30 Something Mother Runner received complimentary weekend lodging at the Jackson Gore Inn, free family lift tickets and tickets for the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. All writing and opinions are 100% my own.
A few weekends ago we headed up to Ludlow, Vermont to visit Okemo Mountain Resort. This winter has been tough for Vermont, since they have had only a fraction of the snow we have gotten down here in Southern New England! That’s why we were pleasantly surprised to find great snow coverage on all of the Okemo trails!
About Okemo Mountain
Okemo has 98% snow making coverage for its trails (higher than most ski resorts), so when the temperatures dropped right before our ski weekend, they were able to make plenty of snow! With the highest vertical drop in Southern Vermont, there’s plenty of great skiing for all levels.
What’s New for the 2015/2016 Ski Season
There are 121 trails on the mountain and 20 different lifts, including the new Okemo Quantum Four lift that riders can take to the Jackson Gore summit. The Quantum Four features an orange-tinted retractable bubble to keep out the wind and glare from the snow on sunny days. The addition of this new lift on Jackson Gore makes Okemo Mountain the first resort in North America to offer multiple bubble chair lifts!
Another new feature (which I think is AWESOME!) is the radio frequency identification (RFID) cards that have replaced the traditional lift ticket. No more fumbling around to make sure your lift ticket is visible or worry that it will fall off. All you have to do is take your RFID card and place it in your jacket pocket, and you’re good to go. When you approach the lifts, you will pass through a reader that will pick up the signal from your card and that’s it!
Skiing and Family Fun
Despite the lack of cooperation from mother nature in terms of snowfall this winter, the skiing conditions at Okemo were quite impressive! We started off the morning on Jackson Gore, where there were no lift lines and the snow coverage was great. From there we worked our way to the Solitude Express Quad, where again, there were hardly any lift lines and the trail conditions were firm and not at all icy. As we made our way further south towards Okemo Peak, we noticed the crowds a bit more – so we decided to head back to the condo for a snack and to re-group with the kids.
By the time we got back on the slopes, there were no crowds to speak of at Jackson Gore so my husband took some time to ski with my oldest son, while the younger boys stuck to the magic carpet area. One of the great things about Okemo, is that it’s big enough to spread people out over a variety of terrain, but it has the charm of a smaller mountain. Families with young kids won’t feel overwhelmed at the Jackson Gore base, and older kids and adults can easily get to the more challenging terrain without having to navigate a route across multiple lifts and peaks.
I know that my husband wants to explore the glades the next time we come, but he was able to enjoy some great runs on his own thanks to the outstanding trail conditions and snowmaking capabilities at Okemo!
Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster
My oldest son and I had a blast riding the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, Okemo’s four-season adventure coaster that takes you 1,600 feet up the mountain (in about five minutes) and back down with thrilling twists and turns! You travel in a two-person sled-like car through the woods, reaching speeds of up to 25 mph.
Drivers must be at least 8 years old and 52 inches and passengers at least 3 years old and 36 inches. To drive with a passenger, guests must be 16 years or older. For more information on the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, click HERE.
Spring House Pool & Fitness Center
The Spring House at the Jackson Gore offers plenty of health and fitness activities and an AWESOME indoor pool area complete with a water slide and a smaller splash area (with its own water slide) for little ones. We decided to spend the morning at the Spring House before driving back home on Sunday, and I’m so glad we did! The kids were tuckered out and took great naps for the ride home!
In addition to the pool, you will find a fitness center, racquetball courts and fitness studio for classes like Zumba and yoga. You can also book a relaxing massage after a grueling day on the slopes! There are well-appointed locker rooms and a family changing area, in addition to saunas for you to use after cooling off in the pool area!
Lodging at Jackson Gore
While visiting Okemo, we stayed in a condominium at the Adams House at Jackson Gore. At the Adams House, you can easily ski in/ski out–which is HUGE when skiing with younger children! Our condo building was directly in front of the magic carpet and bunny slopes, so it was very convenient for the boys to ski and then come in for a break before heading out again!
One of the great things about staying at Jackson Gore is you have condo lodging with hotel amenities. There is a 24 hour front desk, valet service, restaurants and bars onsite, and a host of other amenities. It’s like having the best of both worlds! In addition to the Adams House, there is lodging at the Bixby House and the Jackson Gore Inn (the main building).
With regard to our specific unit, we had 2 bedrooms (a master suite and a second bedroom with 2 queens). The unit featured 2 bathrooms (one with a bath/shower and the other with a shower). The unit had a full kitchen, which we used to cook dinner in on Saturday, since we were too tired to go out!
The kitchen, dining, and living area is all open concept, and we loved curling up on the couch by the gas fireplace. Other nice touches were foyer with coat racks and cubbies for ski gear (shared with the adjoining unit) and the heated garage.
At Jackson Gore, there is an extensive selection of options from standard inn rooms all the way up to a 3 bedroom penthouse, so there are options for every budget and family size!
Dining at Okemo Mountain Resort
You will find plenty of dining options at Okemo. If you’re looking to grab breakfast, snacks or a quick lunch, check out the Clock Tower Base where you will find Starbucks coffee and pastries, Vermont Pizza Company or Base 68. If you are looking to dine on the mountain, be sure to stop in to the Summit Cafe, Sugar House Cafe or Epic at Solitude. You can also book a Snowcat to take you up to Epic for a delectable five-course fireside meal!
Okemo Mountain Resort is an ideal location for a family ski getaway. Everything is centrally located at the base of the mountain, and you can easily find something for everyone to do, even if you don’t like to ski! We really enjoyed condo living at Jackson Gore, and the added bonus of having amenities like the Spring House, front desk assistance, and dining options right next door made it that much better!
We look forward to heading back to Okemo next season for more skiing and another ride on the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster!