Thursday, December 30, 2010

Okemo Groomer Featured in Popular Mechanics

"After suffering through a day's worth of skiers, a resort's slopes can be in disarray, full of uneven trails and clumps. To get them back to prime skiing condition, resorts employ snow groomers—big, hulking plow-like machines that use massive engines to push snow back up steep inclines. On a recent visit to Vermont's Okemo Mountain Resort, we got to ride in the passenger seat of one of the biggest and baddest ones on the market—the Prinoth BR500, or simply "The Beast," as Okemo's employees call it."

Read the full article.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Update from the Hill

This time of the year around a ski resort is busy. New staff to be trained, weather to contend with and at the same time, we all have our own busy lives preparing for Christmas. It is an exciting time.

As we head into the holiday week after Christmas, we anticipate skiing and riding on 80 trails and operating 18 lifts. The snowmakers are receiving a well-deserved day off around Christmas, it has been 14 days straight for them working! We will be firing the snowguns back up beginning on Monday.

From all reports, the skiing has been good. I have been out a couple times this week and found some good surface, a couple trails a little firm in the middle, but all in all from the edge of one side to the edge of the other, the skiing was mid-winter conditions. The snowmaking effort has been non-stop and our plan during the holiday week is to begin resurfacing some of the terrain. The idea is to make snow for a window of time and then let it be skied. Also in our plan will be to begin making snow on Dream Weaver & Easy Rider (since Upper Mountain Road from Easy Rider on down is skiable).

Some other tidbits...
--Moguls will be seeded on Sel’s choice and Big Bang over the weekend
--The Pipe will continue to get snow, with opening targeted for early January
--The Nor’easter Park will open Saturday with plenty of jumps, rails & features
--Snowmaking will also begin on Black Out & Ledges within the near future.

The Timber Ripper Alpine Mountain Coaster has opened and everyone is very excited. A big round of applause for all the hard work and extra effort that all the Okemo Staff put into this as well as the staff of Wiegand Coasters and Alpine Recreation Ventures. We could not have done this project with out their support or the support of our guests.

All of us here at Okemo want to wish all our faithful skiers and riders a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.

Bruce Schmidt
VP and GM
Okemo Mountain Resort

Monday, December 20, 2010

Got a nice present...

I've taken a lot of heat the past few weeks on getting the real estate trails open, so when I got this message yesterday it made my day. Thought I would share it:

Dave from Kettle Brook here.

First much thanks for getting KB trail open!

Second, your mountain ops team deserves high praise for the outstanding conditions. I was lucky enough to be the first skier over at South Face this AM, and the conditions were absolutely spectacular. Not what I expected for the first day of skiing on those trails.

Right now you have some of the best conditions I've seen for this time of year in a number of years which is saying a lot considering the lack of significant natural snow to date... Granted we've had a good spell of cold weather but so has your regional competition and right now you are providing a far superior product. It's not
always about the number of open trails, but the quality of what's on those trails.. and right now your guys have nailed it.

Merry Christmas to you
and your team!

Dave & Cathy
Kettle Brook

For tonight, snowmaking will continue on Big Bang, Eclipse, Tuckered Out and Southern Crossing. (Our snowmakers should have an awesome view of the eclipse!)
We anticipate opening the Morning Star lift and trails by Friday. For the holiday week look for Dreamweaver and snow tubing to come online. And last but not least... look for the Timber Ripper to open before Christmas. As soon as I have the day, I will pass it along.

Take care,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grooming - the unsung hero

I’ve had several guests mention to me that the skiing and riding conditions have been better than what they expected after the weather conditions the past 10 days or so. That is great to hear. To say that this early season has been a difficult one in terms of weather is an understatement. Our first measurable snowfall was actually the second week of December!

Following an early season weather event we have the luxury of being able to go back and make snow on the small number of trails that are open. When we have 50 or more trails open, it is just not possible, especially if we are also trying to open new skiable terrain. Enter grooming.

The groomers have several ways to work their magic in this circumstance. The first option is blading the trail. This entails bringing snow in from the side of the trail and working it back into the middle. This brings fresher crystal and better snow back into skiable areas. Another option is to run the blade deeper than normal while mountain tilling. This brings more snow up to the surface to be worked over. Another trick used on steeper trails is called "winching" the trail. This is a little more complicated.

The winch cat is a groomer with a large spool of cable on a drum on the middle of the machine. This cable is attached to another grooming machine, a tree, or in some cases a cable inserted into the ground (during summer months). By regulating the winch cat's speed while maintaining tension on the cable, the cat operator can pull himself up the trail with minimal spinning and a full blade of snow. This tactic allows the groomers to bring snow which is at the bottom of a trail, back up to the upper half of the terrain.

Okemo groomers are second to none. Essentially they are the caretakers of our snow. The two work in tandem, each relying on the other to make our snow surface the very best it can be.

Back to snowmaking. We are now blowing snow in the South Face area and anticipate opening up that area this coming weekend. Snowmaking has also begun on (drumroll please......) Sachem and the Superpipe! I am also hopeful that the other slopeside trails will be open by the weekend. Our next step will be making snow on Tuckered Out and heading down towards the Morning Star lift - with the goal of having that area open for skiing and riding around Christmas.

I continue to thank you for all your support and comments. We realize we are only as good as our last run, and continue to work hard to meet your expectations.

Happy Holidays.

Bruce Schmidt
VP and GM
Okemo Mountain Resort

Thursday, December 9, 2010

When are we opening Sachem, and other snowmaking objectives

People ask me if I get out skiing at all. The answer is somewhat. I try to get out on the slopes 2-3 times a week, but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen. Tim and Diane [Mueller] encourage managers to get out and experience the snow so we can better answer guest’s questions and concerns. Barry Tucker and Eb Kinney, our VP of Mountain Ops and Mountain Manager also try to get out the same each week so they know what is going on. I haven’t gotten out this year yet, but plan to this weekend.

Besides "when will Sachem open", the most frequently asked question I get right now is what is the snowmaking plan?. Our goal right now is to get as many different types of terrain open as we can before December 26th. That means beginner, intermediate and expert trails. How we make that happen is essentially based on the weather forecast.

The forecast for the next 48-72 hours is usually the most accurate forecast, and the one we look to constantly. If the forecast is showing winter temperatures in the teens or below, the tendency is to go after the larger trails with more acreage that require more snow. If the temps are not as cold, we may look towards the shorter trails. At any one time, we have trail objectives for the lower mountain, mid-mountain and upper mountain so when the temperature is right, we are ready to move.

