Sellers

William Raveis- The Event!

At the beginning of April, our Vermont Properties team attended the William Raveis Training Event at Mohegan Sun. This was an educational event for the entire company and included over 4,000 agents from all over New England and Naples and West Palm, Florida. Not only did our team learn a lot, they were also able to network with other agencies, which is always beneficial, especially when working in a town like Ludlow where there are so many second home buyers from states throughout New England.

The event included, but was not limited to luxury property trainings, internet response training, and managers training. There were also “breakout” sessions where agents were able to choose sessions that were most interesting and beneficial to them. Some of these included learning about digital market, going paperless, team building, and personal branding. The team was also able to be a part of presentations given by the Raveis family, along with the Keynote speaker, Tom Ferry.

The event was topped off with awards to the top performers within the company. We are always so very proud of our team, but it is also nice to be recognized for our efforts. This year our team at Vermont Properties was named the #1 Affiliate Team in Closed Volume Companywide and the #1 Affiliate Team in Closed Units Companywide! This wouldn’t be possible without all of our loyal customers and we thank you all so very much for supporting us and allowing us to buy and sell homes for you.

Our team at Vermont Properties feels so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful company as William Raveis. They always go above and beyond for The Event and this year was no different. However, they go above and beyond everyday to make sure all of their agents feel like a team and have the knowledge they need to be successful. Thank you William Raveis!

How to Survive Mud Season!

If you have been in Vermont over the last few weeks, you have likely seen cars that have turned brown, roads with closed signs, and everyone wearing rain boots. Even though it is spring, Vermonters know this time as mud season, one of Vermont’s extra seasons. It sounds awful, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be!

   Photo taken by OkemoIf you are still in winter mode, you still have a few days to get some skiing in! Okemo plans to shut down this Sunday, April 14th. One of my favorite times of the year on the snow is in the spring. There aren’t any lift lines, the snow is usually great first thing in the morning, and you can get a killer goggle tan! If you are really brave, you can be one of the die hard skiers wearing shorts and a t-shirt on the hill on those beautiful 60 degree days! If you still aren’t ready to give up the snow, you can travel to Killington where they will be open typically into the end of May.

Another option is to jump on board with alpine touring, also known as skinning. This sport has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. It is not only a great workout, but an awesome way to beat the crowds in the heart of winter, or this time of year, take advantage of the snow still left on the mountain after closing. If you don’t have your own gear, check out The Boot Pro at the bottom of the Okemo Access Road, where they have a rental package that includes, boots, skis, skins, and poles! The staff themselves are also avid “skinners” and would be great people to talk to if you are interested in getting involved in the sport!

If you are anything like me and love the restaurants that Ludlow has to offer, the next couple of weeks are a great time to eat out. Not only are they usually less busy, but many of them shut down in the spring, typically right after Easter and open back up around Memorial Day. Some top choices to definitely check out are Stemwinder, Homestyle Hostel, and The Downtown Grocery!

If you are still looking for things to do, spend an afternoon at the Spring House at Jackson Gore, where you can use the fitness facility, take a dip in the pool, take a Zumba class, or play a game of racquetball! If you love yoga, take a variety of classes at Go With The Flow in the center of town. You can even get a massage to rejuvenate your mind and body after a long winter.

No matter what you are doing, be sure to stay active and enjoy all the sunshine you can get! Summer will be here before we know it!

Vermont Maple Open-House Weekend!

If you are a Vermonter, you know that Vermont has more than 4 seasons. One of our additional seasons, the best one in my opinion, is maple sugaring season! Since we have had such a cold and snowy winter, the Vermont sugaring season has been delayed. However, many Vermonters around the state are finally getting their trees tapped and have been able to start boiling! You know what this means, right? Fresh maple syrup!

Every year, all of the sugar houses in Vermont open their doors for the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. This year, it is March 23-24th. Spend your Saturday or Sunday taking a drive to some of our favorite local sugar houses for yummy treats and to learn more about the sugaring process!

If you frequent our blog, you know that we are a huge fan of Green Mountain Sugar House, especially their maple creemees. This weekend, they will be open and offering complimentary sugar-on-snow, maple cream donuts, maple coffee, and maple milk! However, you shouldn’t leave without purchasing a maple creemee or a gallon of delicious maple syrup! They have started boiling, so hopefully you will be able to catch a glimpse of the action!

