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Okemo Mountain Resort: Year-Round Luxury for All Ages

by Barbara Rogers

Dec 1, 2017

© Marcio Silva | Dreamstime

Luxury

I used to hear the word Okemo and instantly think of childhood ski trips where it seemed like I was hip-deep in the best powder from morning till night. I still think of the excellent conditions and variety of trails, but now I also think of all the fun my own kids have there in the summer at Okemo’s Adventure Zone.

Vermont, Ludlow, Okemo Mountain Resort, summer,

Photo: Stillman Rogers

 

No matter the season, Okemo Mountain Resort keeps the whole family happy with plenty to do. First, all of the expected resort amenities are there: a huge pool, state-of-the-art covered tennis courts and fitness facilities. The Healdville Station Trail is a challenging three-mile hiking trail up the back of the mountain to a fire tower, and the concierge can show you any number of other trails in the neighborhood.

 

Okemo is always rated as one of the top ski mountains in the East, on all counts — snow quality, grooming and variety of trails. We especially like it for the kids’ programs. My youngest had her start here with the Ski-and-Ride School, where they took the time to teach her about more than just “pizza and French fries.” Now she can’t wait to go back each year to tackle more of the 121 trails, and I actually look forward to the ride to the top now that we can get comfortable in the new enclosed, heated lift.

 

While the kids are busy sliding down the tubing hill, I like to pick up snowshoes or cross-country skis and take in the beautiful Vermont scenery at a slower pace. At night, our favorite thing to do is grab some hot chocolate and head over to the ice rink where we manage to stay on our feet and have lots of laughs. When we get back to the inn, we take more hot cocoa outside to sit around the fire pit, where the kids usually meet others their age.

Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow Vermont

Photo: Stillman Rogers

All year-round we enjoy going on the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster together, which I love because we can control how fast we go. In the summer my daredevils love the Sawyer’s Sweep Zipline Tour and Haulback Challenge Course, while I am content going no higher than the top of the climbing wall, and prefer the slower speed of the Segway.

 

Okemo has two 18-hole golf courses close to the mountain, both noted for the condition of the greens and fairways. With the attention they pay to snow in winter, it’s no surprise they are fanatic about course condition in summer. The Tater Hill Golf Club has been newly refurbished and its casual atmosphere is perfect for the golfer who just enjoys playing the game. The Okemo Valley Golf Club, one of the newest in the state is a heathland-style course and a bit more challenging for the more intense golfers. Personally, I prefer the 18 holes at Lumberin’ Cal mini golf, a better match for my skill level.

 

Vermont, Okemo Mountain Resort, summer, Beer and Wine Festival,

Vermont, Okemo Mountain Resort. Photo: Stillman Rogers

 

While slope-side lodging at the main mountain is handy, we prefer the condo units at the Jackson Gore Inn, at the foot of Okemo’s Jackson Gore ski trails. We like the spacious suites, where the teenagers can have the privacy of a separate room, and the fully equipped kitchens that give us the option of low-key meals — especially helpful for longer stays.

 

Admittedly, it is tough to opt out of the meals downstairs at the Coleman Brook Tavern, especially once we see what the specials are each evening. There are several other choices at the resort, from slope-side chili and burgers to fine dining at Epic, halfway up the mountain. Between meals, the kids rarely let me ski past the slope-side waffle cabin.

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