snow on okemo

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!

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!

Ski Season is Coming to an End, but the Fun Doesn't Have to Stop!

Is your driveway getting muddy? Do you notice that daylight lasts into the evening now? Have you seen more signs of wildlife? Well, we are sorry to tell you that all of these are signs that spring is on its way. However, don’t fret because there are still a lot of fun things to enjoy before the snow disappears!

Start this weekend off right and join us for some apres ski at the Sitting Bull with music by Sam Blanchette! This is the last night of the Winter Music Series, so you don’t want to miss out! However, we will be back this summer with more music during the Summer Concert Series at Jackson Gore!

Also, this weekend, check out Mardi Gras in the Mountain! Okemo is hosting a Mardi Gras parade at the Clocktower base area on Saturday, March 9th, from 1-3pm. Do you want to know the best part? You get to dress up in your best carnivale costume and walk in the parade! Wear the best costume and you could win the title of King or Queen of Mardi Gras. There will be live music and of course, Mardi Gras wouldn’t be complete without a bead toss!

Did we say that you had to wait until summer for more music? Surprise! We are sponsoring Sugar Daze, the end of winter season outdoor concert at Jackson Gore on March 16th, 3:30-8:30pm. This year’s concert is being held in the Jackson Gore Courtyard where there will be a beer garden and food!

Continue the fun next weekend by taking part in the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Scavenger Hunt on Okemo! There will be shamrocks hidden on the trails for you to find when you are skiing or boarding. All you have to do is get the shamrock and bring it to resort services to claim your prize! Obviously, to make things more fun, wear your favorite green outfit on the hill!

The fun continues into the weekend of March 23rd with the ‘80s Retro Jam on Bull Run at Okemo! Here is another chance to dress up, but this time in your best neon colors and acid-washed jeans, and show off your best skills on the rails. Registration begins at 1pm and is free to anyone dressed in rad 80s fashion! If you aren’t into competing, make sure you take a break from skiing or boarding to go watch the competition!

Make sure you don’t give up on winter too soon because Hops On The Snow is happening on March 30th in the Jackson Gore Courtyard! There is nothing better than taking advantage of the spring ski conditions, getting a goggle tan, and enjoying some tasty brews and barbeque!

Last but not least, the final winter event of the season is the annual Slush Cup at Jackson Gore! This event is SO much fun whether you are a competitor or watching! Those who compete dress up in wacky costumes and attempt to ski or board across an 80 foot man-made slush pond. We are also sponsoring Splash for Cash again, so when the Slush Cup ends, test your luck trying to grab the cash dangling in the air at the beginning of the pond! Full disclosure, you will get wet :)

So, even though the winter season is winding down, don’t forget about all of the fun events in March and April! And just think about those killer goggle tans you can get on those bluebird days!

We LOVE our Local Ski Shops!

Have you ever heard the expression, “A little town with a big skiing problem?” Well, to us, skiing and snowboarding certainly take a priority in our lives and we are very thankful to live in such an amazing place where we can do what we love on a regular basis. However, we couldn’t be up on the hill without our gear from our favorite ski shops!

If you are looking for a shop close to Okemo, check out The Boot Pro Ski Shop right at the bottom of the Okemo Access Road. This is a family run shop, owned by a lifetime resident of Ludlow, which is very evident in the family-like vibe that the shop portrays. Not only are the owners knowledgeable after working in the ski industry throughout their entire careers, but they also have an impeccable team working with them. The Boot Pro offers a lovely selection of outdoor gear including clothing, helmets/goggles, skis, and boots. They provide tuning services, as well as demos. A new and exciting venture of theirs is Alpine Touring and if you haven’t tried this for yourself, head into the shop to demo some touring gear!

Another local favorite and family-owned shop is Totem Pole Ski Shop, which is actually the oldest family run ski shop in Vermont! This is one of the most popular shops for winter sport competitors, including many of our local Okemo Mountain School athletes. Not to mention, they have worked with Olympic athletes, as well! Needless to say, they are great at what they do. Not only does Totem Pole have great gear to demo and sell, they also do a killer tune job on skis and boards. However, if you are just visiting the Okemo Valley, they have an awesome rental shop where they can get you set up for a weekend on the hill! They also have a great selection of clothing and one of the best souvenir selections in town!

