As part of Vail Resorts’ two-year, $35 million commitment to investments across the four resorts acquired in 2018: Mount Sunapee, in New Hampshire, Okemo, in Vermont, Crested Butte, in Colorado, and Stevens Pass, in Washington State, the Company has executed the first phase of capital improvements. Skiers and riders visiting Okemo this winter will see a number of improvements and benefit from many recent upgrades.
On-Mountain Lodge Makeovers
Skiers and riders visiting Okemo’s Summit Lodge and mid-mountain Sugar House Lodge won’t notice big differences from the outside, but they will see improvements on the inside of both lodges this winter. The Summit Lodge, located beside the top terminal of the Sunburst Six Bubble Chair, will feature an open floorplan with a décor that pays homage to the iconic Vermont barn. Wooden beams, exposed stone and new lighting are just some of the features of this rustic redux. On the lower level, Robin's Roost evokes a sense of entering a vintage speakeasy with pressed-metal ceilings, a new, spacious bar and fireside area where families and friends will find comfortable, upholstered chairs and high-top tables where they can gather, refuel and refresh. New culinary concepts for the Summit Lodge include what Okemo’s Food and Beverage Director Jason Palmer calls a “food truck experience” along with healthy, alternative and delicious grab-and-go menu options. At Robin's Roost, on the lower level of the Summit Lodge, the menu features chicken and biscuits and a selection of other southern-style comfort foods. The bar will feature a curated beer program that offers a revolving selection of craft and boutique brews. Additionally, signature craft cocktails will be made with house-made syrups and other unique ingredients.
At Okemo’s mid-mountain Sugar House Lodge, the traditions of Vermont’s maple history and culture will be celebrated through the decor with updates to flooring, re-faced surfaces and a reimagining of the cafeteria and overall space. On the lower level, now called the Mudroom, the focus will be on a welcoming, kid-friendly experience with an area for kicking back with friends, plus tables and chairs, and walkup counter service for an elevated kid-food menu that will feature favorites with flair.
At the Solitude Day Lodge, Okemo's most popular lunch spot, Epic, has been refreshed and re-branded as 43° North. A northern French inspired menu will provide diners with a sense of indulgence when they break for a midday meal. Returning visitors will see new lunch choices with this restaurant's revolving menu.
Okemo continues its reputation for consistent and reliable snow quality and surface conditions through maintenance and upgrades to its snowmaking system. Installation of 5,000 feet of pipe this season completes a five-year project to replace all main feeds leading through the Clock Tower base area – a huge task with all the existing infrastructure, including underground communication lines and power. These feeds supply all the water to Okemo’s snowmaking system across the entire mountain. Under optimal conditions, Okemo can pump 7,000 to 9,000 gallons of water per minute through its vast system, and transform that water into snow. It is this snowmaking prowess that allows Okemo to open for the season with top-to-bottom terrain, and recover quickly following a weather event.
New Employee Center
The little mid-century ranch house located near the entrance of Okemo’s Jackson Gore Inn and base area has been known for years as the Cole House. In recent times, the building has housed the offices of resort planning and permitting. Now the building is being transformed into an employee center. In keeping with tradition, and with a nod to local history, the Cole House name will remain, but following a complete makeover, the building will serve as a place where employees can feel at home, welcoming all to connect, learn and develop, and relax. With human resources offices located upstairs and the resort’s uniforms department located on the lower level, the Cole House will provide one-stop onboarding for new hires. The redesigned space includes a small kitchen and open gathering space with a fireplace. Meeting rooms and a training space will allow the resort to provide a wide range of programming for managers and employees.
Ski & Snowboard School
Okemo is introducing a new menu of Ski & Snowboard School options this season Okemo’s ski and snowboard instructors specialize in patience, skill-building and instilling confidence in skiers and riders of every age and ability level. In addition to redesigning entry-level lesson programs, Okemo will also offer a new half-day and full-day family lesson.
Starting this winter season, Okemo launches EpicMix. Skiers and riders can download the free iPhone or Android app and access a variety of features from their mobile phones. They can check snow conditions, view web cams and trail maps, track vert and earn digital pins. Four of Okemo’s lifts will be equipped with a special feature called EpicMix Time. Skiers and riders will be able to check on lift-line wait times and plot their course around the mountain accordingly.