By this weekend we are hopeful to have Upper and Lower Chief open as well as Sidewinder. Nor’easter will be very close behind (BTW don't forget to get your P.S.P Pass, now required for entry into Nor'easter). Being 16 days from Christmas, we are also making sure that some of our snowmaking fire power is directed toward maintenance of trails that have already opened. Maintaining the surface on those trails, while at times challenging, is very important.

Another important objective is to make sure we get snow made on the trails with slopeside homes. Sachem will definitely be the one we head to as our mid mountain objective with the Kettle Brook and Ledgwood areas being our lower mountain objective. We complete the loop by heading over to the trails in the Morningstar/Solitude area.

Bottom line is that every single trail is important to us as well as you. We do our best to prioritize and balance what we feel will make the best skiing and riding experience possible. Please continue to let us know about your skiing and riding experiences and Happy Holiday’s.

Bruce Schmidt
VP and GM
Okemo Mountain Resort

Sunday, December 5, 2010

8,000-9,000 gallons per minute!

Okemo uses a weather service, called Northwinds Weather. This weather service is used by many resorts in New England and does a really good job of forecasting hourly temperatures as well as elevation weather. Tony, the meteorologist, even visits Okemo to get to know the terrain so he can predict with more precision. Of course that means we blame him when we don’t have good, cold weather! His forecast for the next week? "Partly Cloudy with Flurries" and temps good for snowmaking.

At our morning snowmaking meeting, Barry Tucker VP of Mountain Ops, Eb Kinney, Mountain Manager, and Ray Kennedy, Snowmaking Manager, were all talking about how good things looked out on the mountain. Ray spoke of the fact that he has been able to max the system. That means we are pumping any where between 8000 – 9000 gallons a minute!

Eb spoke of how good the snowmaking was on Upper and Lower World Cup, but he was not happy with how firm things were on Saturday. Barry went out on a limb and said Solitude lifts and trails will be open by this coming midweek, with Jackson Gore by the weekend. Somewhat different than last week and for that matter last year. (If you don't recall, we opened for the season on this day, Dec 5th of 2009.)

Our plan continues to head towards Jackson Gore and add new terrain. We fired up guns on Lower Chief, and Heaven’s Gate and Screamin Demon are almost done so Solitude can open. Over in Jackson Gore, snow has been made to the base of the Jackson Gore Express and we are now headed down towards Fast Track and Inn Bound. Our plan is to work on Quantum Leap and Vortex and open them right along with the Jackson Gore lift and trail pod -- it is just so much efficient to make snow under a lift when its not operating.

These temperatures will also allow us to work in the Clock Tower base area. We expect to have the Basin Carpet and teaching area ready for the weekend as well as expand terrain around the bottom of the lifts, Open Slope and Bull Run. That will go a long way into making this place look more like a ski resort! Work will also began on the mid-mountain trails such as Wardance & Sel’s choice.

At the same time, we are going to keep some guns on existing terrain to make sure surfaces stay in top shape. Lifts operating this week will include Quad B, The Northstar, F-10 Carpet and the Glades Peak. On the weekend, we will add the lifts in Jackson Gore, Solitude and Green Ridge. For those wondering about the slopeside trails, we will be heading to them as we get closer to Christmas... we never forget them. :)

Grooming continues every night. In fact, it's time to take some of the guys off the Mountain Coaster project and get them started on their "winter" job of grooming. Lets all hope Winter is here to stay.

Bruce Schmidt
Okemo Mountain Resort

'Bridging' the gap

Another major step towards finishing the Mountain Coaster was completed today. This morning at 8:30, the Mountain Ops team craned the bridge to the Jackson Gore base into position. Your loyal Okemo Mountain snow reporters got to witness this spectacle first-hand and let me say, the evidence of careful planning and solid teamwork was clear. The bridge was positioned on the concrete blocks in only 30 minutes!

The bridge contains two levels of track. The lower will connect to the 1600' uphill climb, and the top will carry you back across the river on the way down to the Jackson Gore base at up to 25 mph! This is going to be such a great ride, we can't wait to see it completed!

Stay tuned and think snow!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Where we go from here

So we survived the "Noricane" of December 1st in pretty good shape... the trails held up pretty well, the skiing surface was firm, and on the plus side the snowmaking pond is now full!

The wet weather began to subside around 10pm on Wednesday night and the groomers went out around 3am - which is about the same time that snowmaking operations resumed. I am confident that the skiing, while firm on Thursday, will become better with each day of grooming.

The guns will continue to blow snow on existing terrain, but we are moving towards some new trails as well. Our #1 priority is to finish Lower Arrow so we can have two ways down from the summit. We know it has been tiresome to only have Upper and Lower World Cup to get back to the base.

Other priorities will be heading towards Jackson Gore and Solitude. We began this today by making snow on Sunburst. We will then head down Coleman Brook and Escape and onto Mountain Road and Limelight - eventually reaching the base of Jackson Gore. Both of these areas should be open by Saturday 12/11, weather permitting.

At the same time, when the temperatures allow, we will be heading down the Rimrock trail, heading towards the mid-mountain trails of Sel’s Choice and Wardance. The plan is to get spread out and some snow laid down as we head towards the Christmas Holidays.

By the way, do you know our sister resort Crested Butte has had almost 75 inches of snow this year already?

Have a good night, and thanks for choosing to ski and ride at Okemo Mountain Resort


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Trails Diverged in a wood

If you’ve been following our blog you probably already read about how we tweaked our trail opening process on Defiance this past Saturday. In fact, we heard from a lot of guests about how nice that skiing surface was when we opened it. (Keep the comments coming!)

We took a different approach on Jolly Green Giant – and the result was very different. Guests encountered a much firmer surface.

The difference? On Defiance we made enough snow to cover the trail and let it sit for one full day so that the water could leach out, then groomed it out and opened it. On Jolly Green we made snow, immediately groomed it out and opened it the next day.

As I said, guests loved the opening surface on Defiance. It was essentially what you’d find a day after a nice snowstorm! However, because a hard-packed base had not been developed we found that ruts were forming on the trail by mid-afternoon. On Jolly Green, the immediate grooming and skiing of the snow had packed the base; so while it was not as smooth a ride on opening day, the base of that trail is now ready for a season of skiing and riding (and more snowmaking of course!).

The task at hand is to find a good balance. Here’s the current plan: make snow to cover a trail, groom it out and ski it. This sets the base. Then, take a second pass at snowmaking but this time let it sit overnight to leach (this means closing the trail for one day), then groom and ski it.

So… which trail did you take?

