Okemo, Vt.: Rank 9 East, 1998

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It was just a matter of time before this climber cracked the Top 10. In the hands of savvy management, Okemo has marched from obscurity to Eastern prominence by making all the right moves. The formula: moderate terrain, good service and lodging, and grooming, grooming, grooming. Step out of your slopeside condo at 8:30 am and you're guaranteed to find miles of corduroy. "Good terrain, good snow, good grooming," a reader crows. Experts be warned: There are no knee-quakers at Okemo, an aspect that many readers sourly note. That makes it a favorite with families, however, who love to cruise Dreamweaver and Nor'Easter. Success has its price. "It can be very crowded on weekends," a reader says. Nightlife? Ludlow is no Aspen, but it has begun to stir. The locals eat at DJ's for value or Nikki's for gourmet. In the morning, they fuel up at The Hatchery or grab a cup at A State of Bean. "The town of Ludlow is great. And so are the dining options," a reader says.

What's New A halfpipe and 60 slopeside condos.
A Good Deal Three-day weekend, Nov. 29-Dec. 18, Jan. 18-22; three nights' ski-in/ski-out lodging and lift tickets, $60.75 per person per night. Call (800) 786-5366.
Medals Gold Grooming, Family Programs, Snow, Lifts; Silver Service.
High/Low Rank Grooming (2); Challenge (69).
Don't Miss A bowl of seafood chowder and a window seat for lunch at the mid-mountain Solitude Lodge.
Reader Remarks "Great snow quality and grooming, and a friendly attitude." "Can be expensive and crowded. Could use more expert terrain."