On the other side of town is Northern Ski Works, which has been a staple in Ludlow for a very long time. Northern Ski Works is known for boot fitting with a Certified Pedorthist on staff, along with a knowledgeable team with backgrounds in ski instructing, racing, and coaching. Northern is also one of the best places to go for ski clothing, carrying a wide variety of brands including Descente, Nils, Kuhl, and much more! Again, if you are coming to Okemo for a weekend getaway, Northern also does ski rentals and demos!

So, if you are looking to join in on the fun that we Vermonters have on the hill, make sure you check out our favorite local shops to get set up and on the hill in no time!

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!

 

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.

 

December Holiday Events

If you are looking for something to do this holiday season, check out these great local events! You will be sure to see some of our team members at them!

Vermont Holiday Festival in Killington
Killington is holding their annual Vermont Holiday Festival this weekend, December 7-8th. Kick off the weekend on Friday evening with music provided by local elementary schools beginning at 4:15pm. Throughout the evening, there will be Santa Workshops where children can create a holiday keepsake. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to lend a helping hand, as well! Find local vendors, live music, and beautifully decorated Christmas trees for all to enjoy. To top it off, there will be sleigh rides around the base of Killington Mountain. On Saturday, the events run from 1-7pm. Click here for more information!

2nd Annual Holiday Cookie Tour in Chester
This Sunday, December 9th, Chester, VT, will be holding their 2nd Annual Holiday Cookie Tour from 12-4pm. This is the perfect way to get you into the holiday spirit! Purchase a Souvenir Passport with directions to several Victorian and Federal era homes, churches, and an inn. Each stop on the tour has a different kind of cookie to taste and better yet, the Passport has cookie recipes for you to try your favorites at home! Tickets can now be purchased at the Main Street Coffee and Scoop Shoppe on the Green in Chester. Get your tickets ASAP because they do sell out!

Ladies Night in Bellows Falls
Check out Ladies Night in Bellows Falls on December 14th, from 4-8pm! This is such a fun night to get all the ladies in your life together for an evening of holiday shopping! Many of the shops have refreshments (yes, alcohol is involved), along with appetizers and cookies! There are also specials at many of the restaurants and discounts at some of the stores. Many of the shops are also donating a portion of their sales to different local charities. You can even get a chair massage at Halladays!

Demo Day and ShinDig Oysters at Okemo
Spend the day at Okemo on December 15th! Check out the Demo Day, sponsored by William Raveis Vermont Properties from 8am-1pm at the Base Area of Jackson Gore. Test-drive some of the newest ski and snowboard equipment from Norida, Volkl, Blizzard, and Rossignol! Also, on December 15th, ShinDig Oysters will be delivering fresh oysters right to the slopes! Orders must be places by December 12th. Click here for details!

Warren Miller’s Face of Winter Movie Premier
Attend Warren Miller’s, Face of Winter, movie premier at Okemo Mountain School on December 15th. They will have 2 showings, as well as raffle prizes! Tickets are $20 per adult and $15 for a child 16 & under. If either chooses to bring an unwrapped toy for local donation, the cost is $10. Get tickets here! This is a great way to get excited for a winter of adventures at Okemo Mountain Resort! Click here to get your tickets!


Elf Express Train Ride in Manchester
Join the elves, Santa, and Mrs. Claus for a train ride through Manchester, Vermont on December 15th or 16th. You will be entertained by Burr & Burton’s theater and dance clubs with music and dance routines along the ride! There are several departure times, but tickets must be bought by December 12th! For more info, click here.

Christmas Centerpiece Class at Halladays
Attend a Christmas Centerpiece Class at Halladays in Bellows Falls, Vermont on December 16th from 11am-12pm. You will be able to create your own Christmas table centerpiece with Halladays providing the greens and embellishments. This is a fun and festival activity to do with friends or family! Call to reserve your spot, (802) 463-3331!

AliT and Ugly Sweater Party at Trout River Brewery
Kick off the weekend before Christmas with live music by Alison Turner at Trout River Brewery in Springfield, Vermont from 4-6pm on December 22nd. Enjoy one of Trout River’s delicious beers, including a specialty Chocolate Milk Stout, while listening to the sweet sounds of AliT. Better yet, join in the festivities and wear your best Ugly Sweater for a chance to win a prize! The brewery will be open noon-8pm.