Friday, November 26, 2010

A message from our GM

The 2010 ski season is beginning with a bang... 4th day of operation and the Mountain Op’s guys had to bang off ice to get the Northstar lift running. As we all woke up this morning to the freezing rain, the thought was "what is the mountain going to be like"? The good news was that the freezing rain had not set real hard on the summit and thus, the banging of the sheaves and grips, while needed, wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Saturday we plan to add Defiance, the upper half of Sapphire, Upper Arrow and Double Dipper along with the Glades Peak and the Green Ridge Triple. Check out Defiance and let us know how it was on Saturday. We let the trail sit another day after snowmaking to hopefully improve the skiing and riding. By letting more water leach out, we feel the snow will lay out better. Kind of like the theory of rush to eat at Thanksgiving and get too full, or take your time to savour the meal and the experience... something like that! Oh and by the way, once we open up Sapphire, the rails will be moved over to that trail from World Cup.

While each season has it’s quirks, this one is proving to be an interesting one. When the snowmakers can’t make snow, they go and work on the Timber Ripper. When the groomers, electricians and lift mechanics have a free moment, they go and work on the Timber Ripper. When Barry and Eb have got the mountain open for the day, they go and work on the Timber Ripper. You get the idea.

Without their dedication and extra effort we wouldn’t be riding the Timber Ripper as soon as we are. We hope to have a better feel for the opening of the Timber Ripper within the next 10 days or so. I’m telling everyone right now that it will be before Christmas.

In the meantime, let us know how we are doing and thanks for skiing and riding with us.

Bruce Schmidt
General Manager, Okemo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

200 Snow Guns - wow!

From Barry, VP of Okemo Mountain Operations:

Our core philosophy of always being ready paid off last Saturday night. The temps that were predicted were nothing great, however they did drop considerably more throughout the night. We were able to light approximately 200 snow guns and reached a maximum pumping rate of 8,000 GPM. The majority of the snow that we opened with yesterday was made in a 12 hour period!

Ray Kennedy (Snowmaking Manager) and his crew never missed a minute of opportunity.

We had snowmaking temps on the upper 25% of the mountain starting around 2 AM this morning. They are predicted to hold during the day with a potential inversion throughout the evening. If that happens we are going to push very hard to reach the base area tonight. In fact, Ray and his men are reconfiguring the snow gun placements to take maximum advantage of the brief time frame that we are going to be working with.

It all comes down to using the proper snow gun for the temps and time frame that we are dealing with in this "early season game".

On the grooming side of the house...

On the fly grooming has been the status quo for our first few days. On opening day we regroomed due to "shrinkage" during the night. Some of the warm weather had left pock marks and we felt another grooming would improve things dramatically. This morning we again chose to regroom just before opening, but this time for the opposite reason. Temperatures had dropped considerably and we didn't want the surface too firm. At this point, we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Snowmaking resumes!

The temps we have been waiting for finally arrived last night! Our snowmaking team fired up the guns on some lower sections of the mountain around 10:00pm Thursday night and continued this morning firing up the guns on World Cup around 2:00am.

Your loyal snow reporters, Sarah and Pete, along with our new videographer Chuck, took a morning trek up to the summit to see the action and watch a breathtaking sunrise over the Village of Ludlow. The forecast looking into the weekend should make for more 'making, so keep your fingers crossed that the temps stay low, do your snow dance, whatever! Just think snow, snow, SNOW!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good temps to come

At last it seems that Mother Nature wants to play ball! The weather outlook, while wet and warm the last few days, is starting to look up, or cold to be more precise. Barry and the boys of Mountain Ops have checked, double checked, and readied all the equipment to turn out a fabulous season; starting tonight it is looking like they can begin doing exactly that!

Over the next few nights we are expecting to get temperatures that will allow for aggressive snowmaking and bring us one step closer to getting on the slopes ASAP! "It would seem that our next chance to open will probably be around the middle of next week," says Vice-President and General Manager, Bruce Schmidt. "If we can get open before Thanksgiving we no doubt will be trying!"

Stay tuned to the snow report for weather updates, and this blog for snowmaking progress as we head into the weekend.

Think cold and think snow!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Profile: The Beast!

We are proud to introduce a major player of our grooming team!

Hometown: Sterzing, Italy
Engine: 6 Cylinder Turbo Diesel
Height: 10' 3 7/8"
Weight: 25,460 lb
Siblings: BR350
Claim to fame: 40% wider and more powerful than little brother
Special Skills: Laying down smooth courderoy
Favorite Food: Diesel!
Hobbies: Playing in the snow, nighttime strolls up the mountain, and knitting.

The Beast is super excited for the upcoming season and urges everyone to "think snow"!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

News from the frontline

Barry Tucker, VP of Mountain Ops shares his thoughts on the state of the mountain...

Q: Any snowmaking in the forecast?

A: The overall trends in the weather for the next few days do not look any better than the last week. However, Ray and crew have had a great opportunity to fine tune the system and stage for a real aggressive program when the temps happen.

Q: What is the crew up to in the meantime?

A: We have been putting a lot of effort into finishing our mountain coaster - The Timber Ripper. It's a much larger project than we originally planned, but that's OK! We have one of Wiegand's top installers on the job to guide us and help coordinate our efforts. If there is anything our Mountain Ops team likes, it is a real challenge and this is one of them. The finished product will be worth the effort. It is going to be one of the premier coaster rides in the country, if not #1 and the natural topography the coaster is located on is very unique, providing quite a ride!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An update from the hill

Today's Update from Barry Tucker, VP of Mountain Operations:

The current forecast does not show much for good snowmaking in the near future. (Last night's temperature inversion stopped us around 10 pm.) However our philosophy here at Okemo is not to put too much faith into any forecast, the key is just to "be ready" - because if the forecasters are wrong and the temps drop, we need to be ready to move.

One advantage of running into some of the more marginal temperatures early season is that you have an opportunity to test your equipment, as well as train your new staff. So when the temps come in we are ready to run at maximum potential which is 9200 Gallons, Per, Minute -- and then everyone is running!

It’s all about taking maximum advantage of the brief periods of cold temperatures that we have early season in Vermont.

Think cold, and think snow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Snowmaking On!

Okemo fired up the snowguns last night around 7:45pm and continued to blow snow all night long.

According to Bruce Schmidt, Okemo's General Manager..."Okemo had a very good night of snowmaking. Snow was made in the summit area, on Countdown and about halfway down Upper World Cup. The plan is to continue to make snow aggressively as temperatures permit."

And, with temperatures projected in the teens tonight we'll resume on Countdown and the summit, and continue onto Buckhorn, Sapphire, and potentially Jolly Green Giant. "If you can envision a line across the center of the mountain where temperatures are cold enough," he shares, "we'll move from the summit down each trail just about as close as we can get to that line."