Another local favorite of ours is Papa John’s Sugar Shack! This is a small, family-owned operation, but you can tell that they put a lot of hear into what they do. They will be open for the Vermont Maple Open House weekend with many maple products to test, as well as waffles and with any luck, fresh maple syrup! This wonderful family loves teaching about how maple syrup is made, so make sure you take a tour of the sugar house!

If you have time, travel a bit further to Shrewsbury to Smith Maple Crest Farm for their open house. On Saturday, they are holding a pancake breakfast in support of the Shrewsbury Community Sharing Project, of course with their maple syrup. They will also have samples of maple syrup, sugar-on-snow, maple cotton candy for sale, and other refreshments. Keep your fingers crossed for good boiling weather and check out their boiling demo to learn more about making maple syrup!

If you want to find other sugar houses in Vermont or even if you just want to know more about how maple syrup is made, visit Vermont Maple! If you are looking for ideas on how to eat or drink maple syrup, check out last week’s blog for ideas!

Valentine's Day in the Okemo Valley!

Ladies and gentleman, Valentine’s Day is just days away! You know what that means, don’t you? You better make plans for that special someone in your life! Don’t worry, Ludlow has plenty of options!

What better way to start your Valentine’s Day than with a few runs on Okemo! Nothing says romance like a ride up the bubble chair with your favorite someone. Better yet, Okemo is setting the mood for Valentine’s Day with a scavenger hunt on the slopes. Ski or ride around the mountain to find “hidden” red hearts along the trails. If you find one, return it to guest services for a prize!

My perfect Valentine’s Day includes a homemade meal at home, which makes for a great way to end your day after hitting the slopes. The way to my heart is most definitely through a Singleton’s steak and their “to die for” loaded baked potato. Don’t forget to pick up a delicious dessert from one of the Okemo Valley’s bakeries! Check out last week’s blog for more ideas on the perfect sweet treat for you and your Valentine!

However, if you are looking for a romantic dinner out on the town, the Okemo Valley has many options for you! A great option that is sure to impress your significant other is dining at The Echo Lake Inn. They are hosting Saint Valentine’s Specials with a delicious four course meal with champagne for the evening. Make it a Valentine’s Day you will never forget and splurge on getting a room for the night in one of the inn’s cozy rooms.

Another option with a special Valentine’s Day dinner and rooms is The Castle Hill Resort & Spa. The Castle frequently runs winter specials for lodging that include spa and dinner packages perfect for a romantic evening. After hitting the slopes, enjoy the afternoon getting a massage and a dip in the outdoor heated pool or hottub, followed by a delicious gourmet dinner.

If The Echo Lake Inn and The Castle Hill Resort & Spa aren’t your style, checkout one of our other local restaurants for a Valentine’s Day meal. Some of my personal favorites are The Downtown Grocery, Stemwinder, Homestyle Hostel, and Sam’s Steakhouse. Even if they don’t have a special Valentine’s Day menu, I promise you and your sweetheart won’t be disappointed!

For the perfect ending to the perfect day, head to Main & Mountain for a nightcap. Their delicious house cocktails are certainly made with love, but if you prefer beer or wine, they have one of the best selections in town!

Happy Valentine's Day from our Vermont Properties team!

 

Nothing Says Vermont like a SNOW DAY!

    The internet is inundated with information regarding winter storm, Harper, that is coming to New England this weekend and it looks like Vermont is going to get the best of it! On any given weather channel, the Okemo Valley is projected to get between 18 inches and 3 feet of snow before Monday. Nothing says Vermont like a snow day and we already have your whole day planned for you!

    Since the snow is supposed to start Saturday evening, that means there is bound to be EPIC powder Sunday morning. Even though it is a snow day, that doesn’t mean you should sleep in. You know the old saying, “The mountains are calling and I must go”? Well, Okemo will certainly be calling your name and you are going to want to get the first tracks of the day! If you are an experienced skier, make sure to take advantages of the woods trails because they aren’t always in prime condition. My favorite place to ski on powder days is on the South Side, playing in knee deep snow on Loose Spruce and Forest Bump. However, if you aren’t as experienced, don’t worry, every trail on Okemo will be in excellent condition on Sunday.

