In 2009, I went skiing to one of the best ski resort areas in southern Vermont, Okemo Mountain Resort. Beginning as a community run ski hill in 1955, the mountain quickly expanded into 119 slopes, trails, and glades which cover more than 632 acres. It also has a 2200 foot vertical drop, the most in southern Vermont. The resort has five mountain areas: Jackson Gore Peak, Solitude Peak, South Face, Glades Peak, and South Ridge.
On December 23, Okemo Mountain Resort opened its first roller coaster, Timber Ripper which will be located in the Jackson Gore area. Most recently, a bridge has been placed into position. It will reach a top speed of about 25 MPH, but has a 375 foot elevation change. How do you do that? Well, the train has a lever on the side that controls how fast the train is moving. There are two people per car, one being the passenger, one being the driver. The driver pushes the lever to go, and pulls it back to slow down. It is manufactured by Wiegand, who was at the IAAPA Attraction Expo in Orlando, Florida. I had the opportunity to talk to one of their representatives and to see one of the vehicles that is used on their alpine coasters. The ride has a 1600 foot climb to the top, lasting about five minutes; the whole ride is about 3100 feet long, with a very steep lift. The cost per ride will be $9 for a passenger and $13 for a driver. The ride will be open all year round. The coaster will accommodate approximately 500 riders per hour.
Iím hoping to visit Okemo in March and plan to ride this new mountain coaster. I will definitely take pictures and will post another blog about my experience.