Okemo, Vermont: Rank 11 East, 1997

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Back in the early Eighties, Okemo was a struggling area with too many surface lifts, old chairlifts and a tattered small-town character. Ludlow was a mill town that had seen its prime decades earlier. Today, in a textbook case of building what the customers want and having them come-a place with fast lifts, lots of snowmaking and superior grooming-Okemo is a slick and classy resort full of second-home owners. Ludlow has achieved new life and what would have passed for a hedonistic nightlife not long ago.

Okemo's terrain is not particularly steep, but the snow conditions are impeccable and the trails have enough twists and turns to provide New England character. If you like on-the-hill accommodations, Okemo has hundreds of nicely built but tightly packed slopeside units. One reader calls it "friendly and affordable. Service is second to none."

What's New Plenty. A new high-speed quad replaces the South Face fixed-grip, making the ride to Stump Jumper, a new glade on South Face, quick and easy. A new day lodge has been added at Solitude Peak.
Medals Gold Snow Quality, Grooming; Silver Lifts, Service
High/Low Rank Grooming (6); Expert Terrain (70)
Don't Miss The clam chowder and spicy fries for lunch, available at any dining spot on the mountain.
Reader Remarks "Friendly service, always well-groomed top-to-bottom." "Needs more expert terrain. It's a bland, vanilla hill."