and "The Aviar" for your putting and approach shots.

Holes 1 & 2 - do yourself a favor and play to the far right. This will keep you out of the brush (maybe)

Hole 8 - This is where I laid up and played across the bridge instead of through the trees and over the river (sounds like the way to grandma's house). I would suggest this technique for you and your golf buddies. If your buddy (K.C. Gandee) decides to play over the river, make him look for his own disc. Don't help. You're playing against Par, but you're also playing against your teammate.

One more thing. When course designer K.C. Gandee teed off on hole one he looked like this:









But by the time he got through the 8th hole he more closely resembled this:















Disc Golf will change you!

All joking aside, Disc Golf is fun for the whole family. It took us just under an hour to clear 9 holes, and that included a little search and rescue for some 'misplaced' discs (see the note above about holes 1 and 2). We had a great time testing the course and I'm sure I'll be out trying to improve my score sometime next week!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

News from The Hill


Last Monday, Garry Vansiclen, Tony Schwartz, Dave Surette and I attended the Pro-Senior Championship at Basin Harbour. As with most Pro-Am’s that we play in, I always think about the great chances we have on winning! This time is no different. With Garry and Tony “trending” to a low handicap and Surette (well with Dave being the SUPER STAR that he is!) this was our big chance.
As we started our long journey, it was ugly!!! Scrambling to make pars, bogying holes… Nothing was happening! After nine holes, Dave comes up with this grand idea to play for a beer. We begin our, now relaxed journey, with Garry and Dave paring with strokes, I birdie the next hole with Dave paring for a net birdie. The next hole we have pars from Tony and Dave that give us 2 net birdies. After two (basic par holes, ho hum!) Tony throws in a snake birdie for a Net 1! Garry proceeds to birdie a par 5 for a net eagle. The next hole is much the same with Tony and Dave making pars for net birdies. On our last hole,(and at this time, Tony and I are up 1 on the beer bet) dave pelts a 7 iron from 150 yards out to about 2 feet for a birdie / net eagle. So overall, we tie for the beer bet and shake hands and head into the club house. As we go into the clubhouse to pass in our card, I see that our score seems to be 3 shots ahead of the nearest competitive team?
As the BBQ was served, and all the cards were signed and passed in, TATER HILL was announced Pro – Sr Net Champions for 2009. Dave had 2 skins that totaled $110.00. Garry’s Eagle held up for a skin that gave him $45.00 and Tony’s Eagle “1” gave him $45.00. The Team Prize gave us all $118.00 each.
After it was said and done, we shot a 2 ball best ball 70 on our first nine and and 58 on the 2nd. It is fun to play with all cylinders firing. And more enjoyable to see 4 men playing a game and making a bad situation GREAT! PRO-SR STATE CHAMPIONS…… That has a great ring to it! And best of all was the beer toast at the end of the day that we all paid for individuallyJ

Jp

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Paradise Found!

Jimmy Buffet
By a mere chance of fate I found myself at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Ma on Saturday evening at 7:05 pm. I could not have imagined being in the presence of such greatness even 24 hours before. Yes, I am speaking of the inspiration for Okemo's own Parrothead Party (Oct. 10), Mr. Jimmy Buffet.

A close friend found me after the Friday night VSO performance and told that he had just been given four tickets to see Buffet - and did I know of anyone who might be interested in going at such short notice. So, being the good friend that I am, I offered to make the drive with him to Greatwoods and experience Jimmy live.

As much as I love winter, Jimmy Buffet reminds us that summer is a state of mind. We tailgated, caught up with old friends and made new friends. And I'll admit, I tried Land Shark Lager and enjoyed it. I've also learned that we have it on tap at the Friday night concerts at Okemo. (yeah, yeah, shameless plug - I know.)

And I learned something on Saturday, young Jimmy Buffet fans (as in little kids) or children of Parrotheads are know as Parakeets. Too cute. See you in Vermont's Paradise on October 10th. Bring your fin!

I'll be livin' on pastries, lobsters and love all summer long.