Looking ahead to the next few nights, Wednesday and Thursday night offer a chance of 1-2" of natural snow, followed by slightly moderating temperatures toward the end of the week, but colder again into weekend. We are moving water, trying to cool it down as much as we can, checking the pumps and compressors and working out any bugs... things looked good for night #1 and we are working towards opening day.

more photos and video available on facebook

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Preparations are Underway!

See what our snowmaking team is up to this week.. and what is wet bulb anyway?

More good stuff to know: Okemo's anticipated opening day is Saturday November 20, 2010. Obviously this date is contingent upon the weather and whatever Mother Nature throws at us.

Our snowmaking plan? To cover trails as follows: Buckhorn, Count Down, Upper World Cup, Drop Off, Link and Lower World Cup. Typically we get the upper Mountain open and work our way down from there.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Leader of the Pack

Barry Tucker’s Okemo roots are planted way back in the first year the mountain was open, when he skied in the junior racing program, eventually becoming a coach for about seven years. When Tim and Diane Mueller purchased the mountain in 1982 Barry was in the construction business, a summer-only occupation. So, when he saw they were looking for a year-round mountain manager, he decided to apply.

Fast forward 28 years and meet Barry Tucker, VP of Mountain Operations at Okemo. Barry leads the snowmaking, grooming, and lift operations teams that have earned the mountain many awards and accolades over the years. Among his many responsibilities, Barry focuses on the making, moving and grooming of snow. He is passionate about his work, but quick to point out that it is the strength of his team and their cohesive direction that puts Okemo on top of the charts for snow quality.

With advancing technology and modern equipment, you would think the snowmaking equation is simple (more on that later). Enter Mother Nature in New England.

"The key with snowmaking, from a capital and efficiency point of view, hinges on the ability to respond quickly to brief periods of cold weather," Tucker says. "You need large storage and pumping ability and an efficient distribution system. We clearly understand the hardships Mother Nature throws at us. We do not look at the negative perspective. We look at the hardships as an opportunity to show what we can do in relation to the whole industry."

And that is exactly what sets Okemo apart in the industry. In fact, finding ways to make snow more efficiently and at temperatures closer to freezing is one of his top priorities. His tools? A skilled and loyal staff that go way above and beyond just doing a job, but take personal pride in what they can accomplish.

Meet the team leaders, who combined have over 200 years of history with Okemo – now that is amazing!

Eb Kinney, Mountain Manager - with Okemo for 20 years
Brian Boudro, Night Operations Manager – with Okemo for 17 years
George Griggs, Office Manager, Shuttle Services Manager – with Okemo 27 years
Greg Carter – Lift Maintenance, with Okemo 27 years
Ray Kennedy, Snowmaking Manager, with Okemo 16 years
Norm Koch, Manager of Skier Services, with Okemo 20 years
Dennis Brady, Manager of Parks & Pipes, with Okemo 17 years
Dave Thompson, with Okemo 9 years
Bill Johnson, Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance, 17 years
Dan Boyer, Electrical Manager, with Okemo 26 years
Jim Seiberling, First Aid, with Okemo 10 years

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Okemo's Blog Takes on New Purpose

Have you ever wondered what happens on the mountain after the lifts stop turning, how we decide when to make snow, or how our grooming philosophy consistently wins us top rankings in the industry?

Make our new grooming and snowmaking blog part of your morning routine. Hear directly from our head of snowmaking and grooming and his staff as they come off the night shift – learn what the team encountered overnight and what to expect on the hill the coming day. We may even toss in some local lore and a good joke here and there – you just never know.

We’ll post as appropriate as snowmaking gets underway in early November – and then count on us at least twice a week from opening day until the last lift spins on closing day. Up next? Meet our Snowmaking and Grooming Teams. Look for introductions in early October!

Questions or comments? Go for it – we’d love to hear what you have to say.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ikea on steroids

The first of six (or more) containers of mountain coaster parts has arrived from Germany. It looks to me like an Ikea purchase on steroids. The container includes parts and pieces, and boxes of widgets and thingamajigs ... all labeled in German. I hope the assembly instuctions have pictures as good as Ikea's. ;-)

Stay tuned for construction updates.

Friday, September 10, 2010

the new carpet lift is here ... the new carpet lift is here!

There's a chill in the air and signs of the changing seasons are all around us. One of those signs was delivered today on the back of a flat-bed truck. The shiny, silver metal sections of Okemo's newest lift arrived this morning.

In the heyday of surface lifts, Okemo was renowned for its network of Pomalifts. Okemo even boasted the longest Pomalift in North America. The Upper Lift, later renamed the Red Poma, measured 6,207 feet in length. Pomalifts consist of a round rubber disc at the end of a long pole connected to an overhead cable. This winter, Okemo’s final vestige of that era will be dismantled and mothballed to make room for a newer, more user-friendly surface lift for young children learning how to ski. The Snow Star Poma, located in the Galaxy Bowl Learning Area at Okemo’s Clock Tower Base Area, is being replaced with a180-foot, magic-carpet-style surface lift.

“The new carpet lift will help shorten the learning curve for beginning Snow Stars participants,” said Okemo Ski + Ride School Director Dan Bergeron. “When ready, children will transition from the smaller Skywalker Carpet lift without having to learn how to ride a new style of lift. As a result, children will be able to move up to the larger Galaxy Bowl slope sooner than before. The new carpet lift will also have greater capacity, meaning more ski time for Okemo’s youngest new skiers!”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

US Air Force Band of Liberty

One never knows what kind of music will be at our Friday Night Concert Series at Jackson Gore. You know its going to be great music, but what kind? This summer we ran a full slate of fine musical entertainment. We kicked off the summer with the smooth sounds of Dr. Burma and then threw ya right in to the Jam band world with Twiddle.
We covered all different types of music from funk to reggae to blues to rock. The power of music can be measured in many ways. Music can take you on a journey. It can heal,relax, party, worship and energize. We hope this weeks Band will excite! The US Air Force Band of Liberty's sounds will inspire Air Force members and the great nation they serve, producing innovative musical programs and products, and communicating Air Force excellence throughout New England and around the globe.
The weather is looking good, so pack up your chairs and head on over to Jackson Gore this Friday for some inspirational tunes!
Show time is @ 6:30pm with the festivities ending around 8pm. This is a FREE concert open to everyone - rain or shine!

