Despite the lackluster start to the season, it's insightful to look back at other years for comparison. This year is actually not the most challenging seasons Okemo has had. I took the date of December 6th to compare. In 2001 Okemo was closed until December 12th. In 2009 & 2011 we had 2 lifts and 4 trails open. So things can be worse! I know that many of you, as loyal Okemo guests, have questions and I am hopeful that I can answer some and instill some confidence in Okemo as we head into the Christmas Holiday time.
- Snowmaking will happen whenever possible. We have staff working when there is a potential to fire up the guns. There have been some inversions when it was cold in the base and warm at the summit and guests wondering why we did not make snow. The rule of thumb is that if we think we can get a minimum of a couple of hours of snowmaking time, we go for it.
- Our snowmaking plan is to make snow on trails that will be for the good of many. What this means is that we will work on trails many people can ski and ride, we will be staying away from expert trails, we won’t be working on terrain park trails, but will put out rails and hits on existing terrain, and we will work to spread out across the mountain.
- We understand the importance of trails that give slopeside access. We will be working on a balance with these, but the reality is that we won’t be able to get all of these trails covered.
- If anyone is going to have snow it will be Okemo. Enough said.
The long range forecast is looking at some up and down temperature fluctuation and limited precipitation. Looking towards the end of the month we are expecting some changes to more winter-like conditions. Okemo is doing all we can to make the skiing and riding experience the best it possibly can be. Our plan is to be flexible, adjust as necessary and to look at other activities and things to do around the resort.
Our team members are remaining positive and optimistic. It is hard to make lemonade with these lemons, but we can remain confident that, when the weather does change, things will happen fast!
The ski season is upon us. Let’s all focus on the positive and look ahead. Thanks for choosing to ski and ride at Okemo and for spending time with us during this holiday period.
Happy holidays to everyone.
Bruce Schmidt Okemo GM