..or perhaps a cheeseburger and a cold draft beer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Parrothead Paradise


On my drive to work today I was glad to see this ever changing sign now reading "Parrothead Paradise". It prompted me to think about all the great activities going on at Okemo this year including the 3rd annual Parrothead Party on October 10th. We welcome back Changes in Latitudes to put you in a beach mood one last time before winter, and this year to get the party started we'll have the high energy reggae funk band Spiritual Rez opening for CIL.

You don't have to wait for October to enjoy summer and great music though. The Jackson Gore Music Series is in full swing. Tomorrow (June 26th) we host The Vermont Symphony Orchestra in their annual summer tour. Tickets are on sale at Coleman Brook Tavern, online at okemo.com, or at the gate. It's sure to be a great evening ending with a fantastic fireworks display!

July 3rd we welcome back local band Twiddle as the free Friday night series continues. Each Friday the Coleman Brook Tavern BBQ is cooking up the best ribs, chicken, and burgers around, and we have cold beer on tap from Bud Light as well as local favorites in bottles.

Speaking of the best brews, on August 8th Okemo will hold the first annual Hops in the Hills beer festival. We'll welcome local and regional brews by Harpoon, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Otter Creek, Sam Adams, and many others. The afternoon kicks off at 1pm, just about the time you'll be getting back from the Heart of the Valley bike ride, with a BBQ and great blues music from The Chris Kleeman Band and Nobby Reed.

That's the 411 from the events department. Summer is here (temps in the 80's today!) and we're ready to have some fun.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Only in Vermont

For those of you who picture Vermont as the quintessential place to be, to get away from the daily rat race of life, then this is for you. As I drove to the mountain this morning, and turned up the Mountain Road toward the clock tower base area, I drove past a maple syrup sap bucket top. Yup, the top of one of those buckets you see stuck to the side of a Maple tree in early Spring. It's that piece that looks like a little a-frame house perched on top of the bucket.

In other places I've lived, I would likely drive by the mysterious "single sneaker", or other unique things like muffler parts, road kill, etc. Only in Vermont can you drive by sap bucket parts on the side of the road. And the odd thing is.....it's almost July. We don't tap trees this late in the year.

It just reminds me of what a wonderful place Vermont is. (yeah, I know...I left it dangling). The range of tradition and technology in this state is pretty dramatic. I'm writing this down in a blog, which sends out across the Internet and I just passed by a symbol of tradition which is hundreds of years old. That's pretty cool.

Today's Suggestion: Remember to look around you even on your way to work

Have a good day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hey kids, how about some golf?


My dad was an avid golfer and my mom referred to herself as a golf widow. The shelves of our den were lined with Dad's trophies and tournament loving cups. Mom especially liked it when Dad brought home a new electric percolator or frying pan - what can I say? It was the '60s.

Dad turned our suburban backyard into a pitch-and-putt course for a few years. He planted some tin cans and even crafted pins. With such a passion for the sport, it was surprising to see his reaction when one of his golf buddies gave me a set of clubs for my eighth birthday. They were miniature clubs in a pint-sized bag that his daughter had long outgrown. My dad wasn't particularly thrilled by this kind gesture. He showed me how to hold the clubs and sent me off into the backyard to whack some colorful plastic balls around. I imagine he felt that I was dangerously close to infringing on the one thing where he found escape from his Leave-it-to-Beaver homelife. And I was somehow cognicent of that - even then.

Ironically, it wasn't until after my dad passed away and I claimed his clubs, that I took up the game of golf. I've been at it for a few years now and I can't help wonder how different things would be if I had showed a real interest back then. Here's a little encouragement to all you youngsters out there ...

Okemo Valley Golf Club is an ideal facility for introducing youngsters to the game of golf. Starting June 27, OVGC will host a series of junior clinics, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., every Saturday afternoon through August 1. The fee is $20 per clinic or $100 for all six. For more advanced young golfers, OVGC offers a Junior Golf Camp July 7-10. Instruction will run from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. each day. The fee is $350.

To reserve a spot in the camp or in one of the clinics, call (802) 228-1396. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Time and a Place


There's a time and a place for golf. The time is now and the place is Tater Hill.


