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Okemo vs. Loon - pros and cons?

New Daddy

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My family has narrowed down the candidates for our home mountain for the next 7-10 years to Loon and Okemo. Both have lots of beginner trails and true ski-in, ski-out properties, which is logistically important to engage the missus who definitely won't be out on the slopes as long as the rest.

I'm trying to list up the pros & cons for each (actually just the pros, as the pros for one resort would be relative cons for the other). Can people add what I may have missed?

Loon
  • Closer from home (2 hours door-to-door vs 3 hours for Okemo)
  • With proximity to the White Mountains and the Lakes Region, more non-winter activities
  • Other day-trip destinations closeby (Cannon, Waterville, Bretton Woods)
  • Better scenery (debatable but at least personally)

Okemo
  • Skis bigger (official vertical almost same at 2200 ft vs. 2100 ft. But North Star Quad top-to-bottom definitely skis bigger and longer than the Gondola top-to-bottom)
  • More skiable acreage
  • More terrain variety
  • Ludlow livelier than Lincoln (probably due to NY crowds? More bustling shops and restaurants)
  • Better ski school (in my experience)

Other factors seem to be on par: duration of season, crowd.
 

skiking4

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Never een to loon, but You have kton 30+ min away for okemo. Personally tho, not the biggest fan of okemo. I don't find it the most interesting mountain.
 

Gilligan

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You could not pay me to be stuck at Okemo for a week, let alone years. The place is flatter than H-E-double hockey sticks.
 

HD333

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Is there truely ski in/ ski out at Loon? Or are most of the condos across the street?

We are exploring a move next season as well and as of now we are leaning towards Okemo for a true ski in/out seasonal rental (Kettlebrook, Trailside, Winterplace). Would love to hear your thoughts on Loon properties that are ski in/ out, assuming you are talking about seasonal rentals. We have focused on Okemo so if you have questions about the Slopeside options there fire away. (PM if you want)

I agree that Okemo skis bigger than Loon, and it has a bigger mountian feel to me, Jackson Gore seems like a different resort.
Ludlow actually seems more laidback to me than the Lincoln area , which we like from a family perspective. A few real good places to eat/après.

If you are talking about buying then Lincoln to me makes more sense as far as off season use, from what I hear Ludlow basically shuts down in the off season.
 

ss20

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Well, this is a hard question!

Okemo
- Usually opens later and always closes sooner
- Not as crowded (depending on where you are)
- Terrain is all similar
- Off-mountain activities
- Lift system
Loon
- Lot's of terrain variety
- Easy to navigate
- Slightly better terrain parks
- White mountain beatuy
- Passes give you acces to Sunday River and Sugarloaf
Both
- Good for families
- Nothing too challenging
- Good glades
- Terrain parks

Personally, since I'm big on trees, I'd pick Okemo. But if you want a mountain to call home for a decade, I'd say Loon. Okemo's mountain coaster, pools, and tubing will only entertain your kids (I'm assuming you have kids because you want beginner trails and a ski school) for a limited time before they get bored. Then they'll want to spend more time on the mountain, where they'll get bored with Okemo's bland trails. At Loon there are no activities (besides tubing), but the mountain is so varied it's worth it once they want to ski more than tube. Okemo looks good on paper, but Loon is better once you're there. Consider this: You'll be on the mountain 6-8 hours a day. You'll have 1-2 hours for activities. Pick a better mountain, which I believe, is Loon.
 

ScottySkis

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Is 30 minutes to Killington s deal breaker, they have better everything including natural snow fall.
 

xwhaler

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Loon is significantly more challenging than Okemo. Lincoln prob has more going on year round than Ludlow and you have access to the notches and N Conway on the Kancamangus for shopping for the wife.
I'd have a tough time getting a 2nd home at either mtn compared to other choices but if I had to pick I'd go Loon. Property taxes will be much higher in NH vs VT however.
My uncle has a place just outside Ludlow in Proctorsville that is my un-official 2nd home in the winter time. I'm more familiar with Okemo than Loon but would be happy to help answer any questions.
Are you committed to one or the other or possibly looking at other options with slopeside offerings?
 

Cannonball

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I have a weird perspective on this question. I own in Lincoln....but I never ski at Loon. Love the town but the mountain isn't for me.

Have to answer a few of the other's points before answering yours

Is there truely ski in/ ski out at Loon? Or are most of the condos across the street?
Yes, there are lots of ski in/out condos on Loon

Well, this is a hard question!
At Loon there are no activities (besides tubing), but the mountain is so varied it's worth it once they want to ski more than tube.
Loon is packed with non-skiing activities. Visit their webpage.

Property taxes will be much higher in NH vs VT however.
Often true. But actually not true in Lincoln, NH. Pretty reasonable tax rate at 12.73 and one of the lowest in the state. This as a result of large business tax base and a low resident:residence ratio.

My family has narrowed down the candidates for our home mountain for the next 7-10 years to Loon and Okemo. Both have lots of beginner trails and true ski-in, ski-out properties, which is logistically important to engage the missus who definitely won't be out on the slopes as long as the rest.

I'm trying to list up the pros & cons for each (actually just the pros, as the pros for one resort would be relative cons for the other). Can people add what I may have missed?

