• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Okemo vs. Loon - pros and cons?

New Daddy

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
181
Points
16
Location
MA
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!

Thanks for the info! Had no idea there were ski-in/ski-out over at Bear. I'll check it out. But if it's at Bear, I have to admit its value as ski-in/ski-out for my wife diminishes a bit.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
25,615
Points
38
Location
Southeast NH
Second home. Until the kids refuse to ski with their parents.

I would make yourself very familiar with Vermont's tax policy towards second home owners in Gold Towns and the stiff capital gains taxes they charge on resales within 7 years of purchase. NH has hefty property tax rates in a lot of towns too, but you won't pay the same tax penalties should you need to sell the asset. Just something to consider outside of the skiing product and community attributes.
 

bigbob

New member
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
473
Points
0
Location
SE NH
From the condo's to the Skye peak Quad is an intermediate trail. Once at the top of the SPQ you can also access intermediate terrain, don't let the Bear access scare you!
 

witch hobble

New member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
762
Points
0
I grew up skiing Okemo and now live near Loon, although like Cannonball I also choose Cannon over Loon.

We used to call Ludlow "Dudlow". These days there is a little more going on in the eve, and A LOT more going on in the summer since the golf course was acquired and all the subsequent development around the mountain in the last 12 years. But still definitely the off season.

Lincoln is a lot more of a gateway town as well as a destination, with a busier main street in the spring/summer/fall (ever seen it on a clear Columbus Day weekend with the Kanc foliage going strong? It's insanity!!) Closer to the "off season" activities that I prefer.

Your kids are lucky either way. But if it were me.....2 hrs less driving time every weekend and more challenging terrain would make Loon the choice. If you go up 10 times a year, and own the place for 10 years, thats 200 fewer hours you've spent in the car.
 

abc

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
3,848
Points
38
Location
Lower Hudson Valley
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.
You're not a fan of skiing trees then? Your kids would love that!
 

Cannonball

New member
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
3,670
Points
0
Location
This user has been deleted
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.

A minor point on your whole desicion making, so not to derail or overstate, but yeah you might not be thinking of the same place. This is a very good wine shop with four walls (plus many stands) of good wines. Plus cheeses, olives, etc.

They also run an odd shop next door of craft beer, cigars and video rentals. ?
 

2knees

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
8,330
Points
0
Location
Safe
I too would pick Loon in a heartbeat for terrain. Not that it's great, but in comparison to okemo it'll keep you far more interested. Trees at Loon are way better too but natural snow can definitely be an issue.

good luck with your decision.
 

C-Rex

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
1,350
Points
0
Location
Enfield, CT
I've never been to Loon but it's gotta be better than Okemo. I get bored at Okemo in a day, can't imagine if I were there every weekend. If you can make the extra drive to Killington, definitely do that. Way more of everything you'd want and when it's super busy, you can head to Pico and avoid the big crowds.
 

steamboat1

New member
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
6,613
Points
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY/Pittsford,VT.
Thanks for the info! Had no idea there were ski-in/ski-out over at Bear. I'll check it out. But if it's at Bear, I have to admit its value as ski-in/ski-out for my wife diminishes a bit.

Besides Sunrise Village over at Bear there are also condo's/town houses along the lower section of the Skyeship gondola.
 

Gilligan

New member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
199
Points
0
Location
Lost
Besides Sunrise Village over at Bear there are also condo's/town houses along the lower section of the Skyeship gondola.

Be aware that at Killington all the ski-in/ski-out condos tend to only have their trails open from Christmas to early April. At the beginning and end of K's long season nothing is trailside, not even the Grand. Many prefer to just be on the shuttle bus route.
 

OkemoMountain

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
3
Points
0
In the spirit of full disclosure, I work in the marketing department at Okemo Mountain Resort. I have also worked at Loon in a similar capacity.

First off, I have to say ... PICK OKEMO!

Here's why: Okemo has been operated for 30 years by Tim and Diane Mueller. They know their business and they know what families want in a ski resort. They raised their two children here (now working in the industry, at sister resort Crested Butte, in Colo.) At Okemo, you and your family would become part of the Okemo family. It's an intangible thing that is impossible to explain, but it's a huge difference between Okemo and every other resort.

You are spot-on with your list of pros for Okemo. A couple of things I would add are:
- reliable conditions. Okemo's snowmaking and grooming is superlative and is recognized regularly by the readers of SKI Magazine. Every resort has snowmaking and grooming capabilities, but Okemo takes it to a new level. The real test to consider is recovery time when a weather situation occurs. Okemo's recovery time second-to-none and you can count on Okemo to deliver when Mother Nature shows her fury.
- family friendly by design. While it's true that Okemo doesn't offer anything like Sunday River's White Heat or Mad River Glen's Paradise, what you'll find is that your wife and kids will have choices from the top of every lift. The only lift that doesn't have a green circle route down is the Jackson Gore Express. Tuckered out was designed as an easy trail, but we heard from our guests (yes, we listen to our guests and act on suggestions) that they thought it offered more challenge than most of our beginner trails, so we changed its designation to blue square. Also, because of the topography of the mountain, snow stays put on our trails better ... making for better surface conditions longer into the day. You'll also find that Okemo's trails were designed to have fewer intersections or trail crossings, reducing your chances for collisions at trail junctions. Other winter day trip destinations? Killington and Pico are the closest, but there's also Magic, Stratton, and Mount Snow is just an hour away.