    We all know that powder skiing or snowboarding can take a lot out of us, so if you aren’t able to stay on the mountain all day, that’s okay. Some of the best snow day activities can be had from the comforts of your own home. So, spend the morning at Okemo and then go home to relax in the afternoon. Before you do, make sure you stop at the store and get hot chocolate and maple syrup, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

    Once you are home, get into some comfy clothes, make that hot chocolate (add some Baileys), and if you are lucky, curl up in front of your fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace, find the coziest blanket you have and find the best spot on the couch. Turn on Netflix and find a movie or that TV show you have been waiting to binge watch. Spend a couple hours relaxing and warming up from your morning on the hill.

    Don’t spend too long though, because that snow is still calling your name. When is the last time you built a snowman? I am here to tell you that you are NEVER too old to play in the snow. Get on your snow gear and head outside. You can drag along your family or friends and see who can build the best snowman, or make it a team effort to make one giant snowman.

    Before you head inside, find some clean snow because you must make Maple Sugar on Snow! Recruit someone to go inside and heat up maple syrup on the stove until it reaches 235 degrees, while the other person fills a pan with hard packed snow. Once you reach the correct temperature, drizzle it over the snow and enjoy this legendary Vermont treat.

    If you are still looking for fun filled activities to do on your snow day, you should pull out those old dusty board games or card games. We know life is usually too busy to do this, so take the time to enjoy a game or two with family or friends. I will also be spending the afternoon in the hot tub because nothing is more magical than sitting in a hot tub in a snowstorm.

    What is the best thing about snowstorm Harper? Well, it falls on a holiday weekend! Which means, you get to wake up Monday morning and repeat all of your favorite snow day activities! Please share your favorite things to do in a snowstorm with us!

What do Do in the Okemo Valley if You Don't Ski or Snowboard

Even though we live in a mountain town, we know that not everyone enjoys skiing or snowboarding. Yes, we always push people to enjoy the gorgeous mountain of Okemo in our backyard, but do not worry, there is still plenty to do in Ludlow if you do not like winter sports!

Ludlow is the home of many well-known restaurants with something for everyone! If you are looking for a morning or afternoon out on the town, while your friends or family are skiing, there are plenty of places to choose from. For breakfast, head into Proctorsville to Vermont Apple Pie. This adorable country kitchen serves only homemade food, including a personal favorite, the Apple Crisp Waffle. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like; apple crisp on a waffle, yum! For other breakfast choices, check out The Hatchery or Cafe at Delight. If you enjoy a morning at your home or hotel, curled up with coffee in front of the fireplace, then you could check out the several delicious lunch options that Ludlow has to offer. If you are looking for a sandwich, look no further than Java Baba’s, a popular cafe at the bottom of the Okemo Access Road. If you are craving Italian, head to Mama’s for a delicious calzone or homemade pasta, both of which will make you feel like you are in Italy. If you want a to-go option, you must try The Cookster. The Cookster offers a new menu everyday of homemade items that will make your mouth water as soon as you see them!

While you are out, you should check out some of the little shops around town. One of my favorites is The Blue Sky Trading Post, an adorable shop with a variety of items. You can find local souvenirs or beautiful handcrafted jewelry. I promise, you won’t be able to leave empty handed. Right down the road on Depot Street, you will find the Wine & Cheese Depot, The Depot Street Gallery, and Russ Hurlburt Photography Studio & Gallery. All of these shops are unique and truly show the essence of Vermont. You should also take a ride on Route 100 North to the Green Mountain Sugar House, where you can get the best maple creemee around and take a look in their gift shop filled with Vermont products.

If you are looking to do something active, but don’t enjoy skiing or snowboarding, there are a lot of options! You could take a yoga class at Go With the Flow, who offers classes for all levels and a variety of class types. If you want to stay on the mountain, The Jackson Gore Fitness Center also offers a variety of classes, a gym, and a pool. If you want to stick with the winter theme of being in a mountain town, the Okemo Valley Golf Course becomes a Nordic Center and offers trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The trails give you some of the best views of Okemo and are always well groomed and maintained. Another option is to check out the Ice House at Jackson Gore and enjoy an afternoon or morning of ice skating.

So, if you do not ski or snowboard, that’s okay! There is plenty for everyone to do in Ludlow. If you are looking for other ideas, do not hesitate to reach out! We are always willing to help you experience the Okemo Valley in a way that matches your likes and need!

 

Vermont Properties Gives Back!

