Thursday, April 5, 2012

Closing Up Winter, Looking Ahead to Summer


As fate would have it, as soon as Okemo runs out of snow and we close for the season, the warm weather disappears and cooler and more seasonable temperatures return. The mountain operations team (back in their winter gear!) have been busy cleaning things up, preparing the lifts for summer maintenance and putting things away. Today we even had some snow at the summit!

Lots of time and effort goes into opening and operating Okemo Mountain Resort, but a significant amount goes into closing things up too. State law dictates that we remove 10% of the chairs from each lift for a thorough inspection. The lift maintenance team removes them and scatters them around the base of the chairlifts to make this inspection easier. The lift shacks are boarded up to protect the glass. The summit lodge is boarded up for the same reason.

The snowmakers have been putting guns away and bringing in snowmaking hose. Inevitably they miss one and the groomers encounter it in the spring. Of course you know they find it with the mountain tiller and then all heck breaks loose... kind of like running over some wire with your lawn mower blade! The groomer mechanics really love when a hose gets wrapped in a power tiller attachment. Needless to say the next few hours are filled with all kinds of fun removing the tangled hose.

The groomers have been putting attachments away, clearing up some of the snow on the mountain road and bringing the mountain tillers to the upper mountain. We put them there now so they can be easily accessed in the fall. The mountain road will be opened probably sometime in May.

Looking ahead to the weekend, remember that Okemo Valley Golf Course will be opening for the season on Saturday 4/7. Tater Hill to follow in late April. I will continue to write on the blog periodically to keep you all informed as to what is going on. Work on the Canopy tour will begin in early May and we are hopeful for a July 4th weekend opening.

Thanks for your support this past winter and we are hoping to see you all this summer taking advantage of all we have to offer.

Bruce Schmidt
Okemo GM