Monday, August 2, 2010

these are a few of my favorite wings

What goes better with beer at a brew fest than wings? This year, Okemo is making a good thing better by introducing a Chicken Wing Championship to it's lineup of fabulous festivities on Aug. 7. The Hops in the Hills Brew Fest will feature a dozen local and regional breweries offering samples of their finest. And this year, for the first time ever, several local restaurants will be vying for the highly coveted title of Okemo Valley Chicken Wing Champion.

The fun begins at 1 p.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Bluesman Chris Kleeman will get the music rolling and warm up the crowd for bluegrass sensation Possum Haw. $20 includes a pint glass and 4 beer tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased at 4 tickets for $5. Wing tickets are 6 for $5 or a voting package includes 12 tickets and a vote for $10.

This is a rain-or-shine event. The location is the Paleo Indian site at Jackson Gore. In case of rain, the event will move under cover at the Jackson Gore Ice House.

Monday, July 19, 2010

He's not a lawyer, but he plays one on TV

You may know him as the skeezy lawyer on Scrubs, but at Friday night's Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series performance, Sam Lloyd showed a crowd of Beatles fans what he can do with a bass guitar. Sam and his friends from Syracuse University, aka The Butties, rocked the house with one Beatles tune after another. Most were well known, but the band showed that they really know their Fab Four history with a few obscure tunes as well.

The performance was peppered with appearances from friends doing vocals, playing drums, french horn, and a special appearance by Sam's dad, Sam Lloyd, Sr., as "The Admiral" for a heartwarming rendition of Yellow Submarine.

And if you think Sam, Sr., looks a little like Jim from Taxi or Doc Brown, from Back to the Future, just chalk it up to a family resemblance. Sam is the brother of Christopher Lloyd.

Join us this Friday night in the Jackson Gore courtyard for The Pete Kilpatrick Band. The concert is free and the music starts around 6 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

OVGC in the News

Links Magazine named Okemo Valley Golf Club one of New England's Top 25 Golf Courses You can view the entire collection of their favorite places to play online.

And speaking of links, it's shaping up to be a fantastic weekend to get out on the links here at Okemo. The course is in superb shape and the patio at Willie Dunn's Grille is a wonderful place to enjoy lunch or an after-play beverage.

Tater Hill is a short and scenic drive from the resort. The cottage-style flower gardens are near peak bloom and the views of the surrounding hillsides will make play this weekend simply spectacular.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spring House Open House

Saturday June 26th 7:00 AM-7:00 PM

Why wait until 3:00 PM- Okemo's Flip Flop Festival to kick off the summer?

Instead, kick off your flip flops and go for a swim in the pool, or ride the slide into the cool water. Maybe bring the youngsters for a splash in the fountains of our 18" splash pool, or get a good workout on the treadmill.

All for FREE.

The Spring House, Okemo's pool and fitness center will be free for the public from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. including group fitness classes like Zumba, Hatha Yoga and Power Yoga. If you've been wondering if you should try to get fit or try out a class, Saturday 6/26 is the day! Of course, if you like it, we'd love to have you back and will be happy to tell you about membership rates and day pass prices to fit all budgets. Sorry...can't resist.

See you Saturday June 26th, tell a friend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Musicians and fans pay tribute to a Ludlow artist

As many of you know, Sandra Wright, a blues singer and resident of Ludlow, VT passed away this winter at the age of 61. Her music and generosity have filled the Okemo Valley for over 15 years. On June 12th we pay tribute to one of Ludlow's great musicians with a remembrance concert for the Friends of Sandra Wright. Artists including Chris Kleeman, Rick Reddington, Gypsy Reel, The Pleasents, and members from three of Sandra's previous bands will play during an all day concert event. Music starts at 1pm at Okemo's Jackson Gore and will run until 8pm, ending with Sandra's Memphis Band, Soul Kitchen.

Advance tickets are on sale at the following locations:

Chittenden Bank, Ludlow, VT
BE Music - Rutland, VT
Blue Mountain Guitar - Hanover, NH
The Northshire Bookstore - Manchester, VT
The Belmont General Store - Belmont, VT

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Okemo's Outdoor Music Series is BACK!

I don't remember who came up with this idea, but it was a good one! The Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series has become a Friday-night ritual for lots of local folk (myself included). It's such a great vibe with people socializing, listening to the music, kids running around, burgers on the grill and a cold beer in hand ... what could be better? It's a great way to start the weekend from June 18 through September 3.

On Friday nights throughout the summer season, the lawn in the courtyard at Okemo's Jackson Gore Inn is transformed into an outdoor concert venue featuring popular local and regional entertainers. Admission to the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series is free and the grounds open at 5 p.m. Concerts are slated to run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Families are welcome and all attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets. In case of rain, the concerts will move indoors. Dining options include fresh-from-the-grill burgers, hot dogs, chicken and ribs, or full-service dining with an al fresco seating option at Jackson Gore's Coleman Brook Tavern.

Here's the lineup:

Kicking off this year's concert series, on June 18, is Dr. Burma. Dr. Burma has been playing for enthusiastic audiences all over New England for more than 20 years. Dynamic vocals, stellar musicianship, and an irresistible groove have built Dr. Burma's reputation as one of the area's premier rhythm and blues dance bands, playing clubs, concerts, festivals and parties throughout northern New England and New York.

Following Dr. Burma, the summer lineup for the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series includes: Twiddle, June 25; Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys, July 2; Crunchy Western Boys, July 9; The Butties, July 16; The Pete Kilpatrick Band, July 23; The Alchemystics, July 30; Sly Geralds, August 6; The Chris Kleeman Band, Aug. 13; The Slim Redmond Band, August 20; Bud and Budd the Kind Buds, Aug. 27; The U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty, September 3.

Saturday BONUS:
In addition to the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series, Okemo will host three special Saturday events. The Flip Flop Festival, slated for June 26, features musical guests J-San & the Analogue Sons opening for Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. Okemo's second annual Hops in the Hills Beer Festival and Chicken Wing Championship will include the folk and bluegrass sounds of PossumHaw on August 7. The final festival of the season is scheduled for October 9. Okemo's fourth annual Parrothead Party celebrates the music of Jimmy Buffett with tribute band Changes in Latitudes.

Go online for more event info or call 802-228-1600. For dinner reservations at Coleman Brook Tavern, call 802-228-1435.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tater Hill Opens with 18 Holes of Play

Tater Hill Golf Club, in Windham, Vt., opened for the season on Friday, April 23.

“The course is in good shape,” said Club Manager and Head Golf Professional John Pawlak. “This is about the best I’ve seen it this early in the season.”

Tater Hill opened with all 18 holes of play. Tee times are required and can be scheduled starting at 8 a.m. daily. Early-season greens fees, including cart, run through May 20: $39 midweek and $49 weekends. The clubhouse restaurant is slated to open May 6.

