Okemo’s “sweet” spring season includes skiing and a season pass sale

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 15, 2010 9:58 am

LUDLOW, Vt. – The sight of steam billowing from local sugarhouses marks the start of spring skiing season. And what a sweet season it is! The mixture of warm days and cool nights helps fill sap buckets hanging from maple trees and creates the snow surface conditions that skiers and riders savor through the final days of winter. Okemo Mountain Resort is planning to offer skiing and snowboarding through mid-April, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the spring snow, sunny skies and numerous on-snow events like Splash for Cash and Okemo’s annual Slush Cup pond-skimming competition. Savvy skiers and riders know that this is also the best time to purchase next year’s season pass. In the same way sugar season lasts for a short time in the spring, Okemo’s best deal on season passes ends April 30.

Okemo offers seven-day passes, five-day passes, midweek passes and even a Sunday One-Day Pass. Most passes include skiing and riding benefits with Okemo’s sister resorts, Mount Sunapee, N.H. and Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colo. – and Okemo’s partnership continues with Stratton Mountain, Vt., as well.

Okemo’s Ultra Pass is just $1,299 ($1,019 for ages 13-18 and $799 for ages 7-12) when purchased before April 30. In addition to all the added-value benefits that come with the Ultra Pass, Okemo is sweetening the deal for early birds. This pass is valid seven days a week with no restrictions for Adults, Young Adults and Juniors who can ski or ride every day of the 2010/2011 season at Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte and Stratton. When purchased before April 30, skiers and riders receive two free companion days at Okemo loaded onto their Ultra Pass and a bonus companion day at Okemo valid on or after Monday, March 7, 2011. Okemo will also activate each pre-April 30 Ultra Pass purchased with a preloaded $25 resort credit.

With a little planning, skiers and riders can combine some sweet spring snow sliding with their purchase of next season’s pass and a visit to a local sugarhouse to see how sap from sugar maples gets boiled down to make pure Vermont maple syrup. The annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend at sugarhouses throughout the state is slated for March 26-28. Activities during Maple Open House Weekend include sugarhouse tours where visitors can watch maple syrup being made and sampling of maple products. The Green Mountain Sugar House, located on Rt. 100 N, just a couple of miles from the slopes of Okemo, welcomes visitors anytime throughout the maple sugar season.

Vermont is the nation’s leading producer of maple syrup with annual production of approximately 500,000 gallons. Vermont’s high concentration of sugar maple trees is also one of the reasons it consistently offers the nation’s most vibrant fall foliage.

Information about all of the participating Maple Open House Weekend maple syrup producers, including which of the three days they will be open and directions to their sugarhouses, can be found at www.vermontmaple.org or in the “2010 Vermont Ski & Maple Syrup Guide,” available at all Vermont Welcome Centers.