In reviewing your list of Loon pros, I have to admit the drive is shorter. Non-winter activities? Did you know there are four lakes running parallel to Route 100, just north of Okemo? There's even a state park with a beach and picnic area. http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/plymouth.htm Buttermilk Falls is one of the finest swimming holes anywhere, plus there are lots of great hiking trails, biking routes and family attractions - and I haven't even started telling you about Okemo's new Adventure Zone, with a mountain coaster, zipline tours, disc golf, mini golf, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, big air bag, Segway tours and more. We also have two 18-hole championship golf courses and a Family Fore Course for families and people who are new to golf. And then there's scenery. I'm happy to hear you think that's debatable. On a clear day, we can see all the way to Mount Washington to the northeast and to Mount Manadnock toward the south. It's fun to pick out the trails of Stratton and Magic and even Mount Snow from the South Face summit. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we have our fair share of scenery.

I do hope you'll decide to make Okemo your home mountain. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or if you just want to chat about Okemo .... pr@okemo.com
 

dlague

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
8,789
Points
36
Location
CS, Colorado
I've never been to Loon but it's gotta be better than Okemo. I get bored at Okemo in a day, can't imagine if I were there every weekend. If you can make the extra drive to Killington, definitely do that. Way more of everything you'd want and when it's super busy, you can head to Pico and avoid the big crowds.


I have been to Loon - though it was years ago, my experience was not great! It was on Saturday and the lines were long! At the time South Peak did not exist, so I would imagine that that area has helped a little to provide relief to lift lines. However, I read this about Loon which discourages me:

"Loon Mountain hosts more skiers than any other resort in the state."

I have skied Okemo on several occassions and I do beleive that it skis bigger than Loon. It has almost twice the acreage (650 vs 370). The trail difficulty is evenly distributed at Okemo vs Loon being 60% blue. Someone noted a longer season at Loon but their open and close dates are not much different. Same closing date this year for example! Okemo's Jackson Gore has an outdoor concert series every summer on weekends.


Considering Killington and Pico, well those two are good additional options especially if you want an extended ski season with K. Driving Vt's winding roads is really cool and if you have not been to VT much then it offers much to explore!

That said Loon is in the White Mountains and that is a beautiful area too!

Some one mentioned A Loon pass gets you Sunday River and Sugarloaf, but Okemo can get you Sunapee and Crested Butte (if you want to go west from time to time).

All in all - I am more of an Okemo/Vermont skiing fan. I live in NH about 45 minutes from Loon yet I make the trek of 1.5 hours to Okemo. Go figure!

Good Luck!
 

Angus

New member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
961
Points
0
The trail difficulty is evenly distributed at Okemo vs Loon being 60% blue.

I believe the trail difficulty rating is specific only to terrain of the area. i.e. black diamonds at not equal between areas.

I've skied both places maybe twice in past 10 years. IMO, Loon's terrain is more difficult and I haven't skied in the south peak area.

It seems to me that Loon is making real effort to open on/before thanksgiving under boyne's ownership.
 

OkemoMountain

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
3
Points
0
Hey New Daddy,
PICK OKEMO! We would love to have you and your family join our family. Tim and Diane Mueller have been operating Okemo Mountain Resort for 30 years. They raised their two children here and they know what families are looking for in a home mountain. There's a certain something about Okemo that sets it apart from other mountains. When you make this your home mountain, you become part of something bigger than yourself. It's not a mountain or a community that people outgrow; it's the kind of place where traditions are formed and celebrated for generations. It's the kind of place you'll still want to visit as you grow older. It's the place where you'll enjoy skiing and riding with your grandchildren some day.
 

ss20

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
2,577
Points
38
Location
CT
Hey New Daddy,
PICK OKEMO! We would love to have you and your family join our family. Tim and Diane Mueller have been operating Okemo Mountain Resort for 30 years. They raised their two children here and they know what families are looking for in a home mountain. There's a certain something about Okemo that sets it apart from other mountains. When you make this your home mountain, you become part of something bigger than yourself. It's not a mountain or a community that people outgrow; it's the kind of place where traditions are formed and celebrated for generations. It's the kind of place you'll still want to visit as you grow older. It's the place where you'll enjoy skiing and riding with your grandchildren some day.

Really, I thought you would say Loon! Are you going to just try to suck people in to going to Okemo, or will we be able to ask you questions about the mountain? In other words, are you SPAM or a mountain rep who we can ask stuff.
 

jack97

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
2,513
Points
0
I would pick loon in a heartbeat. imo loon has more variety in terrain from blues to black however the greens are somewhat limited. It has about three to four trail, one of them merges with several trails and it gets significant traffic. Since they have limited newbie terrain, these trails get crowded fast. The later could be a factor if you have children learning to ski.

Having said that I would still find a second home around that area, its close to bretton woods which is a hidden jewel for early season snow. The place is in a notch that traps the cold from the presidential mountain range, so it tends to get natural snow when the rest of the resorts down the 93 corridor gets rain. Believe me, I have seen that happen on many occasions around Xmas break. btw please keep this a secret :p

In case you have friends our family that can't take all that skiing, Conway is about an hours drive along the highway. IMO you can't you go wrong in that area.
 
Top