The height of the golf season is fast approaching and golfers know how tough it can be to secure an optimal tee time when the season is underway. Now is the best time to play a leisurely round at Tater Hill Golf Club in nearby Windham, Vermont.


Tater Hill is the Okemo Valley's best-kept golfing secret and the locals really like it that way. With the same attention to course conditions and maintenance as Okemo Valley Golf Club, Tater Hill offers a more casual setting with its white-clapboard farmhouse clubhouse, fieldstone fences and cottage gardens. It just feels more homey - something you'd naturally expect from a site that lived its former life as a potato farm.


But don't let the humble facade lull you into thinking that a round a Tater Hill is going to be a cake walk. Similar to Okemo Valley in yardage, par and USGA rating and slope, Tater Hill can offer some serious challenge - the greatest of which, is for golfers to keep their eye on the ball with the spectacular scenery that surrounds this championship course.


Now is the time to take the lovely drive down Route 100 or through the charming village of Chester, to Tater Hill Golf Club. Give Head Pro and Club Manager John Pawlak a call to set up a tee time or a lesson ... (802) 875-2517. FORE!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Great summer option for kids


The last day of school is always a bit bittersweet for working parents. While we look forward to a break in the monotonous routines of a school day, the anticipation of filling our kids' days with active and interesting activities all summer long gets a bit overwhelming.

If you are looking for an alternative to your regular daycare routine, or would just like to try something different, Camp Gokemo is set to open its doors on Friday, June 26th for the season. The camp will be open 7/days a week, so even if your work schedule includes weekends, Okemo's summer camp program could be the opportunity you are looking for.

The camp is open to kids ages 6 months to 15 years - and days are filled with all kinds of themed activities, organized sports and games, swimming (indoor and out) and arts & crafts.

If Camp Gokemo sounds like something you might be interested in, check out all the details on okemo.com

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Friday nights, Green Mountains and Happy faces

Well, I got to my first Okemo Friday night concert last week. The Grift was playing at the Jackson Gore Base area. I arrived late, due to work and running some errands, but was pleased to discover that the concert was being held on the valley side of the Jackson Gore Inn. There's a depression in the ground, which will be the future conference center, but for right now, it makes a great amphitheatre.

There was a pretty decent crowd and the weather was good. I am pleased that I wore long pants, because the temperature dropped as the evening went on. With the slight breeze and the low temps, the bugs were not to be found. (yay!)

I had to chuckle, due to the number of young children who were sliding on their bottoms, down the grass, behind the stage. It was the perfect setting for a laundry detergent ad. I'm positive there were more than a few parents who were less than happy with the grass stained clothes which were dropped in the hamper that night.

The evening was capped off by a visit to The Killarney for some beverages and chicken wings. Boy did those wings hit the spot.

Have you played these holes?

Okemo Valley's signature hole is definitely the 17th. According to Head Golf Pro Michael Santa Maria...

This hole offers golfers of all levels a spectacular challenge of both beauty and finesse. The beauty is the dramatic tee shot to a green that is well protected by water, bunkers, and fescue, the finesse is that the tee shot not only needs to carry all hazards but also needs to find the proper part of this rolling three level green to avoid a three putt. Enjoy the view, and good luck making a par.




Over at Tater Hill, Head Pro John Pawlak notes that the 15th hole is not only breathtaking but offers a risk reward like no other...

The Ladies start from a tee that is 30 feet above the fairway. The men enjoy a tee off at 70 feet with the Championship tee at 100 feet. The dog leg right par 5 gives you the perspective of not only hitting over the dog leg, but you are above most of the trees so watching if you clear the fairway visible from the teeing ground is enjoyable. The large landing area allows for the safe player to naturally "lay up" before the green with a 40 to 60 yard pitch on. Meanwhile, the gambler may have a 200 yard (or less) shot in to the heavily bunkered green that requires extreme accuracy. Otherwise, the errant tee shot may end up lost in the trees right, and suffer the dreaded "Stroke and Distance" penalty!

If you've played either of these holes, share your story and tell us about it!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Okemo Custom Google Earth Layers

A special thanks to @mikepinkowish, who made some custom google earth layers of Okemo Mountain. He passed along this site to check them out.

