Thursday, December 1, 2011

Planning for the Holidays

This way to great snow!

As December 1st arrives, one thing that seems to be on everyone’s mind is the weather.  I think we are all amazed at how unseasonably warm it has been.  No doubt our entire staff has done a great job in getting Okemo open for skiing and riding, even if the terrain has been limited.  It takes all of us to provide the Okemo experience and for that effort we are all thankful.

I get asked a lot, are we going to stay open? What happens as we head into Christmas for slopes and trails?.  My normal answer is we will try to stay open at all costs and we’ll make decisions as we get closer to Christmas on trails etc.  There is no real science into planning for our busy holiday season and where we make snow.  Our goal is to have as much as much terrain as possible open for the holiday’s as temperatures permit.  No doubt there will be some challenges as each day we don’t have the good snowmaking temperatures is one less day we can prepare.  No doubt tougher decisions need to be made as Christmas looms and the weather stays mild. 

One thing can be assured and that is that we will be as aggressive as we can be to get trails open and we will use all our resources available.  Staff will work the hours that they need to and machines will be run.  Our goal will be to have several different pods of the mountain open for skiing and riding, although there may be less trails in that pod open.  It is important to get spread out and use our lift system in the best possible way.  Of course we have other demands from slope side trails and racing, to our ski and ride programs that need terrain too.  There are many requests and we will work hard to satisfy as much as we can.

It is safe to say that when it gets cold, it won’t take long for our snowmaking and grooming team to get the trails open and looking good.  Our snowmaking capacity and staff are second to none when it comes to making it happen with the right conditions. 

Bruce Schmidt
General Manager