Nestled in a pastoral setting of rolling hills with stone walls, split-rail fences and birch-lined fairways, Tater Hill is a par-71, 18-hole championship course measuring 6,400 yards. With plenty of challenge for low handicaps, golfers of all ability levels can enjoy a layout that offers undulating fairways, spectacular views, cottage-style flower gardens and the casual ambience of a former Vermont hill farm. Tater Hill is located on Popple Dungeon Road (off Rt. 11), 22 miles southwest of Ludlow, in Windham, Vt.

Tee times may be arranged by calling (802) 875-2517. More information about Tater Hill Golf Club is available online.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Congrats to NASTAR Team Okemo!

Six skiers and snowboarders from Okemo Mountain Resort competed in the 2010 Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships March 25-28 at Winter Park Resort. Four returned home with medals.

“We are so proud of the six Okemo racers who competed at the Nationals,” said Okemo Mountain Resort Vice-President and General Manager Bruce Schmidt. “These men and women work so hard and are an inspiration to us all.”

Doug Gould, age 48, of Rochester, Vt., attended his first Nationals and took the bronze in the men’s 45-49 snowboard division.

Christine Jenne, age 57, of Huntington, N.Y., was hoping to repeat her performance last year - a bronze medal in the women’s 55-59 gold division.

Sue Kramer, age 44, of Peru, Vt., took first place in the women’s 40-44 platinum division. She won the same title last year at the Nationals in Steamboat.

Herb Maierle, age 74, of Middle Village, N.Y., placed second in the men’s 70-74 gold division. He took gold at the 2008 event.

Patrick Moore, age 63, of Newington, Conn., has been Okemo’s NASTAR Coordinator and Pacesetter for the past four years. He holds the title of 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 Age Group National Snowboarding Champion and in 2008 became the first racer to concurrently become the National Age Group Champion in both skiing and snowboarding.

Bob Zawacki, age 70, of Farmington, Conn., competed in his first National Championship, finishing in sixth place in the hotly contested men’s 70-74 gold division.

NASTAR, the world’s largest recreational ski and snowboard race program, is owned and operated by Bonnier Mountain Group, publisher of Skiing magazine, SKI magazine and Warren Miller Entertainment.

Since the program’s inception four decades ago, more than six million racer days have been recorded by NASTAR. Last season, more than 220,885 NASTAR racer days and a record 553,808 starts were logged. Racers qualify for the National Championships by earning a top-three ranking in their age division at any of the 120-plus Nature Valley NASTAR ski resorts throughout North America.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

farewell to winter - hello golf season!

The time has come to put the boards away and dust off the clubs. Okemo Mountain Resort will end lift service operations for the season, earlier than anticipated, at the end of the day on Friday, April 9. On the next day, Saturday, April 10, Okemo Valley Golf Club is slated to open, also earlier than anticipated, with 18 holes of golf at reduced, early-season rates.

“No matter how hard the mountain operations staff works and the ski patrol marks the trails, the skiing and riding experience just isn’t what we would like,” said Okemo VP and General Manager Bruce Schmidt. “So the time has come. Many thanks to all our staff for their hard work as well as to our guests who have supported us all season long.”

Okemo was originally targeting April 18 as closing day and then moved that date up to April 11. Unfortunately, for skiers and riders, spring came to Vermont a little earlier than anticipated. Okemo also got a late start to the season due to warmer winter temperatures in November. In spite of Mother Nature’s lack of support at the beginning and end of the 2009/2010 ski and snowboard season, Okemo is reporting its third best season on record. Approximately 603,000 skier visits were recorded for the season. A skier visit is defined as one person participating in the sport of snow sliding for all or part of a day. Every type of lift ticket sale is factored into a resort’s total skier visits for the season.

Okemo Valley Golf Club will open on Saturday, April 10 with discounted, early-season greens fees through May 7. A full, 18-hole round of golf will be offered at $40 for adults and $25 for juniors. A 9-hole round will be priced at $22 for adults and $15 for juniors. Carts will be available at regular season rates and carts will be allowed on cart paths only until further notice.

Tee times may be scheduled by calling (802) 228-1396. FORE!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Lift Ride experience has changed!

First off - let me say there is nothing wrong with our lifts - they are quick, always working and the lift crew has been great this year. I have noticed that the ride to the summit has changed. In years past, you would load and then greet others on the lift with you. This would always lead to a nice conversation on the way to the top. Lift rides are a great way to chat with other skiers and riders. As an employee, I like to see how folks are doing, if they are enjoying the mountain and usually ask where they hail from. Nowadays it is a completely different experience. People ski or ride with music, which is usually too loud for someone to hold a conversation. Those not jamming out are on the phone or texting on the lift. I am not against technology, but it has defintely changed society. Next time you are on the lift, put the phone away, turn down the tunes and go old school! Strike up a conversation with your lift mates. You know the lift goes to the top, who knows where the conversation will go.
Ride on and Ride Safely - GravityHound

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Okemo Rider Benji Farrow Wins USSA Rev Tour Final

The U.S. Revolution Tour wrapped up its final day of halfpipe competition of the season Wednesday, March 17. Benjamin Farrow, of Mount Holly, Vt., took home the win in Men's Halfpipe .

Farrow landed the top spot of the podium after falling during his first run. He stepped up to the plate and laid down a solid second run to take the win. Jd Dennis (Bend, OR) and Cody Tyler Weselis (Park City, UT) trailed Farrow to take second and third.

“I actually had to take my second run, go back and calm down a little,” said Farrow. “I had to give it something I could really land.”


Revolution Tour
Mt. Hood, OR
March 17, 2010

1. Benjamin Farrow, Mt. Holly, VT
2. Jd Dennis, Bend, OR
3. Cody Tyler Weselis, Park City, UT

1. Allyson Carroll, Truckee, CA
2. Rainey Pogue, Jackson, WY
3. Jenna Dramise, Henderson, NV

Friday, March 12, 2010

Okemo, All Come Home ... the second edition

Award-winning author Karen D. Lorentz has recently completed the second edition of Okemo, All Come Home, a comprehensive history of the popular year-round resort. Okemo will host a book signing from 3-5 p.m. on Sat., March 13, in the Jackson Gore Real Estate Showroom. In addition to the author, Okemo Mountain Resort's own Tim and Diane Mueller will be on hand to autograph books. It was their vision and hard work that turned the resort into the success that it is today.
The limited second edition of Okemo, All Come Home, by Karen D. Lorentz, traces the story of Okemo Mountain Resort from inception to present day and it is destined to become another collector's item with Okemo skiers and riders, as well as those interested in ski history. The highly coveted first edition, published in 1996, is out of print and has been unavailable for several years. The updated book features 40 pages of color photography and more than 200 black-and-white images of the area's history and people. This is the authoritative story of Okemo written by a local, award-winning author. Lorentz's in-depth research features interviews with many of the resort's original founders, board members and general managers, as well as present-day management, for a firsthand account of the Okemo story.
Karen D. Lorentz has been writing about skiing since 1979. In 2006, she became the first woman to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in ski writing by the International Skiing History Association. In 2007, the North American Snowsports Journalists Association awarded Honorable Mention to her book The Great Vermont Ski Chase in the Harold Hirsch ski book competition. More information about Lorentz is available at

