Winter In VT

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!!

 

Dining in Ludlow - Part 2!

    As promised, here is part two of our favorite dining experiences in Ludlow! September 22nd is officially the first day of fall, which means all of our local favorites will be working with the best ingredients a Vermont autumn has to offer!

In the midst of this small Vermont town, you can still find food to meet your every need, including Mojo Cafe, a modern Tex-Mex dining experience! Mojo always offers the freshest local ingredients and is a partner of the Vermont Fresh Network. A big hit at Mojo’s are their Po Boys, and let me tell you, the Shrimp Creole is to die for, and make sure you get a side of Poblano Rings! Not to mention, Mojo is all about good local craft beer on tap, which is always rotating, even with the seasons because who doesn’t love a good fall beer, right? The owners, John and Jodi, are fun and quirky and will make you feel right at home!

If you have been to Ludlow, you have probably been to DJ’s Restaurant in the center of town. DJ’s has been a local favorite for over 37 years and continues to be a constant staple in the community. Their menu offers a wide variety of steak, seafood, and pasta. However, they always have great specials, as well! Whether you are looking for just the bar menu with an amazing chicken sandwich, or a nice family dinner with a Filet Mignon, you can’t go wrong!

Another staple in Ludlow has been Sam’s Steakhouse, however, it was recently bought by Mr. Darcy’s owner, Mark Williams. Mark has ran and done an impeccable job with many local restaurants, so you can bet, that Sam’s will continue to be a local favorite! The menu has changed, but still boasts a great variety of steak and seafood, along with some local selections, such as Homestyle Meatloaf. They also still have their amazing salad bar, which can be a meal all in itself! If you are looking for a great mid-week option, head to Sam’s for “Early Bear” specials on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays!

If you are staying on Okemo, a wonderful option after a long day of skiing is always the Coleman Brook Tavern at The Jackson Gore Inn. The tavern has a wonderful menu that changes with the seasons to ensure the freshest ingredients. A personal favorite of mine is the Maple Pepper Roast Chicken. However, nothing says Vermont like eating s’mores for dessert, which you literally cook over a tabletop campfire. The icing on the cake is always the hospitable and knowledgeable waitstaff that makes you feel right at home.

    

We hope you have the chance to try some of our local restaurants and make sure you let us know your favorite!

 

Dining in Ludlow- Part One!

    Ludlow has some of the best dining in all of Vermont and now is the perfect time to try out the various restaurant options! Most of our restaurants feature local ingredients and as the season is changing from summer to fall, the menus will also be changing to offer some delicious seasonal items. Read on to learn about some of our favorite spots!

    One of the most sought after restaurants in Ludlow is The Downtown Grocery, or as locals refer to it, TDG. The restaurant is owned by Vermont native, Chef Rogan Lechthaler, and his Southern wife, Abby Lechthaler. Together they have created a casual fine dining experience where the servers wear plaid, but the menu depicts food that makes you feel like you are eating the best that any big city has to offer, while using local ingredients. The menu has great staples, but the best items come from a specials board that is constantly changing. Whether you are looking for a Pimento Cheese Burger, House Made Gnocchi, or a frequent special of Shrimp and Grits, you will not be disappointed. Tip- MAKE RESERVATIONS!

Right across the street from TDG, is Stemwinder, an apres ski favorite. Stemwinder began with a vision from two local women, Wendy Neal and Leslie Stuart, both of which are major supporters of our Ludlow community. The idea behind the restaurant is to have good wine and craft beer with a diverse selection of small plates. They always use local ingredients and you can bet that their menu is constantly changing with the seasons. If you are new to the area, you need to try the Cheese & Meat Board that has some of the BEST local offerings you can find in Ludlow.

    A Vermont Properties favorite that we frequent quite often is Homestyle Hostel. This cute and quaint hostel, located in the heart of Ludlow is now well-known all over Vermont thanks to the creative Chef, Alyssa Prouty. Just like Stemwinder, they have a wide variety of small plates that are perfect to share with your family and friends. We highly recommend ordering many options and trying as much as possible because it is all delicious! The menu is always new and always has the best ingredients that you can find in Vermont. If you are looking for a place to stay, Homestyle Hostel is also a great option, or head across the street to their sister property, Main + Mountain, for a more traditional stay and the best cocktails in all of Ludlow.