Thanks Mike! We love creative guests :}

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shades of Grey, fading to Green

Living in Vermont in the Spring is such a confusing time of year. If you drive up into the mountains the trees are still grey and no leaves are out. But if you then drive down into the river valleys, the trees are green, the flowers are in bloom and people are mowing their yards.

As I drove north into Ludlow the other day, I had one of those, "huh, that's kinda neat" moments. In town, the grass is green and people are doing summertime stuff, but as you look up onto Okemo Mountain, the upper half of the mountain is still grey. EXCEPT that....all the trails, where the new grass is growing, are bright green. it's a really cool contrast.

I have to remember that for Vermont in May, we still have a chance of frost, like last night's temperature of 30 degrees at my house. And now today... the daytime high temp is forecast to be around 70 degrees. (that's a 40 degree temperature swing.)

So, we Vermonters have to pack a suitcase to go to work in May. In the morning it's a heavy fleece or a winter coat and by mid-afternoon it's shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops. Then by sunset, it's bug spray, a sweatshirt and jeans.

I wouldn't trade it for anything. I get to ride my bike in spectacular scenery, then head home and start up the wood stove to take off the chill in the house in the evenings. The peeper frogs are in their full glory.

And besides, it makes for great water-cooler conversation as to who's flowers and yards are in bloom and whose aren't. JSYK - I have yet to mow my whole yard. I finish it tonight.

CUL

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jackson Gore Music Series lineup announced!



Summer is right around the corner. I got out and played my first round of golf yesterday at Okemo Valley Golf Club and I'm planning my summer activities (Rodeo at Pond Hill Ranch, tubing in Stockbridge, etc). One thing is for sure though - I will be at Jackson Gore every Friday night for the free concerts - the lineup of bands at this season's Jackson Gore Music Series is the best yet!



Nobody can deny it. Times are tough and people are cutting back on the luxuries in life. Well one thing is still on the up and up and still FREE - the Jackson Gore Music Series presented by Bud Light. We're glad to welcome back some of the favorites from years past and bring in some new acts to the mix, so grab your lawn chairs or blankets, and bring an appetite because the Coleman Brook Tavern BBQ is back with their mouth watering ribs, bbq chicken, and all the fixin's to go with it.

The concert series kicks off on May 29th with local favorite Gypsy Reel. It's sure to be a good night of, as they put it, Celtic music in overdrive featuring a fiddle, banjo, mandolins, guitars, stand up bass, and special guest and master percussionist Hafiz Shabazz. Next up, on Friday the 5th of June its "The Grift" - it's Vermont Rock & Roll with a bit of electric funk mixed in. This dynamic band will get you moving with original tunes and a wide range of covers from Aerosmith to the Grateful Dead. June 12th we're back to blues with The Chris Kleeman Band. This local powerhouse has brought the best blues in the Okemo Valley to the Jackson Gore Music Series each year - and "if it ain't broke don't fix it". We're welcoming back Chris and the band for the 5th year of the series.

The blues continues on the 19th with The Nobby Reed Project. Nobby has been featured on VH1, the History Channel, and MTV as well as countless radio stations around the country. This Vermont performer has an AMAZING talent and shouldn't be missed.

On the 26th of June join Mary Davis Real Estate and Jackson Gore Development in welcoming back The Vermont Symphony Orchestra. This is the only ticketed Friday night show, but you'll be sure to get a great value with world class music and a great fireworks display. Tickets for this event are on sale at Coleman Brook Tavern or online at okemo.com. For the VSO performance we ask that you please leave your 4 legged friends back at the ranch.

Local favorite Twiddle returns to Jackson Gore to kick off the holiday weekend on July 3rd. This band drew a huge crowd last year and played past anyone's expectations. When they couldn't see the guitar strings anymore they decided to play just a few more songs. The band jams to originals and covers and will send you away musically satisfied.

One of my personal favorites makes the trip up from Boston again this year to bring a reggae beat to the series. Spiritual Rez, and the 7 members that make up the band, play original reggae and funk music complete with a horn section. This is one concert not to be missed - you'll be on your feet for the entire show!

