Sat, Sep 10, 2011 03:04 PM
It's been a difficult couple of weeks since Hurricane Irene
passed through Vermont, leaving many friends and neighbors with
personal challenges of their own. Communities have rallied in
support of those in need and the newly created motto, I am Vermont
Strong," has taken on the status of a battle cry.
Okemo Mountain Resort did not escape Irene's fury unscathed, but
most of the damage has already been repaired. Okemo's Mountain
Operations and Facilities Operations staff worked their usual magic
and got the job done. Okemo's Clock Tower Base Area suffered most
of the damage. Flooding washed out Mountain Road below the
snowmaking pump house. Water and mud washed through the base area,
depositing several feet of silt and sand in the Snow Stars learning
area, also known as Galaxy Bowl. There was some washout along the
sides of Okemo Ridge Road, near the Morning Star lift and the road
to Okemo Valley Golf Club was washed out temporarily.
On the positive side …
The Jackson Gore Inn never even lost power during the storm and
the Jackson Gore Base Area suffered no damage at all.
Okemo Valley Golf Club was accessible and open for play on 18
holes starting at noon on Tuesday - just two days after the storm.
Tater Hill also reopened with 18 holes of play that same day.
Mountain Road was repaired and autumn leaf peepers will be able to
wind their way to the summit of Okemo Mountain for colorful vistas
this foliage season.
Recovery is underway and we are aggressively tackling clean up and
repair around the Resort and throughout the community. Ludlow has
gone from being one of the hardest-hit Vermont villages to one of
the quickest to recover. We spent the first few days in the
aftermath of Irene cut off from the world due to washouts and road
closures. Most roads have been repaired and access to Okemo Valley
and Okemo Mountain Resort has been restored.
We've received an outpouring of support from Okemo guests and
homeowners, and we're grateful for their concern and contributions
to our neighbors in need.
We are using social media, Facebook and Twitter, to chronicle the
recovery status of Okemo and the surrounding communities. We'll be
out and about, speaking with locals and snapping photos of the
progress, so fans and followers can see that Okemo Valley is ready
to welcome visitors.
We're looking forward to a spectacular fall foliage season and the
start of another brilliant ski season soon afterward.
Okemo VP and General Manager Bruce Schmidt
P.S. We raised $10,000 at a benefit concert last Friday night at
Jackson Gore. Four local bands donated their talents and time for
the benefit to assist our neighbors in need after the storm. The
money raised was donated to Black River Good Neighbors Services.
Donations are still being accepted and may be made directly by
As a human services program, BRGNS serves families and individuals
living in Ludlow, Cavendish, Proctorsville, Plymouth, Belmont, and
Mount Holly, Vermont. They provide free, confidential help to
financially distressed individuals and families to facilitate their
navigation of the often intricate pathways to locate
assistance. Their focus is primarily on distributing free
food and providing rent, fuel and other aid for those who meet the