Weekend Update 10/31/2014; Special Edition

Greetings OMARA Friends and Families !

Not yet ready for winter?  Well, with a long list of remarkable news to report, get ready.  This sampling of biggests, bests and firsts should give you an indication on why the upcoming season will be a great one.

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Last year, Operation Snowburst and Okemo’s enhanced snowmaking capabilities received considerable accolades.  Those upgrades led to an earlier opening, more consistent trail conditions and faster recovery from challenging  weather.  For this year, an additional 100 HKD snow guns will be added to the arsenal.   Okemo currently projects opening on or about November 15th.

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OMARA Annual Meeting.  For this year, we’ll be modifying the format – less lecture, more fun.  Whether you are veterans with elder teens or first time Grom/Hopeful parents, use the evening as an opportunity to meet up with friends, acquire important information and kick off the season.  We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday, December 6th, Sitting Bull.

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Moving mountains?  Well, not quite, but moving more than a mile long chairlift and towers  … quite remarkable for sure.  Historic on-mountain improvements are rapidly progressing on the main mountain.  A new, six passenger, lift, The Sunburst Six, equipped with bubble-covers and heated seats will be replacing the Northstar Quad.

The near $7 million lift project is the most significant in Okemo’s history – and the first of its kind in North America.  From the airlift and removal of the old hardware to the installation of the new, the scope of the project is massive.  The lift is tentatively scheduled to be in operation on December 15th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to claim bragging rights for the first chairlift ride on the new Sunburst Six?   Click here to enter a drawing benefiting Okemo Mountain School.   Donations of $50 receive one entry, $100 for three and  $250 for ten.  But hurry, the deadline for entering is Friday, November 7th.   Proceeds can either benefit the OMS Annual Fund or Fitness Facility Fund (see below).

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Okemo recently announced a major multi-year partnership with the world’s leading terrain park team, Snow Park Technologies (SPT).  The partnership demonstrates Okemo’s strong commitment to enhancing the experience for all the park enthusiasts. This new partnership marks the single most significant development for Okemo’s parks since the introduction 18′ foot halfpipe in 2000.More great news to follow — look for bigger, better, bolder, and yes, a broader array of beginner features in short order.  For the expanding group of OMARA snowboard and freeride participants, this is remarkable news.  (And as for T-50 ?  I’ll leave you guessing.)

Click here  for additional details

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Fitting up a new fitness facility.  Earlier this month, Okemo Mountain School broke ground on an impressive addition – a new fitness facility.  This expansion marks the largest capital improvement in OMS’s history.  It is befitting of the significant momentum that OMS has achieved, both on and off the hill.  The new 5,000 square foot building takes on local architectural character and is being constructed as a barn (silo included).  It will be filled with equipment specific to student-athlete’s training needs and eliminate many of the current logistical challenges of transporting attendees off-site.   Completion is targeted for mid-late winter.  While much of the funding is already in place, a campaign is now underway to ensure that the project is a success.

In the past, OMARA families generously pledged support to the Clubhouse Campaign.  Work has continued, however, as many of you are aware, a permitting delay has proved very costly.   Status of the project remains open as our team is addressing several key challenges.  We’ll be providing further detail shortly.

In the meanwhile, OMARA sees the OMS Fitness Facility as complimentary to its mission of improving the snow sport experience for all Competition Center athletes.  Completion of the OMS fitness facility will be an additional component in delivering a best in class snowsports program.  OMS is looking forward to providing a fitness facility that all Okemo Competition Center athletes will be able to access for dry land training.

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Calling all Powder Hounds — OMARA Inaugural Road Trip !

Hmmm. Talk about choices. March offers some of most ideal conditions for free-skiing at Okemo, America’s Best Family Resort.  Well, how about an outing at one of Okemo’s siblings, Crested Butte, recently ranked as the Best Ski Town in North America by Powder Magazine. This past March, our small group of Okemo transplants had a great experience in the wilds of CB.   Crested Butte has it all, from backcountry and extreme steeps, to Okemo-style corduroy-dressed groomers.  Details to follow.  Mark your calendars for mid-March.

And …. 

If this info hasn’t induced you to buckle up your boots and get ready for winter, stay tuned.  In future Weekend Updates we’ll explore these and other items in more detail.

See you on the slopes, or better yet, maybe on that first warm and cozy chair ride of the Sunburst Six.

On behalf of your friends at OMARA,

Bill Hauser

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