Friday, November 18, 2011

Groceries in Ludlow

Everyone familiar with Okemo knows the devastation Hurricane Irene dropped on us at the end of August. The transformation from Sunday morning August 28th to today is nothing short of amazing. At last count only two or three sections of road in the whole state were still closed for repair. Locally all of our roads are now open and accessible. If you followed Facebook or You Tube during the aftermath you might have seen a tent in the Shaw's Supermarket parking lot. After the store was totally wiped out, Shaw’s set up their first ever, tent market to accommodate the basic needs of residents. Believe me everyone has been extremely grateful.

However, the devastation has required a total renovation of the store. While the crews have put in long hours every day, they are now far enough along to know that they will not be in the building until probably mid January. The tent will stay until that day but we wanted to let everyone know ahead of their vacationing at Okemo, that it will not be shopping as normal at Shaw’s Supermarket. The basics will still be there, but the space is small. We have all survived and you will as well with a little extra planning and knowledge of some of our local secret gems.

In nearby Proctorsville, Singleton's Store stocks a wonderful meat counter with hand cut selections, including their famous smoked bacon as well as groceries and wonderful specialty items. Right around the corner Crow's Bakery is stocked with bread, pies, cookies and more. If you access Okemo via 103, you have been passing Lisai's market in Chester, right next to the train station. Lisai's also has a well stocked meat counter as well as a full service grocery.. Besides these gems, there is a large full service Shaws market in Springfield complete with a fresh produce and a fresh fish counter. Perhaps plan to stay on the highway one more exit and you will go right by the store on your way to Ludlow.

So never fear. Life does go on. All us local folk have eaten quite well for the past three months, but it does require a little extra planning. Now that you know, make your own plan. Perhaps call ahead if you have special requests. Pack a bag of some basics for that first night. Hit the local gas station markets for milk on our way into town. It will be fine.

We're looking forward to winter and having all our loyal fans back home and on the slopes. See you soon and THINK SNOW!!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snowmaking is Underway!

I have been asked more times than I can shake a stick at about when Okemo is going to open. Well it won’t be Saturday the 19th, but we are planning on opening as soon as we can after Saturday. In fact, snowmaking began last night! Check out the pictures and video we posted at

I wanted to give you a feel for what is going on since we don’t have the snow yet. I took some time and asked Okemo staff, "What are you doing since we don’t have any snow"?

Shannon Diehl – Resort Service Manager.
Finishing up the brand new "Learn To" Ski and Ride program. Working on finalizing the P.S.P. (Park Safety Program) so we can begin having our guests sign up for their pass this year. New this year we are offering Sno-Cat Excursions and I am waiting for final approval from the General Manager!!!!

Tim Morton – Sign Shop Manager.
Working on all of the Culinary signs for Crested Butte, Okemo & Mt Sunapee. Normally we are getting Okemo done first, but since Crested Butte will be opening on 11/23, we need to get them done first.

Rick Doyle – Sitting Bull Manager.
Cleaning the Sitting bull. Moving equipment. Organizing spreadsheets. Talking to vendors. Hiring staff. Securing bands and playing some golf.

Jay Beardsley – Facilities Operations Director.
Finishing painting the Base Lodge bathrooms (check them out, they are looking sharp), repairing the stairs around the base area, installing signs in different departments. Finishing the Welcome center that was damaged by Irene, replacing the fire pump for the Sugar House that was damaged by Irene. Installing new lights above the Spring House Pool and for walking area in the Jackson Gore parking lot. Finally, installing a new dishwasher in the summit lodge.

Eb Kinney – Mountain Manager.
All the lifts are being inspected for the winter by the state of Vermont. Removed two trees near the Mountain Lodge at Okemo. Cleaning up from summer projects. Getting the Mountain Coaster ready to roll. Installed insulation and heat in the Mountain Coaster building. Finalizing the course location for the anticipated Canopy Tour Zip line to be installed next year. Re-installing the bungee trampolines to be used over Thanksgiving weekend for our guests.

Think snow and more cold weather- and stay close for updates.

Bruce Schmidt