The 17th of July we welcome back Adam Payne and 2Adam12. Adam blends together Funk, R&B, Folk, and Acoustic for a totally unique sound. Last year he broke out with an "Okemo" song in the middle of the set as well! Enjoy some of his music and amazing covers from your favorite artists. Leaning a little more towards the jazz genre but keeping the funk going we bring in Sly Geralds on the 24th of July. Sharing the stage with musical giants such as Maceo Parker, Al Green, Levon Helm, Richie Havens and Bob Dylan to name a few, Sly blends elements of blues, funk, soul and rock for your listening pleasure.

Local rock band Fry Daddy joins the linup on the last day of July.
The band has been performing in the Upper Valley for the past ten years. Led by singer song writer, Carlos Ocasio, the band's music is a foot stomping, heart thumping stew of originals, soul, rhythm and blues, and Latin beats. Couple that with the reggae beats of Roots of Creation on the 7th of August and you've got music that will move you! ROC, with a horn section and great beats, will be sure to have you on your feet.

We welcome back Dr. Burma on the 14th of August. Dynamic vocals, stellar musicianship, and an irresistible groove have built their reputation as one of the area's premier rhythm & blues dance bands, playing clubs, concerts, festivals and parties throughout northern New England and New York.

This year we're excited to bring The Boston Horns to the series. With a mixture of Jazz & Funk this sextet will be sure to impress. Special guest Barrence Whitfield joins The Boston Horns on the 21st with his legendary vocals. We're back to funk for the last show in August. The New Groove Orchestra is making a special trip down from their home in Montreal to funk up Jackson Gore before the summer has passed. Let Meghan Patrick tie this 10 person (yes, 10) band together with her amazing vocals - do NOT miss this show!

BONUS WEEK! - As part of the economic stimulus package put forth by President Obama, Okemo is offering a bonus week this year! September 4th we close the series out with BuzzUniverse. An original eclectic blend of rock, jazz, latin & world grooves. BuzzUniverse features smoking horns and a rock-solid rhythm section.

Check back each week for more information on the upcoming show, and I hope to see you every Friday night this summer!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Looking to economize your skiing habit?


Buying a season pass now is the perfect way to lock in your expense for the 09/10 season - a "fixed expense" so to speak!

Here are a few other reasons to consider buying your pass now:

1. No price increase. Buy before this Thursday and pay this year’s rates!
2. Pays for itself. At pre-April 30th pricing, did you know our midweek pass pays for itself in just 4 visits? A Value Pass in just 8! (Remember that New Year’s resolution to ski more?)
3. No ticket windows. That’s a no brainer.
4. FREE companion tickets. With our Ultra and Peak passes you’ll get a complimentary ticket to bring a friend any day of the season.
5. Ski other mountains. Each of our passes has unique benefits, but with an Okemo pass you could enjoy privileges at Mount Sunapee, Stratton and/or Crested Butte.

Give all your options a look - maybe this is the year to make the switch to a season pass, and forget playing the daily lift ticket game.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Opening Days Announced


Okemo Valley opens for the season on Friday, April 24th, with Tater Hill close behind on Friday, May 1st.

Two things worthy of mention:
First, reduced springtime greens fees will be offered through Memorial Day. And second, if you book and complete a stay & play package by June 28th - we'll throw in a free golf clinic at Okemo Valley for each member of your booking party.

See you on the links!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

It was a great ski and snowboard season! The lifts stop turning today at 4 p.m. and Okemo Valley Golf commences operations on Friday, April 24! Tee time, anyone?
Cheers!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is it Winter or Spring?

Once again, I awoke this morning to frosted grass and residual snow in my yard. It snowed a few days ago and left my house completely white for two days. Then, it warmed up to over 50 degrees and I went for a bike ride. (just short one from the Jackson Gore Inn to the Plymouth General Store and back - 18 miles)

Sometimes Spring in Vermont can be a confusing season. Today it was 26 degrees when I went downstairs and the temps are forecast for 50+. Go Figure! I can't really complain though. I love spring skiing and I also just got a new road bike, so I'm itching to get out and spin the wheels too.