In case you can’t tell, the team at William Raveis Vermont Properties loves our community! With that, we think it is extremely important to give back. As you probably know, Ludlow is a very small town and sometimes there isn’t a lot to do. So, our way of giving back is sponsoring fundraising events for local organizations within our community. This winter, join us for any and all of our upcoming events!

Mario the Magician
Join us on Saturday, January 5th, for Mario the Magician, at the Okemo Base Lodge. This is an interactive magic show for the whole family! We sponsor the event for OMARA, a non-profit booster club that supports athletes in the Okemo Competition Center programs and Okemo Mountain School. These athletes compete in alpine racing, freestyle, or snowboarding, all of which are extremely costly to run. OMARA lends a helping hand in administrative, logistical, and financial areas to support these programs. Come out and enjoy a fun family night and support OMARA!

Cocktails for Scholarships
Join us on Saturday, January 26th, for Cocktails for Scholarships at ePic on Okemo. This is a great apres ski event, geared towards adults. There is live music by the Myra Flynn Band, free appetizers, and a cash bar. We sponsor this event to benefit Okemo Mountain School, our local non-profit winter academy for skiers and snowboarders. The school supports a rigorous academic curriculum while providing an intense on-snow training schedule. The school is quite costly, so we have sponsored the Cocktails for Scholarships event, dedicated in raising money for athlete scholarships to attend OMS. Don’t miss this great event with live music and support the OMS student-athletes!

Vermonte Carlo
Join us on Saturday, February 9th, for Vermonte Carlo at the Roundhouse at Jackson Gore. This is a fun casino night with a Vermont spin! There will be free appetizers and a cash bar. Vermonte Carlo is another fundraiser to benefit OMARA.

 

 

Comedy Night
Join us on Saturday, March 2nd, for Comedy Night at Okemo’s Base Lodge. This year’s comedian is the “wicked funny”, Bob Marley! This is one of the most popular events of the season and is always a fun night out. Again, we sponsor this event to benefit OMARA.

 

 

We hope to see you at some of our events in the new year!

A Mountain Condo for Everyone!

Are you in the market for a condo? Well, Okemo Mountain has many different condo locations to suit your individual needs and we have property listings in each area!

 Are you a family with different interests? Maybe some of you ski or snowboard, but others don’t? Look no further than Jackson Gore because they have something for everyone! For those of you looking to be the first in line for the chairlift in the morning, just step out your door right onto the slopes. However, if you want to have a leisurely morning, brunch at Coleman Brook Tavern, followed by a dip in the outdoor heated pool or hottub. If you are looking for adventure, spend the day in the Adventure Zone on the Timber Ripper or in the snow tubing park! Jackson Gore also has a beautiful fitness center and ice rink for all of your family fun.

Just up the road from Jackson Gore is Solitude Village with a variety of condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. If your priority is the amenities, then Solitude is the place for you. They have a great fitness center, along with a pool, hottub, and sauna! Solitude also has one of the best ski-in, ski-out restaurants on Okemo, Epic. Here you will find the best burger that money can buy!

If you are looking to be at the heart of the mountain, check out the Okemo Mountain Lodge condos! These condos surround the base lodge area, giving you easy access to the slopes! The condos are also situated only a few minutes from the village of Ludlow, making it a prime location to get to several great restaurants. Not to mention, Okemo Mountain Lodge offers great apres ski options, including the Sitting Bull right at the base, or Tom’s Loft Tavern just down the road.

One of the more popular condo areas is Winterplace. If you are an avid skier, Winterplace arguably has the best location on the mountain for you! With this location, you get to avoid the 1st round of lifts and head right to the top of the mountain! This is the ideal place to ensure that you get the first tracks when the mountain opens. Winterplace also has a great indoor pool and hot tubs. In the summer, enjoy the tennis courts and a beautiful picnic area, as well!

If you are in need of a larger condo, Ledgewood is a prime area for you to checkout. Ledgewood offers 3 and 4 bedroom condos and is located on one of Okemo’s maintained ski trails. These condos are bright and spacious and definitely give you the mountain feel. Ledgewood’s location makes you feel like you are out of the hustle and bustle of the main areas, but is a quick ski or ride to the base of the mountain.

