Selling Your Home

Summer Adventure in the Okemo Valley

Summertime is the best time for adventure. There are so many different kinds of adventures just waiting to be had, especially in our backyards in the Okemo Valley! Did you know that Okemo offers several summer activities that are fun for the whole family?

One of Okemo’s newest attractions and probably the most extreme adventure is the Evolution Bike Park. The Bike Park is located at the main base area of Okemo, where mountain bikes can be rented, along with helmets and other gear. The trail systems are placed throughout the lower mountain trails around the A and B Quads and extend from the top of the Sunburst Six (bubble chair). The lower trails are great for all kinds of riders, from beginning mountain bikers to serving as just a warm-up run for more experienced riders. There is still a trail from the top of the mountain, Scrambler, that is accessible for moderate riders, however, it is longer and takes more endurance. If you are looking for a more extreme trail ride, check out Shake and Bake! Another option is to hike to the top of Mountain Road and take a nice, long, coasting ride to the bottom! While you are at the top, enjoy the views and breathe in the fresh Vermont air!

Much of the summer adventure happens at Jackson Gore in the Adventure Zone! Here you will find anything from zip lining to miniature golf. One of my favorite activities is the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. This is similar to an alpine slide but on rails. Ride alone or with a friend! Another fun activity is the Segway Tour. These tours are available for all levels. Start with an introductory lesson or take the off-road tour. How often do you have the chance to ride a segway, so take advantage when you are in the area!

The most popular activities in the Adventure Zone are the Sawyer’s Sweep Zipline and the Haulback Challenge Course. Glide through Photo by Okemothe trees at 40 to 50 feet above the ground on a zipline tour with 7 different ziplines to complete. When you have finished ziplining, head to the Haulback Challenge Course for a fun adventure in the trees where you get to challenge your mind and body to complete several different obstacles.

If you are looking for a less extreme adventure, check out the Lumberin’ Cal Miniature Golf course or The Maples Disc Golf course. If you are looking to fill up the majority of your day, play some disc golf, which will bring you through the beautiful woods of Jackson Gore, but if you just want a quick activity, play some miniature golf!

There are so many adventures to be had, so don’t wait! Head to Okemo Mountain Resort today to start your first adventure!

Strawberries Galore!

Nothing makes it feel more like the start of summer than being able to go strawberry picking! It is finally time to head to your favorite local orchard or strawberry patch to pick your own strawberries.

My favorite place to go strawberry picking is Wellwood Orchards in Springfield, VT, only a 20 minute drive from Ludlow. During strawberry season, they are open 7 days a week, 8am-6pm, however, the best time to go is early morning before it gets too hot or busy. If you go on the weekend, you must go in the morning anyway because you can’t miss out on their homemade fresh cider donuts! Check out the other items in the country gift shop, anywhere from baked goods and cider to local crafts! They also have a petting zoo, making strawberry picking the perfect outing for the whole family!

This Saturday, June 22, is Wellwood Orchards Strawberry Festival from 10am-3pm, a must-see summer event! Spend some time picking your own strawberries and make sure you take a wagon ride through the orchard and then check out the live music by John Sullivan Band, Alison Turner, and Dan O and more! There will also be over 45 local vendors including food booths, artists, and more! Even better, admission to the event is free! Of course the country gift shop and petting zoo will be open, as usual! This is truly a fun event with something for everyone!

If you are looking for more strawberries, head to the Plymouth Strawberry Festival at Plymouth State Park on June 19th, from 5-7:30pm. This is a great community event sponsored by the Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department & First Response Services. All funds raised go to support various organizations within the community, including the emergency services. The festival offers a delicious BBQ and most importantly, strawberry shortcake for dessert! This is a family event with plenty of activities to keep your little ones entertained!

Don’t worry, if you don’t make the festivals or aren’t able to go strawberry picking, go to a local farm stand and I am sure you will find some of the sweetest berries around! While strawberries are so good without doing anything to them, make your own strawberry shortcake or try your luck at a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie! Happy picking (and eating)!

We Always Knew You Were #1, Ludlow!

In case you haven’t heard, Ludlow, Vermont, is the number one winter destination to buy a vacation home according to Vacasa. Even though we have been firm believers in this for a long time, we are glad that the secret is finally out! While the article will tell you statistics as to why it is a good idea to buy a vacation home here, we will tell you the real reasons.