Sadly, Winter will end on Sunday, April 12th here at Okemo. It was a fun time with good snow, fun trees skiing, soft spring moguls and so far 143 of continuous operation. Even when the last chair loads and the final Ski Patroller sweeps the hill, we'll still be thinking about that next run and what next winter has in store for us.

So, I'll go ride my bike, rake my yard, swim at the local swimming holes, go to the Friday night concerts at Jackson Gore and patiently (or not) wait for winter to come again in the Fall of 2009.

Only three days left, get out there and play. (yes, I'm counting today) See you on the snow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lift tickets just $29 tomorrow


Join us for our final Skier & Rider Appreciation Day tomorrow - where everyone can ski & ride for just $29.

We're on 63 trails today and temperatures feel more like winter than Spring!


Enjoy today's photo of the day...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Splish Splash - It's a Springtime Bash!


The 2008/2009 ski and snowboard season is approaching its end but we wouldn't let is slip away without our annual excuse for springtime zaniness. It's time for slushpond skimming, making a splash and cardboard box racing at Okemo. What was originally scheduled as an entire weekend of wackiness has been condensed into a single-day triathlon of tomfoolery tomorrow, April 5.


Registration for the 2nd annual Harpoon Cardboard Box Race, the Okemo Slush Cup and the Killarney Splash for Cash will take place from 8-10 a.m. in the main base lodge.


10:30 a.m. - The Harpoon Cardboard Box Race
Contestants must build a snow-sliding racing sled out of only corrugated cardboard and tape (plus decorative features) for a wild ride down the slope on the Bull Run “Cardboard Box Raceway.” Teams of three (must be 18 or older) must accompany their sleds across the finish line. Sleds will be judged in two categories: artistry and construction. Bonus points will be awarded for team costumes. There will be awards for the fastest sled and best self destruction of a sled while on course. Join Harpoon Brewery in the Sitting Bull after the race for a frosty brew and great prizes. Discounts on Harpoon drafts will be available all day long!


Noon - Okemo Slush Cup
The object in this rite of spring is to ski or snowboard down a trail and skim across an 80-foot-long slush pond without falling into it! It’s a chilly spring dip for those who don’t make it. Open to the first 125 participants. Entry fee is $20. Participants win fabulous prizes.


1:30 (or 30 minutes after completion of the Slush Cup) - The Killarney Splash for Cash
Go big and get wet! Three small kickers will be built at the edge of the slush-cup pond. Contestants will get one shot to splash big. Best freestyle tricks and biggest splashes will win top honors. Two age category winners will split the registration fees and go home with some soggy dollars in their pockets!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Joeys have Jammed




It's been almost a week now since the Joey Jam at Okemo, but only 2 days since I've seen the Camaro. Our winner, a local from Ludlow, drove the car back to Okemo on Wednesday to pick up his new ski rack from Thule and to do some riding on the mountain. The car is running great and he couldn't be happier.

The event was memorable to say the least. A total of 58 competitors skied, snoboarded, monoskied, snow skated, and most of all, fell down the mountain. The tricks were amazing. The butter box moves were delightful. The costumes were unreal. The judges had their work cut out, but managed to find a winner. A Joey among Joeys. King Joey if you will. The keys were handed over and our famed Joey drove off into the sunset in his new (to him) 1992 Camaro RS.

A big thank you to all who particpated, and a shout out to those who watched and cheered. The 60 degree weather, the sunshine, the cold Sam Adams Lager just feet away, the smell of the BBQ all made the event stand out as a great day at Okemo.

Check out the video of the week at Okemo.com for a hilarious recap of the event, or head over to youtube and see what CederSports put together!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

That's a lot of creamed corn and tuna!

Thank you to everyone who made Okemo's April Fool Food Drive such a tremendous success!We delivered way over 4,000 cans, boxes and packages of food to the Black River Good Neighbors Food Shelf yesterday afternoon. Those good folks provide assistance to the entire Okemo Valley region. In these difficult financial times, it's good to know that the pantry is well stocked. Thank you. Cheers!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Joey Jam - TOMORROW!