 

Another favorite location away from the main base areas is Trailside Village. These condos are located on or near Sachem Trail and are located at one of the highest condo locations on Okemo. Even though some of the condos aren’t directly on the trail, Trailside offers a private shuttle with access to Sachem. The condos boast a classic ski house style that make you never want to leave. All you need is a cozy fireplace and mug of hot cocoa and you are good to go!

    If none of these condo options suit your needs, don’t worry, there are more! Visit our website to learn more about Alpen Meadows, Kettlebrook, Timber Creek, West Woods, Southface Village, Snow Trak, and Okemo Village. We promise that Okemo holds options for every need! Contact us today to begin the search for your perfect mountain home.

 

We Are Thankful for our Vermont Properties Team!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we wanted to share why we are thankful for being a part of the team at William Raveis Vermont Properties. We are so fortunate because many people spend their whole lives doing a job they don't enjoy or working with people they don't get along with. However, at Vermont Properties, that is certainly not the case! As we like to say, we have the BEST TEAM EVER!

Kathy- "Thankfulness falls under so many pieces in my life. In our office setting, we are always practicing being a TEAM, a true TEAM where everyone pitches in. Our team is not just our sales force, it’s our admin behind the scenes. All team members must function together and complement one another, while operating under interdependence and being accountable to one another with a common goal in place. The team's mutual commitment creates a synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of an individual. I am so very thankful that everyone on our team works so well together and puts each other before themselves!"

Alyson- "I am thankful to be working with such a great sales team who is committed in every aspect of the word….. committed to helping each other, committed to working hard, and committed to being the best.  I couldn’t be with a better team!"

Sarah- "I am thankful to be part of a team that has become more of a family!"

Joe- "I am thankful for not only the help my colleagues offer with unabashed glee, I’m thankful for the trust that comes along with being a member of a team.  My input is just as important as the next and that feels great.  I’m thankful that like all strong 'work families' each pulls their weight and with that responsibility comes the reward to take time away and get grounded again. That’s so important and that makes me truly thankful!"

Heidi- "I am most thankful for everyone's can do POSITIVE attitude - the way everyone rolls up their sleeves to get the task at hand done. I am always in awe at how the agents truly have each other's back and jump right in to help each other. The term TEAM is not just a word here - it is a philosphy & way of life..."

Abby- "Every day that I head into work I feel extremely grateful to not only have great coworkers, but an amazing family too. The Vermont Properties team welcomed me into their family and I’m so thankful for their love, support and friendship."

Marlene- "I am thankful for being surrounded by such a wonderful group of dedicated and hardworking  co-workers."

Kevin- "I am thankful to be working with such a great team and a for a company that considers their agents their best customers. As we all know, happy agents provide the best customer experiences and I think it would be hard to find a happier group of agents that love what they are doing. I am also thankful to have such a great support staff that goes above and beyond to make the office run as smooth as it does. I can’t say enough about our team. They rock!"

Needless to say, we love our Vermont Properties team! We are so lucky to love where we work. We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and have as much to be thankful for as we do!

It's All About Those Sticks

Did you know that Vermont has an extra season? That’s right! If you are a true Vermonter or trying to become one, you need to know all about stick season.

You might ask; what is stick season? It is the time of year when the leaves cover the ground, leaving the trees with nothing but bare branches. There isn’t any snow yet, the days get shorter and chillier, while the nights last forever and often leave us with a frost on the morning ground.

It is the time of year that skiers and snowboarders anxiously await snowfall and for the mountains to open. As soon as October ends, they are crawling into their basements, attics, or garages to dig out their winter gear. You may even see the hopeful ones walking around town in eskimo hats and down jackets, just praying for those flakes to fall. Some head out to the local ski shops like Totem Pole, Northern Ski Works, The Boot Pro, or Tygart Mountain Sports to pick up brand new gear.

However, if you are a summer lover, you probably are getting ready to go into hibernation. This most likely entails making all of your favorite comfort food like mac & cheese or beef stew because let’s be honest, most local restaurants shut down to prepare for the busy winter season. You are probably also drinking your favorite winter beers like Long Trail’s Harvest or Harpoon’s Winter Warmer. If you haven’t already, you are subscribing to Netflix and binge watching your favorite TV show, except on Sundays when you are watching the Patriots. If you don’t like TV, make sure you have a GIANT stack of books because after stick season comes winter, and Vermont winters last forever.

Just remember, stick season doesn't last forever and soon the trees will be filled with beautiful snow and glistening icicles!