Okemo, All Come Home is available for purchase at Okemo's Snowsports Shops; at The Book Nook, Chapter XIV and Totem Pole Sports Shop, in Ludlow, Vt.; Annie's Book Shop, in Rutland, Vt.; and by mail at Mountain Publishing, Inc., 1300 CCC Road, Shrewsbury, VT 05738.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bright Lights, Big Tricks!

Okemo hosted its first-ever Light The Night Rail Jam on Saturday, Feb. 27. Seventy competitors and hundreds of spectators turned out for a jam format event that featured three park features: a gap-to-flat-down box, a cannon drop and a down rail.

Illumination of the course was provided by the Ludlow Fire Department and $670 in proceeds from the event went to the LFD for their shining contribution.

Prizes were awarded in several categories. In the Under 16 Men’s Snowboard division, first place went to Peter Cerulo, 15, of West Windsor, Vt. Alex Von Braun, 15, of Greenwich, Conn., claimed second place and third went to Jack Valentine, 11, of Sparta, N.J. The 16 and Older Men’s Snowboard division champion, and winner of a $460 cash prize, was Matt Schaffer, 20, of Brownsville, Vt. Second place went to Benji Farrow, 17, of Mount Holly, Vt. Rounding out the podium with third, was Sean Kaulbach, 20, of Andover, N.H. The Under 16 Skier receiving top honors was Matt Hauser, 13, of Ludlow, Vt. Sam Pawlak, 14, of Windham, Vt., took second place and Jared Coletti, 10, of Kintnersville, Pa., claimed third. Men Skiers 16 and Older taking the podium were Dan Jones, 20, of North Sutton, N.H., in first place; Christian Franchino, 15, of Manchester Center, Vt., in second; and Paddy Dayton, 19, of Bradford, N.H., in third.

Women Snowboarders taking top honors in the Under 16 division were Grace Vosburgh, 12, of Plymouth, Vt., and Leah Jennings, 14, of Darien, Conn. Brynn Paraschos, 20, of Bangor, Pa., claimed the top spot in the 16 and Older Women’s division. Maggie Seiple, 21, of Ludlow, Vt., took second, and third place went to Lily Calabrese, 16, of Proctorsville, Vt. Megan Ellmaker, 13, of Erwinna, Pa., claimed top honors in the Under 16 Women Skiers division.

First, second and third place winners received skis, snowboards, gear bags and outerwear for prizes. The top skier and top snowboarder each claimed a cash prize of $460.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Okemo's creative ops team showed their Olympic spirit with this colorful carving etched into the back of the Jackson Gore "Bigloo," located in the courtyard.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Glades Peak Sneak

Something dawned on me this morning while going through my normal snow reporting routine -- I've never been down Triplesec! Well, I shouldn't say never. I've been riding at Okemo for nearly 15 years, so chances are I flew down it at some point. But, to my recollection I had no memory of it. So, today I set out on a mission to ride Triplesec -- the trail I often hear about from the General Manager every morning because it is typically on the "ungroomed" list.

Here we are, dead-center in the middle of the February vacation week, and as I hobble around in my snowboard boots at the top of Triplesec not a single passerby comes through. The Glades Peak area is one of the less traveled sections of the mountain. Perhaps because it isn't accessed by a high-speed lift, just a trusty quad chair. As I found out, sometimes it's nice to take it slow.

There are a few things I like about the Glades Peak area. First, as previously mentioned, it's borderline desolate. Second, the area is loaded with pines. On a warm day the smell is invigorating and the aesthetics are quintessential Green Mountain. Third, it catches a lot of sun almost any time of day -- perfect for goggle-tan hunters.

Although not the longest trail on the map, the black-diamond Triplesec proved to be a hidden gem. The photo above was taken today (2/18) at the top of the trail. That's the day after a 6'' powder day in the middle of a holiday week, and there's still untouched snow! After a gradual pitch at the beginning, the slope drops off nicely as it hooks a right towards the Glades Peak Chair. The next time you're daily routine is feeling a little stale, try sneaking over to the Glades Peak area for some peace, quiet, and powder. See you on the slopes!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yo! Da Smokey Jo's cheesesteak is the bomb!

Yo - I was born in Philadelphia moved to Chicago and then back to Philly for 16 years. I went to college at Drexel University and have worked for the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Phantoms and Kixx (major indoor soccer). With that said, I know the city well and consider myself an expert in cheesesteakology. I have my favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night spots to score great cheesesteaks. If your ever in Philly my favorites are Jim's on South Street and Delessandro's in Manyunk. Don't be fooled by Pat's or Geno's they are tourist traps!

My new rule is - Anyone who comes up from Philly to visit must bring a cheeseteak to gain entry into my home.

Now you may say - "Ok where is he going with this?" A few years ago, I moved to Vermont and have been on a search for a killer cheesesteak.
It took a few years, but I finally found it. This cheesesteak resides in the SugarHouse at Okemo Mountain Resort. Smokey Jo's BBQ, out on the SugarHouse deck, has it dialed in.
This is a cheesesteak Rocky would be proud of!
Yous guys should definitely swing thru and try one!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Okemo's Dale Talkington goes big in the big west

Okemo's own Dale Talkington, an Okemo Mountain School student and Okemo sponsored athlete, put together this little clip for all the world to see. Dale is currently in Utah filming with the 4bi9 film company for their upcoming movie.

Keep up the good work Dale!

dale t sample from Dale Talkington on Vimeo.

Monday, February 8, 2010

are you an igloo guy?

The Okemo Operations Guys have outdone themselves again. With President's Vacation Week coming up, they decided to do something fun for visiting families; they built an igloo in the courtyard at Jackson Gore.

Okemo Recreation Manager K.C. Gandee recently faced his fear of igloos in a short video called Igloo Guy.

You can see how the Ops Guys worked their magic by viewing The Making of Okemo's "BIGLOO"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Winter Carnival's Fun Race was a huge success!