Wassup skias and ridas? Da slopes wuh wicked awesome out there and my board was goin’ mad fast down da hill, for realz. I hit a massive big kicker in Hawt Dawg Hill and got like fifteen or thirty feet of supah huge air over a snowmobilah and did da sickest nose grab. Then ma baby gurl came runnin’ over and wuz all like, "Joey, baby, you da best riddah on da whole mountain."

Awe yeah, the Joey Jam is on! Sign ups are form 8 – 10 a.m. in the Clock Tower Base Lodge Mezzanine and online. The action begins at 11 a.m. on Bull Run!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

7 days until the Joey Jam


Just a quick note before I head back outside to enjoy the bountiful sunshine gracing Okemo today (and next week according to the forecast!):

We're 7 days away from the 1st annual Joey Jam at Okemo Mountain and I've got to tell you, with all the hype the odds of wining the car are surprisingly high. If you're 18 or over and in this thing to win the car your odds are 1 in 10. I'd say that's pretty good considering it's not just some cheesy old Camaro. No, it's a 25th anniversery edition of the Camaro RS. Yep, it's got 8 cylinders of raw power. It's got bucket seats for you and that special somone. And it's got a trunk big enough for all your ski gear.

Get on over to active.com and register!

Remember - even if you pre-register you still have to check in in the base lodge, but you'll be assured a spot in the Joey Jam and possibly a spot in the history books. This thing's gonna be big.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Okemo Ticket Deals Plentiful this Spring!


Plan ahead and don't pay full price.

Ladies' Day Tuesdays: March 17, 24 & 31 for $39.

VT/NH Wonderful Wednesdays: Mar 18 & 25 for $39. April 1, 8 & 15 just $29.

Thursday Skier & Rider Appreciation Days - March 19, 26th for $39. April 2, 9 & 16 for $29

Ski for FREE - no joke. Bring 3 non-perishables on April 1 and ski free.

Online Deal! Family Sunday Ticket: On select Sundays in March – a family of four can ski Okemo all day for just $198! That’s a total savings of up to $86! (Combination may include one or two adults.) Offer may not be combined with other discounts, special price days or promotions. Must be purchased online, 48 hours in advance. Available: March 15, 22 & 29th.

Online Deal! Kids Rock FREE Ticket Offer: Parents: buy a regular priced Adult lift ticket and get a ticket for your child FREE (Ages 7-18 years) valid the same day. Limited to either one Junior or one Young Adult free ticket per paying adult. Child receiving free ticket must be present. Remember that children 6 & under ski free every day with a child’s lift ticket. Offer may not be combined with other discounts, special price days or promotions. Must be purchased online, 48 hours in advance. Offer valid Monday through Friday only, March 16 through April 3, 2009.

Online Deal! BOGOHO Lift Tickets: Party of two? Perfect. Buy one regular price adult full-day lift ticket and get half-off your second adult lift ticket! Offer may not be combined with other discounts, special price days or promotions. Must be purchased online, 48 hours in advance. Offer valid Sunday through Friday (excluding Saturdays) March 15 through April 3, 2009.

Online Deal! 2-days for $99: Pre-buy your lift tickets online and get a 2-day Adult midweek rate of $99! Offer may not be combined with other discounts, special price days or promotions. Must be purchased online, 48 hours in advance. Offer valid for redemption Monday through Thursday only, from March 16 – 31, 2009. (In other words, you may redeem your two day ticket for Mon/Tues, Tues/Wed, Wed/Thurs or Thurs/Fri tickets. Last day to redeem is Monday, March 30th.)

Get ticket deals online today!

Text Deals: Finally, be sure to text 'okemo' to 67463 and don't miss out on weekly ticket deals texted directly to your phone! Standard text messaging rates apply.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Few Really Good Reasons To Smile




As I sit and write these words, Okemo Mountain has just passed last year's total snowfall -- for the entire season. That's right: as great as last year was, and as much snow as Mother Nature dumped on Okemo last winter, we have now passed that number... by March 3.

We've got seven or eight more weeks in the season, people! We've just started what is typically the snowiest season of the month! We've got sunshine and longer, warmer days and barbecue on the decks and goggle tans to come! We've got soft spring snow and lighter jackets just around the corner and we've already gotten more snow than we got all last season! Things are still looking up, is what I'm saying! Why, you can tell how excited I am by my liberal use of exclamation points! I! Can't! Wait!