Visit with Santa at Jackson Gore
Santa Claus will be making his yearly appearance at Jackson Gore on December 22nd at 4:30pm. Don’t miss Santa before he makes his way to the North Pole!

Santa Balloon Parade at Okemo
Don’t miss Santa and his elves in the parade at the Base Area of Okemo On December 23rd from 11am-12pm!

Mats & Mimosas
Treat yourself or a friend to Mats & Mimosas at the Okemo Mountain School Fitness Facility on December 28th at 10am. The class is being taught by Tara Lichtensteiger, instructor at Go With the Flow Yoga. You will participate in 1 hour of stretch and unwind yoga for all levels, followed by a mimosa! The class size is limited to 15, making it an intimate setting to relax. Get your tickets NOW before they sell out!

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! 

It Snowed at the Summit; Get Your Season Passes NOW!

    The announcement everyone has been waiting for; it SNOWED for the first time at the Summit of Okemo on Saturday, October 13th! While you couldn’t see it from the village of Ludlow, the live cams on the mountain caught it on video!

    Now that it snowed, it finally feels like winter is just around the corner. If you haven’t gotten your 2018/19 season pass to Okemo yet, now is the time to do it! Okemo has SO many options, that you can be sure to find one that works for everyone.

    While Okemo has always been an EPIC mountain, with the sale of Okemo to Vail Resorts, we are now a part of the Epic pass! There are two Epic options; the Epic Local and the Epic Pass, but both of which give you unlimited and unrestricted access to Okemo! Other unlimited and unrestricted mountains are Crested Butte, Mount Sunapee, Breckenridge, Wilmot, Mt. Brighton, Keystone, Afton Alps, Arapahoe Basin, and Stevens Pass. That means 10 mountains full of adventures waiting to happen! Not to mention, there are 17 other mountains to access on a more limited basis, including Stowe right here in Vermont!

The other option is the Epic Pass, which gives you access to 65 resorts all around the world! With this pass, you get access to all of the unlimited mountains as the locals pass, but also has the additions of Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, Northstar, Stowe, Perisher, Beaver Creek, Park City, Heavenly, and Kirkwood!  That leaves 46 other mountains that also give you on-snow options throughout the season. Get your Epic Local or Epic Pass today before rates go up!

If the Epic pass isn’t for you, Okemo still has the Ultimate, Classic, and Midweek passes available. The Ultimate Pass truly is ultimate and gives you great benefits when skiing at Okemo such as retail, culinary, and preferred parking discounts! If you are looking for a basic pass, but still allows you to enjoy Okemo whenever you want, check out the Classic Pass! New this year, as well, all Ultimate and Classic Pass Holders will receive 50% off the then-current window lift ticket price at all Vail Resorts-owned resorts! Finally, if you don’t like the weekend crowds, Okemo still has the Midweek pass, which will give you access to the lifts Monday-Friday during non-holidays.

We hope you are just as excited as we are to hit the slopes this season! Let it snow!!

 

Okemo is Ready for You!

As you know, Okemo Mountain is open! The snow guns are humming and the snow makers welcome the colder temperatures. We have had some natural snow here in Vermont but most of the trails will be brought to you, courtesy of the Snow Making Team of Okemo Mountain.

You may be thinking that you can't wait until we are buried in natural snow. After all, that's what winter is about in this area. There is no such thing as too much snow, right? But the snow team at Okemo will make up for that until we are inevitably buried under…. You got it…too much snow. Hey, who said that’s a bad thing?

Never fear, regardless of Mother Nature's gifts (or lack of), the Mountain’s team can handle anything that comes their way; there will be snow, it will be groomed. Winter is Okemo’s time to shine and they will not disappoint.

If you are newer to the Okemo scene, check out our Condo Guide. This is a great tool to orient you to the Mountain and what the different complexes have to offer. We also have links to help familiarize you with the area and to find other activities in the area.  There is so much to do both on and off Okemo.

Come Live Where You Play ~ The team at William Raveis Real Estate Vermont Properties can make Okemo your place to call home.