Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Operations Update


I’m sure many of you are enjoying this weather.  It is spring weather, but isn’t a lot different from the entire winter we have had!  I wanted to thank you for the many comments I get from guests who read my blog.  I don’t receive many written comments so it is good to hear personally from guests.

I get asked several times a day about our closing date.  Okemo will look to close on Sunday April 3rd for the 2015-16 ski seasons. The asterisk is always the weather.  Right now we are working on keeping the Glades Peak and South Face areas open.  We are leery about moving snow too much when the weather is such as it is. Moving the snow adds air to it and then it can melt even quicker.

Our job is to constantly look at our operations and evaluate which ones are the best to keep operating or operate on a limited schedule. We fully realize the need to have some culinary services open -- the question is always how many? We also are aware of the need for restrooms around the mountain, and so do our best to keep that in mind.  Operating of lifts is another area where we spend time debating the merits of each of them.  Sometimes the decision is made for us by Mother Nature, but other times we have to really contemplate our choices.  In the end we work to do our best to please as many guests as possible and as always communicate. While we may make some decisions on the fly, we do work to let you all know. is the best place to find out the most up to date info.

 You may wonder how a decision is made on when a trail is on hold vs closed?  While there is not a science or any “ski resort rules”, I will tell you my philosophy.   If I believe that a trail will be closed for just the day or possibly a couple days, then I will put it on hold.  Because some of our trails are used for different events etc. there is a need to have them used for the event and we can’t have skiing guests mixed with the event.  It is important that we have an accurate trail report and it is also important that the trail count not fluctuate up and down with trails opening and closing.  While I understand there may be some frustration with why and when a trail is on hold, we do work hard to communicate our changes.

Guests ask about ticket pricing and when a decision is made to adjust the day ticket price?  Again there is no science.  During the shoulders of early and late season most likely the ticket price is adjusted at some point.  What we look for here at Okemo is what the product we are offering on the mountain is like?  How is the market reacting and what will a price adjustment  do to other packages we might have available? We also watch what other resorts are doing.  Very seldom during the early and late season will price make a decision as to whether a guest is going to come to the resort to ski and ride. Many guests have coupons so they won’t be paying full price anyway and others are coming on days when we have certain promotions going on.  As this season comes to a close we will be looking at adjusting our pricing as we head towards Easter weekend.

While we are ending winter, summer isn’t far behind!  The Okemo Adventure Zone is looking to open on Memorial Day weekend and will bring back our complete menu of attractions as well as some great special events including the weekly Friday night concert series, July 4th activities & the Hops in the Hills Beer & Wine Festival in August.  Be sure to join us some time during your summer.

I want to thank you for your support, positive comments and suggestions on improvements this season.  The guest support that Okemo receives is second to none in the ski resort business and I can’t thank you enough for making Okemo your mountain and for spending your winter days with us.

Bruce Schmidt

Okemo GM

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