    Moving into its second year of being open is Mama’s, also owned by the Lechthaler’s. Mama’s features all hand made Italian food that makes you feel like you are sitting in a piazza in Italy. Mama’s is open for lunch and dinner, both of which we highly recommend. For an afternoon pick me up, try the Arancini or a classic Italian Sandwich. For dinner, start with the Caprese Not Really. I have had a lot of caprese, but nothing compared to this delicious dish. You can’t leave Mama’s without a glass (or two) of wine. Abby Lechthaler is passionate about serving only the best wine and is always willing to help you find your new favorite. So, as autumn moves in, try out Mama’s for some incredible comfort food.

    We could go on and on for days about all of the restaurant options in Ludlow, but we will stop here...for now! Stay tuned next week for PART TWO of our favorite dining experiences! Let us know your favorite local hot spot!

 

Big News for Ludlow, VT!

36 years ago, Tim and Diane Mueller purchased Okemo Mountain Resort and began their journey in the ski industry. Over the years they have made many improvements to Okemo, along with acquiring Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire and Crested Butte in Colorado. They have truly made a great impact on not only Ludlow, but the ski industry in New England.

With the ski industry at its peak, Vail Resorts has approached the Mueller’s to buy Okemo, Mount Sunapee, and Crested Butte. Vail Resorts is based in Colorado, but owns several mountains around the country, along with the recent purchase of Stowe Mountain in 2017. It has been reported that the sale of Mueller’s Triple Peaks LLC will be final this summer. Tim and Diane have said, “we want you to know that this was the hardest decision we have ever made, especially as we begin to transition through this deal and say goodbye to each of you”.

While we are sad to lose the Mueller’s, we are very excited about what this purchase could mean for all three mountains, Okemo in particular. We are sure that improvements and changes to the mountain will continue for years to come, making Ludlow a prime destination, not only in New England, but in the country. If you are thinking about purchasing your own home in the Okemo Valley, now is the time to do it!

We would like to thank the Mueller’s for being such an integral part of our community, as well as wonderful friends of our Vermont Properties team. We wish you luck on your next chapter!

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.

IT'S SKI AND RIDE SEASON! OPENING DAY ON OKEMO

As we were having lunch this past Tuesday, the first flakes of the season began to fall. We half jokingly said that it is officially ski season; within 24 hours word came out announcing Okemo's opening day for the 17-18 season.

The Mountain will be opening for sking and riding on Saturday, November 11th at 9:00 a.m. First chair ceremonies will be held at the Sachem Chair. Link & Lower World Cup will be open with the Upper Mountain trails coming later in the day. The weather forcast for snowmaking temps are great and Okemo has the capability to make the snow needed for quality skiing and riding. 

So.. dust off those winter toys and gear and head North! We look forward to seeing you on the Mountain.

Okemo grabs tops spots for Best in the East!

Okemo Mountain continues to receive accolades. The most recent come from skimag.com. Their reader-ranked survey of “Best in the East 2018” puts Okemo Mountain in the top spot. They have also grabbed a top ten spot in 5 out of the 6 categories surveyed.

More reader rankings for the Best of the East?

Okemo got high marks for several:

#1 For Best Lifts

#3 For Best Grooming

#5 For Best Snow

#6 For Service

#9 for Best Overall Resort

Once again, this proves that Okemo has what it takes to be your favorite family friendly mountain of choice. When you come to Okemo, stop by and see us across from the golf course on route 100. If you decide you want to make Ludlow your second home, we can help!

We’ll see you on the Mountain.

A View From the Top

Boston Magazine is featuring a one of a kind listing on Okemo Mountain and William Raveis Real Estate Vermont Properties is excited to be the listing agent for this "Luxe Log Cabin in Ludlow". 

"Ski Bums-meet ski mansion"...

To see more details, check out the link to Boston Magazine's article, or call the team at William Raveis Vermont Properties.