Loon
  • Closer from home (2 hours door-to-door vs 3 hours for Okemo)
  • With proximity to the White Mountains and the Lakes Region, more non-winter activities
  • Other day-trip destinations closeby (Cannon, Waterville, Bretton Woods)
  • Better scenery (debatable but at least personally)

Okemo
  • Skis bigger (official vertical almost same at 2200 ft vs. 2100 ft. But North Star Quad top-to-bottom definitely skis bigger and longer than the Gondola top-to-bottom)
  • More skiable acreage
  • More terrain variety
  • Ludlow livelier than Lincoln (probably due to NY crowds? More bustling shops and restaurants)
  • Better ski school (in my experience)

Other factors seem to be on par: duration of season, crowd.

Travel time is a HUGE one. An extra hour of travel will sometimes prevent you from going. There are those late nights, or last minute decisions, or heavy traffic days, or bad weather days, when a 2 hour drive seems reasonable to tackle but 3 hours is just too much. That is one of the top reasons we chose Lincoln over any other place.

You say more terrain variety at Okemo and that it skis bigger. HD333 agrees with you, ss20 and I say the opposite, So I guess it's subjective and you should go with how it feels to you on that one.

I don't ski Loon because I like Cannon better. But with that said, I absolutely see the appeal for families. It's a resort that offers tons of activities for the whole family. I know people with condos on Loon and it is a real community.

Good luck however you choose.
 

riverc0il

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I couldn't disagree more that Okemo skis bigger and has more terrain variety than Loon. Skiable acreage... not sure with South Peak, haven't skied there since that was added to Loon. I am not saying these two things are reasons you should go to Loon. Solid intermediates might like Okemo better because it has a lot more long, uninterrupted blues. Whereas a lot of top to bottom at Loon is interrupted by Grand Junction. But I think Loon skis like its vertical says. You'd have to show me a topo to prove to me that it has 2k vert. And Okemo doesn't have as much steep, expert terrain. Loon's glades are more challenging as well. Loon has more depth and does it with a tad less acreage. Okemo to me has a lot of acres but it mostly all skis the same.
 

New Daddy

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Never een to loon, but You have kton 30+ min away for okemo. Personally tho, not the biggest fan of okemo. I don't find it the most interesting mountain.

That's a plus for Okemo. Because I don't take Vt 100 N to travel to Killington from home, it never occurred to me that K'ton is only about 30+ minute drive from Okemo. Thanks.!
 

New Daddy

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If you are talking about buying then Lincoln to me makes more sense as far as off season use, from what I hear Ludlow basically shuts down in the off season.

I was actually wondering about that too. It's a shame that Ludlow shuts down in the off season, because its business is abundant and booming in the winter. For example, the wine shop in Ludlow (forgot the name) that was not even on Main St. was as decent as any in my own town, whereas the one in Lincoln can't even stock one wall with wine. And also no contest in the restaurants department, especially if you include the ones inside the resort. But if all that is just for the winter... mmm..
 
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New Daddy

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At Loon you'll save an hour on the drive but lose that time in lift lines on the weekends.

Is Loon clearly worse? At Okemo, the line gets pretty bad at North Star Quad too, although I think the worst I've seen was the Gondola at Loon on a busy day.
 

New Daddy

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Are you committed to one or the other or possibly looking at other options with slopeside offerings?

We're not committed to either, but I think we've done pretty extensive research to narrow down to the two. A third candidate would have been Bretton Woods, as they have nice slopeside townhomes, which are expanding along Crawford Ridge, and the best scenery of all. But even for an advanced skier who's willing to settle for Okemo for the sake of the family, Bretton Woods is too lacking in terrain.

Other resorts with ski-in/ski-out condos that we have visited and considered are Stratton, Stowe and Sunday River. But echoing what Cannonball mentioned, the driving to those destinations is a big con. It's not just the absolute driving time but the route conditions that I need to consider for my wife. Loon is the easiest two-hour driving you can do, mostly on interstates on cruise mode absent traffic. Okemo also is not bad at all, as the last one hour on Route 131 is not overwhelming even on snowy nights. I'll take the three hour to Okemo over 2.5 hour to North Conway on Route 16 any day.
 

Cannonball

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I was actually wondering about that too. It's a shame that Ludlow shuts down in the off season, because its business is abundant and booming in the winter. For example, the wine shop in Ludlow (forgot the name) that was not even on Main St. was as decent as any in my own town, whereas the one in Lincoln can't even stock one wall with wine. And also no contest in the restaurants department, especially if you include the ones inside the resort. But if all that is just for the winter... mmm..

You need to get to know Lincoln better. Excellent wine shop in town (Abbey Cellars).
 

bigbob

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Sunrise and Topridge at Bear Mnt. A friend of mine skis to Bear when it is open from Topridge almost every day , she only drives early/late season to the K 1 lodge. Lives there year round and has a spectacular view. It can get a bit breezy at times however!

Having worked in the Lincoln/ Franconia area in the summer, it is very busy on the south side of the notch and they roll up the sidewalks in Franconia at 7 PM.
 

New Daddy

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You need to get to know Lincoln better. Excellent wine shop in town (Abbey Cellars).

Actually that's the one I was talking about. Unless my memory is wrong, they had wine only on less than one side of their walls. The staff is very nice though. No doubt about that.
 

bobbutts

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I feel contrary on some of this too.
North Peak and South Peak quads at Loon both ski pretty big when comparing to Northstar.
Lincoln has more going on vs. Ludlow.
Cannon is very close and adds lots of variety.
93 is an easier and more consistent drive than 103 in addition to shorter
 
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