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Skiing in Vermont

Okemo features great snowmaking, grooming
LUDLOW -- It is said that success is a journey, not a destination; so it is no surprise that improvements slated for this winter at Okemo Mountain Resort continue to focus on the snow and ways for resort guests to enjoy it. With 97 percent of its terrain equipped with snowmaking capabilities, Okemos emphasis this year is on making snow more efficiently and exploring viable ways to make snow at closer-to-freezing temperatures, allowing the resort to open more lower-elevation terrain earlier in the season. Thirty new HKD tower guns, designed to project snow with pinpoint accuracy will be installed in areas like narrow slopes and real estate access trails requiring focused, directional throw. Okemo will also be testing a variety of new snowmaking guns on its Open Slope, just above the Clock Tower base area. Skiers and snowboarders will be able to sample the snow from guns produced by Snow Economics, with four different configurations. Featuring adjustable water flow levers, nozzle versatility and new valving technology, 15 of the HKDs premiere snowguns will be added to the arsenal as demos so that Okemos top-rated snowmaking team will have a chance to thoroughly test the newest technology, providing feedback to further develop this specialized snowmaking equipment. Stratton opens on Nov. 21
STRATTON -- The winter season at Stratton Mountain Resort is set to get underway, November 21, 2007. With over $2.1 million in on-mountain improvements this year, including a 560 foot covered magic carpet the longest in the US and over 100 new snowguns, Stratton is ready for winter. Some Stratton Statistics: - 2,160,000: Dollars spent in on-mountain improvements this season! - 560: Lengths of new covered magic carpet in feet the longest in the United States! - 108: Number of new snowguns added to Strattons renown arsenal - 45 +: Number of acres in the redesigned Tamarack beginner area - 1: The new Burton Progression Park designed to teach park riding in a lesson environment while introducing the concepts of Strattons two-time NSAA Safety Award-winning SES program. Strattons full slate of winter events kicks off on November 23 with the Second Annual Gobble Gobble Wobble 5k Fun Run, and continues through the season, highlighted by the Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer snowshoe race on February 9, the 26th US Open Snowboarding Championships March 17 23, and the VT Freeskiing Open March 26 30. This season Stratton will also celebrate 25 years of the Stratton Snowboard School the first and the best snowboard school in the world. As part of the celebration, the mountain and Burtons Learn to Ride (LTR) program will team up to construct a kids Progression Park. This terrain park is designed to teach newcomers how to ride freestyle terrain, while reinforcing the concepts of Strattons two-time National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) award winning Safety Education Session. Stratton Snowboard School will be offering 25% off any lesson on the 25th of each month as well as discounts at Syd and Dustys snowboard shop in Stratton Village an exclusive Burton dealer carrying the companys full product line. For more information on Stratton Mountain Resort and all of Strattons winter events, www.stratton.com or call 1-800-STRATTON. $5.3 million in resort improvements
KILLINGTON -- Killington Resort enters the 2007-08 ski and snowboard season with more than $5.3 million in resort improvements and new programs to enhance overall guest experience. In addition, Killington is implementing new environmental initiatives in an effort to reduce the resorts overall carbon footprint. This will be our first season as a new company and were focusing on improving our overall product and the guest experience. And that means focusing on every detail from snowmaking and grooming, to our ski and snowboard school programs, to food and beverage quality and value, said Chris Nyberg, Killington Resort and Pico Mountain president and general manager. Moving forward, our mission is to exceed customer expectations, be innovative, profitable and environmentally responsible. Leading the list of improvements are upgrades to the worlds most extensive snowmaking system; remodeled Long Trail Pub at the Snowshed Lodge; a fresh look for select lifts and lodges with new paint, furnishings and carpet; $2 million in upgrades to the Killington Grand Resort Hotel and Spa; new kids Ski and Snowboard School programs; new Burton Learn to Ride program and two new lift access products, the Killington Countdown Card and the Killington/Pico Express Card. Guests will notice a difference in the overall look and feel of the resort this season, Nyberg added. From new awnings over the Magic Carpets at the Ramshead Family Center, to new loading and unloading decks and lift house refurbishments, freshly painted lifts, new lift information signs, and new Coopers Coffee outlets serving Starbucks products at K-1, Snowshed, Bear Mountain and Ramshead Lodges, guests will enjoy many changes throughout the resort this season. Killington continues to improve snowmaking operations and lower its overall carbon footprint by increasing its Low Energy snow gun arsenal another 10 percent for the 2007-08 season. Additional electric outlets have also been installed on-mountain for increased use of energy-efficient fan guns throughout base and hi-traffic areas. The increased use of Low Energy snow guns has reduced Killingtons diesel consumption by more than 30 percent and electricity by 25 percent over the past three years. The additional Low Energy snow guns will be installed on the upper sections of Killington Peak, where these technologically-advanced guns offer the most operational efficiency -especially during the early season - by producing the same amount of snow as conventional guns while utilizing up to 75 percent less energy. Additional snowmaking upgrades include rebuilt pump houses, hydrants, pipe replacement and computer hardware and software upgrades to snowmaking control to improve overall system efficiency. Combined with a fleet of 20 state-of-the-art snowcats. Killington will again offer guests a high quality snow surface with more snowmaking coverage and groomed terrain that any other resort in the east.

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