First of all, the most obvious reason to choose Ludlow is because of the all mighty Okemo Mountain in the middle of town. Did you know that Okemo means, “all come home,” in a Native American language? This couldn’t be more true, as Okemo and Ludlow are home to so many people, whether physically or in their hearts. While Okemo does have the best grooming in the east and some great trails, it really is a family mountain. Up until recently, Okemo has been a family owned and operated since 1982, and even though Vail Resorts now owns Okemo, there is still an unbelievable sense of community surrounding the mountain. If you are looking for a winter vacation home, Okemo should be your first place to look, whether you want a small condo or a large mountain home.

Another reason to choose Ludlow as your winter destination is due to the wide variety of amazing restaurants in town. For a small town, we sure know how to cook...and eat! Whether you are looking for a slice of woodfired pizza from American Pie, Tex-Mex from Mojo Cafe, farm to table from Homestyle Hostel, or Italian from Mama’s, you truly will not be disappointed. You can also find a delicious breakfast or lunch from The Hatchery or Java Baba’s, along with dessert from Big Eyes Bakery or Sweet Surrender. Did we mention that we have some great bars, as well? You must check out Main and Mountain, Killarney, and Tom’s Loft Tavern, all for their great selection of drinks and hometown atmospheres.

We understand that not everyone participates in skiing or snowboarding, but that doesn’t mean that Ludlow can’t be your choice for your winter vacation home! There is so much more to offer including a Nordic Center for snowshoeing and cross country skiing, the Ice House at Jackson Gore for ice skating, a wonderful yoga and bodywork studio at Go With The Flow, or the recreation center at Jackson Gore with a great indoor pool. If those aren’t your style either, there is often live music at various restaurants, cute shops around town, and beautiful drives.

Have we convinced you yet? If not, come into William Raveis Vermont Properties to speak with us about our community and why we love living here or even to start looking at your very own vacation home!

Cheers to ALL the Mama's!

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner on May 12th and it is time to spoil the special woman in your life, whether it is your Mom, wife, sister, grandmother, or just a friend. We all know that our mom’s really are just looking to spend time with their families, but if you need some ideas, check out our favorite Mother’s Day plans!

One of my personal favorite ways to spend Mother’s Day is by bringing my Mom out to brunch. A great local option to try is Coleman Brook Tavern at Jackson Gore. They do a beautiful buffet display using Vermont ingredients and the ambience of the restaurant is the perfect setting to make your Mom feel special. They have various seatings, but be sure to call for a reservation!

If you are looking for a more traditional dining experience, check out The Free Range in Chester! They have a brunch menu every Sunday, but this week they will be serving brunch all day, 9am-4pm! They always have the best cinnamon roll pancakes you can find, but they have specials this week including Maine crab cakes! They also have delicious, loaded bloody mary’s, along with mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice; the perfect choices for celebrating Mother’s Day! Another local brunch is going on at Mama’s in Ludlow! Be sure to call for reservations for either option!

If you prefer to stay home and enjoy a lazy Sunday with the mom’s in your life because let’s face it, all moms deserve a day of relaxation! However, make sure you bring her a treat. Whether you are looking for a breakfast item like a muffin or quiche or a mouth-watering dessert (or two), look no further than Big Eyes Bakery in Ludlow! They have an awesome assortment of baked goods that you can bring home to share with your Mom. We promise she will love it!

Do you have a Mom that loves the outdoors? You may want to consider bringing her for a hike since tt is the perfect time of year to get outside! You can’t go wrong with a hike on the Healdville Trail on the backside of Okemo. If you really want to spoil your Mom, bring a picnic lunch to the top with sandwiches from Java Baba’s and pick out her favorite craft beer or a bottle of wine from Brewfest to go along with it!

No matter what you do, just be sure that the mom’s in your life know how special they are and that you appreciate everything they do. Being a mom is not an easy job and so many make it look like a walk in the park! We also want to give a special shoutout to our Vermont Properties Mom’s; Kathy Burns, Sarah Sheehan, Alyson Blodgett, Raye Lin Collins, Marlene DeArruda, and Heidi DeGraw! Also, dog mom, Abby Stone!

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!

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!