LUDLOW, Vt. – Any kid growing up in this resort town should learn how to ski. But, when Vail bought Okemo four years ago, corporate bean counters not only axed a cadre of local ski condition reporters but also cut support for a decades-long program offering free midweek skiing to local school children.
“Not enough local kids are enjoying skiing,” says Noah Schmidt.
Speaking last week to the Ludlow Rotary Club, Schmidt, a Ludlow native, described his partnership with Abby Childs, a fellow UVM graduate with a background in graphic design, to counter lackluster ski conditions reporting and lend financial assistance to the elementary school ski program.
“Unofficial Okemo” (UO) is a compilation of daily ski reports, videos, photos, lift and trail stats, activity highlights, ski town stoke, and more. The UO website launched last Dec. 17, coincidentally when it snowed more than two feet in town.
“Our goal is to create a positive group of Okemo fans,” Childs says, adding that UO currently counts 855 subscribers – mostly from New England, but also England, New Zealand, and Ireland. The website logs 7,000 impressions and is supported by 27,000 emails to draw attention to the ski reports.
The Ludlow Rotary Club provides local scholarships and services to area non-profits, and support for international programs to fight illiteracy, polio, and more. The club meets most Tuesdays for lunch at DJ’s Restaurant. Contact any rotarian for more information. Check out Unofficial Okemo at www.unofficialokemo.com.
Written by Glenn Heitsmith