The Many Reasons Why Families Love Okemo
Bonnie MacPherson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Keeping families connected isn't as easy as it used to be, with busy work schedules, after school sports and a myriad of interruptions of daily life. But the staff at Okemo knows how to provide just the right amount of attention to enhance the family spirit and bring back the fun.
It all starts with a resort that is operated by a family who raised their children on snow. Tim and Diane Mueller's reputation for creating excellence in family experiences sets Okemo apart from other resorts. The couple’s personal touch is everywhere and is one of the reasons why the resort is a family favorite.
The mountain layout and trail network offers miles of playful terrain to suit any ability level with gentle beginner slopes, long intermediate cruisers, bumps, steeps, glades and plenty of freestyle action with one of the largest superpipes in the East and six terrain parks. From the Okemo base to Jackson Gore, families can ski and ride together from virtually any lift, or go their separate ways to explore the vast and varied terrain.
Why Families Love Okemo Mountain
- FREE skiing and riding for children ages 6 and under.
- Six FREE beginner surface lifts - three at the Okemo base and three at the Jackson Gore base (available when Snow Stars is not in session).
- FREE lodging for all children ages 12 and under at Okemo Mountain's deluxe slopeside condominium accommodations and the Jackson Gore Inn when sharing a unit with their parents.
- Young Adult lift ticket category for ages 13-18 that offers a significant savings compared to adult ticket pricing. Okemo was the very first resort to offer this innovative pricing model.
- State-approvedPenguin Playground Day Care Center, with two convenient locations at the Okemo base and Jackson Gore base for children ages 6 months to 6 years. Mini Stars skiing session for kids ages 3 and 4 provides a positive skiing experience for youngsters. Available as an add-on to Day Care or as a single lesson option. Junior ski rentals are available for an additional fee inside the Okemo Express Rental Shop and Jackson Gore Express Rental shop.
- Evening Day Care at the Jackson Gore Penguin Playground Day Care Center on Saturday night and during selected holiday periods from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm.
- Wide variety of customized ski and snowboard instructional programs that include Snow Star Skiers (ages 4-7) and Snow Star Riders (ages 5-7); Young Mountain Explorers (ages 7-14) and Young Riders (ages 7-14).
Okemo is not just for skiing and snowboarding anymore. Renowned for its commitment to snowmaking, world-class grooming, and its vast selection of trails that span five distinct mountain areas, Okemo Mountain Resort excels at providing a memorable winter vacation experience off the slopes, as well as on. Families visiting the popular resort can enjoy alpine coaster rides, ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, swimming, year-round indoor golf, racquetball, fitness classes, aerobic and weight training, massage, sauna, relaxing by a fire, or soaking in a hot tub.
As one of the newest additions to the Jackson Gore base area, The Spring House is Okemo’s center for relaxation and rejuvenation. The two-level, 18,000 square-foot fitness and aquatic center features a recreational swimming pool with lap lanes for designated swim times, a five-person hot tub, and a children’s pool with a whimsical frog slide and numerous splash and fountain features. In addition to all that aquatic action, The Spring House offers a racquetball court, a fitness-class studio, weights and cardio equipment, a sauna, and locker rooms that include a unique family locker room area. For the ultimate indulgence, massage services are available just steps away, inside the Jackson Gore Inn.
The Ice House, a multi-functional, year-round sports pavilion, features a 115- by 215-foot covered skating rink that is maintained by an ice resurfacing machine. Skate rentals are available and skaters can enjoy a hot chocolate by the fireplace inside the attached building. When winter wanes, The Ice House transitions from a skating rink to a warm-weather sports center with tennis courts, a basketball court and covered, single-lane jogging track.
Snow tubing is a popular early-evening activity at Jackson Gore on weekends and during holiday periods and other designated times. Specially groomed chutes keep inflatable snow-sliding “inner tubes” on track for a thrilling slide down a snowy slope. Snow tubers must be at least 42 inches tall. Specialized snow tubes are available for rent by the hour and a magic-carpet style surface lift returns tubers to the top of the chutes after each thrilling ride down.
Just steps from the bottom of the snow tubing hill, the Jackson Gore Inn’s courtyard offers a king-of-the-hill snow mountain, complete with ground-level tunnels and spontaneously created snow chutes for hours of fun. Children’s imaginations transform them into mountain climbing explorers, Olympic luge athletes or tunnel-traveling tomb raiders. Parents can jump in on the fun or watch from the Adirondack-style chairs gathered around a stone fire pit nearby. Kid-friendly igloos will be popping up around the resort again this year too.
Located halfway between Okemo’s Jackson Gore base area and original Clock Tower base area, the Okemo Valley Nordic Center welcomes winter enthusiasts with 22 km of tracked and skate-groomed cross-country skiing trails, and 13 km of trails designated for the use of snowshoers. Okemo’s Nordic Center trails are ideally suited to all ability levels, and they are groomed daily using state-of-the-art grooming machines. Inside the gracious clubhouse facility, visitors enjoy a fully stocked Nordic Shop with the latest advances in outdoor clothing and accessories. Demos, equipment rentals, repairs and waxing are available on-site. Dressing rooms with showers and lockers make a nice change from the typical rustic facilities of most Nordic centers. And the ambience of Willie Dunn’s Grille will have winter wanderers enjoying a beverage by the fire or a delicious lunch or après ski snack in total comfort.
Golfers can stay on top of their games with Okemo’s Indoor Golf Training Center at the Okemo Valley Nordic Center. The 6,000 square-foot, indoor practice facility houses a 700 square-foot putting green, swing stations and a computerized virtual golf simulator. Golf instructional programs are available with group and private lessons offered.The Indoor Training Center is an ideal way for golfers to improve upon their skills and maintain their swing during the winter months. Golf enthusiasts can purchase a golf winter season pass to the indoor golf facility or visit one day at a time for a daily fee.
For resort visitors who opt to travel farther afield, the village of Ludlow and the entire Okemo Valley serves as a gateway to Okemo Mountain Resort, offering shopping, dining and a variety of community events that are open to the public.
New this year, Okemo is introducing a year round alpine coaster ride. The Okemo Mountain Coaster is a four-season attraction that offers a scenic and exhilarating ride through alpine forests and along the contours of the mountain at Okemo’s Jackson Gore. The roller-coaster ride, manufactured by Wiegand, features maintenance-free stainless steel tubular rails for a smooth run down the mountain. Sled-like cars carry two passengers in comfort but can be handled easily by one alone. The riders are in control of the speed and this gives them a unique hands-on experience, encouraging repeat visits. The supporting structure for the snaking track sits directly on the ground without foundations and is held firmly in position with steel stakes. Visitors, age 7 and older, will load and unload The Okemo Mountain Coaster in the Jackson Gore base area, near the bottom of the Coleman Brook Express lift. The ride will start with a five-minute, 1,600-foot climb followed by a 375 vertical-foot descent along 3,100 feet of track that follows the contours of the mountain with added waves, camel backs, banking loops and a “twister” section, at speeds of up to 25 mph. At optimal efficiency, the mountain coaster will accommodate nearly 500 riders per hour and operate year round in most weather conditions. Rates are still to be determined but will be priced per ride with a multi-ride option.
For more information about Okemo Mountain Resort, please call (800) 228-1600 or visit www.okemo.com.
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