Toss in the fact that next year's Okemo Season Passes go on sale this Saturday, March 7 -- at the same rates as this season's early rates -- and I'm positively giddy. In fact, I may faint, so I'm just going to sit over here quietly for a few minutes with my head down between my knees.

[Sound of OkeDokey quietly hyperventilating]

OK, I'm back. Sun, snow, super savings... pretty good stuff, eh?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Like a Lion?


A few wisps of white in an otherwise bluebird sky makes me think that the old adage, "in like a lion and out like a lamb," may not apply to the month of March this year. But wait - snow is on the way and it could start before midnight. With any luck at all, we'll be skiing and riding in six inches of powder by morning.


As far as I'm concerned, March is the best month of the year for skiing. We inevitably get a big dump of snow in the first week or so and conditions are at their best. The stronger sun means fewer layers and lunch breaks on the deck. I'm all about the goggle tan.


Don't even think about your bike or those golf clubs in the garage . For real skiers and riders, the best is yet to come! Cheers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What did you get for your birthday?


Ross Powers rides with Kelly and Michael, two lucky twins who received the special day with an Olympian after winning an eBay auction for the memorable experience. All proceeds from the auction went to benefit the Ross Powers Foundation, and Kelly and Michael had a birthday present of a lifetime. The weather was beautiful, the snow was fantastic, and these lucky ones got to spend it with Olympic Gold Medalist Ross Powers.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Put your face on a box of Wheaties...

Well, not really. But you could be featured in Okemo's ad campaign for 2009/2010. Just submit a few photos and your best Okemo Story and it could be you.




To get your creative juices flowing, post a quick comment here with one of your best Okemo memories and we'll pick two comments (at random) next Friday for one free Okemo lift ticket each for the 08/09 season.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's an Over Snow!



We picked up two more inches of snow last night than even our most generous meteorologists were predicting -- 8-10 inches in all! If you can't get out of work or school today though, then don't go into a frenzy. The mountain is in great shape for this weekend and we should be skiing and riding on all 119 trails (or very close to it) with some superb packed powder conditions! There's no doubt in my mind that the skiing and riding will be gangbusters. But wait, there's more!


We have some great events planned for this weekend including our 7th Annual Comedy Night on Saturday, 2/21 with comedian Rusty DeWees, also known as "The Logger." The Vermont-raised DeWees perfected his comedic attack in New York City, and now he's here at Okemo. Co-sponsored by Vermont Properties and Development, the doors at ePIC open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Call (802) 228-8877 to purchase your tickets in advance, or pay at the door for slightly more while seats last.

From Wolaver's Organic Apres at Siena to Moonlit Snowshoe Tours, there's much more happening around the resort this weekend. Stop on by the events calendar to check it all out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Didja Hear The One About The Big Snowstorm?



Snow... snow... snooooow... snowsnowsnowsnow. (Snow!) We Okemo snow geeks just love it when the weather forecasters start freaking out over the possibility of another snowstorm hitting us right in the mouth. (Seriously, it's like a "Brangelina and Babies" sighting for these guys.) It's happening right now, as a matter of fact, as every major weather forecaster has their sights set on a big storm bearing down on the East.


How much snow are we gonna get, starting tonight? It's still a bit early to tell, but what the heck: I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict... 7-10 inches of snow on the mountain. (One forecast has us getting as much as 14 inches of snow, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, here.)


I wouldn't really be surprised if we get dumped on; to date, we're about 40% ahead of our average snowfall, so we've already seen our share of snowstorms this season, big and small. That means the biggest base depths in Vermont are, to quote Messrs. Hagar and Van Halen, right here, right now... and the conditions on Okemo Mountain are just about as buffed-out sweet as you'd expect.


So... if you not here right now (and if you are here right now, what the heck are you doing off the mountain reading a blog?), make plans for an epic upcoming weekend at Okemo. The roads will be clear on Friday... the sun will be shining... the mountain's calling to you... snow... snow...