As part of the Ludlow Winter Carnival, the Kid's Fun Race at Jackson Gore proved to be an exciting time. This race will consisted of children 13 and under being timed in a foot race up and over the big mound of snow and over bales of hay and thru the finish line in the Jackson Gore Courtyard. All contestants were winners and received a sweet Mountain Dew stocking cap, but the fastest boy boy and girl in the 6 and Under and 7 - 13 yr old divisions won an Okemo Mountain Resort lunch pail with Snickers candy, hand warmers and a bottle of Poland Spring Water!

The 6 and Under boys winner was Quinn Riorclen and the boys 7 - 13 yr old winner was Mason Colby. Both boys are from Connecticut.
The 6 and Under girls winner was Molly Wetherbee and her sister Grace was the girls 7 - 13 yr old winner. The ladies are from Massachusetts.
Smiles were abundant at Jackson Gore today!

Okemo's Joey Jam Car has arrived

Back for year 2, Okemo's hugely popular "Joey Jam" will take place on March 27th. We searched long and hard for a great prize for this year's winner and came up with this amazing automobile. Aptly named "Snow White", this 1989 Camaro is ready for the ski season. Times are tough and gas is expensive, so with you in mind we went for something a bit more fuel friendly then last year's big v-8. The motor in this beauty starts right up and it drives great. Next week Snow White is heading up to Terry's Car Audio on South Main St in Rutland Vermont for a new Pioneer CD Player and some eFX Speakers. Thule has graciously donated a ski rack for the car, so you and 3 friends can load up the skis or boards and head back to Okemo for Slush Cup and Killarny's Splash For Cash the following weekend.

Registration opens for the Joey Jam on March 1st. All the details are at

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Clarkson Five

In what has been affectionately named the Clarkson Five, Okemo VP of Marketing Scott Clarkson decided to celebrate his birthday with a challenge to raise money for the challenged. He decided to revisit all the Vermont ski resorts where his career in the ski industry has taken him over the years. The challenging part was that he wanted to ski at every one of them in one day ... and he did - all five of them.

Scott, his wife Martha and son, Parker, started their day at Burke. They skied Sugarbush, Stratton and Bromley, and ended their day at Okemo with a celebration at Jackson Gore. They raised nearly $3,000 for Vermont Special Olympics in the process.

Marmota monax

Hey, who are you calling a whistle pig?

Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day and we're hoping the fuzzy little marmot gets frightened by his shadow so we can enjoy lots more winter.

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.

Do ya think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?

(sound familiar)

 Punxsutawney Phil!

Thats right, woodchuck-chuckers - it's



If you think of the Bill Murray movie when you consider Groundhog Day, then you're in for a life-imitates-art experience at Okemo. The skiing and riding conditions are like they were prior to that horrible rain event we experienced a week ago. No matter what Mother Nature throws our way, we're waking up to mid-winter skiing and riding conditions that are oh-so-sweet..

Phil: To the groundhog.

Rita: I always drink to world peace.
Rita: What should we drink to?

Phil: I'd like to say a prayer and drink to world peace.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hannah is crowned Okemo's Helmet Head Contest Winner!

Well folks, another National Safety Awareness Week has passed and this year's Top Helmet Head has been crowned. Hannah from Hudson, Massachusetts tallied 150 votes to secure her spot in Okemo's Helmet Head Hall of Fame! Hannah has won herself 2 complementary tickets to Okemo and a sweet prize bag full of swag. 399 votes were cast for the Best Helmet Head on Okemo's Blog site. Emily from Setauket, NY finished in second place with 101 votes.

$10 from every helmet purchased during National Safety Awareness Week will be donated to the Vermont Children’s Hospital P.H.A.T. Program: $5 from Okemo and $5 from the helmet manufacturer. This year our SnowSports Shops sold 160 helmets during National Safety Awareness Week, which totals $1600.00 benefiting Vermont's Children's Hospital P.H.A.T. (Protect Your Head at All Times) Program! We'd like to thank everyone for participating in our National Safety Awareness Week activities. It's Safety First here at Okemo!
Ride Safe and Ride on!


It's time, once again, to laugh out loud with friends and neighbors as Okemo hosts Comedy Night on Saturday, Jan. 30. This event is sponsored by Vermont Properties and Development, Inc. and will take place in the Great Room at Okemo's Clock Tower Base Lodge. Ticket sale proceeds will benefit the Okemo Community Challenge Fund.

The show will feature comedian Steve Sweeney who was the first of the Boston super-stars to break into television. He has been a regular on some major TV shows such as David Letterman, Evening at The Improv, Comics Come Home and others. Many will recognize Steve from his special appearances with The Ryder Cup, his narrations of Peter and the Wolf with The Boston Symphony Orchestra or one of many featured roles in films such as Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School, Judd Apatow's Celtic Pride, and There's Something About Mary with Ben Stiller.

Johnny Joyce has been performing for more than 15 years in Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood, Los Angeles and Atlantic City. John’s act is very high energy and always evolving.
Always a sell-out show, tickets can be purchased in advance for $23 at Vermont Properties, Okemo Mountain Resort's Jackson Gore, Chittenden Bank and The Wine & Cheese Depot. If you want to take a chance, tickets may be purchased for $28 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Don’t forget to buy raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes including an Okemo “Ultra Season Pass” valued at over $1,600.00!

For more information, call Vermont Properties and Development, Inc. at 802-228-8877.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Perfect Snow, Perfect View, Perfect weekend ahead!

I must admit, it's been a week or so since I have had a chance to get on snow (I know, I work here, what am I crazy?). Let me tell you this. It was worth the wait. The snow conditions today were epic. I mean amazing. I just got my planks back from a tune and they skied like I was on rails. The snow is soft and forgiving, but firm enough to be fast. With a fresh coat of wax, VERY fast.

We did take our time for a run as we made our way down Mountain Road from the top of the Glades Peak Quad. Stopping to take in the breathtaking views of the Adirondacks as well as the White Mountains and a great view of Mount Washington. I then found some fresh powder in the trees before making it back to Mountain Road for the trip down to the bottom.

This weekend the forecast is calling for much of the same. Sunny, warm, perfect. I'll be sure to get out again first thing tomorrow to carve up some of the great trails, and then stop in at The Sitting Bull for lunch. We'll be serving up some of The World's Best Cheddar tomorrow - menu TBD, but it will include Cabot Cheese in some way or another. If you miss lunch, be sure to grab a free sample on your way out of the clocktower base area tomorrow afternoon. The Cabot Shredders will be on the hill before sampling the World's Best Cheddar at the bottom.