Topping Out Makes Groundbreaking News at Jackson Gore

By AlpineZone News |
Jun 07 2006 - 03:30 PM

LUDLOW, Vermont ??” Two milestones were reached simultaneously this week by Okemo Mountain Resort’s Jackson Gore, Phase II construction project. At the same time workers were celebrating the “topping out” of the Adams House, a groundbreaking was taking place to begin construction on the new Jackson Gore multi-function sports arena.

One of the construction industry’s oldest customs ??“ the topping out of a project ??“ dates back to Europe and a time, prior to the adoption of Christianity, when people held such reverence for trees as the suppliers of food and shelter, they were considered a deity. The custom of placing a softwood tree atop a completed structure arrived in the United States with European immigrants and became an integral part of American culture in barn raisings and housewarmings. The early conception of tree worship recognized a forest god who could pass freely from tree to tree and the placement of a treetop upon a newly constructed home enlisted the blessings of the forest god and ensured fertility of the land and the home. Today the custom marks the structural completion of a building and offers a token of good luck for the workers and the future residents of the home.

Just downhill from the Adams House and the adjacent Jackson Gore Inn, groundbreaking on the new multi-function sports arena coincided with the topping out celebration. The main building, a pre-engineered, steel structure, will measure 115 feet by 215 feet. The building will house a skating rink in winter and a tennis court and basketball court, surrounded by a single-lane, asphalt jogging track, in summer. The adjacent amenity and support building will feature a gas-fueled fireplace for skaters to warm themselves in winter. Skate rentals will be available and a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine will keep the skating surface in top condition. The building is expected to be completed in time for Thanksgiving weekend ??“ the unofficial start of the winter season.

Also currently under construction as part of Jackson Gore’s Phase II, Okemo Mountain Resort’s new source for relaxation and rejuvenation, the Fitness and Aquatic Center at Jackson Gore, is slated for completion October 11. The two-level, 18,000-square-foot building will house a two-lane lap pool, a children’s pool, ranging in depth from 6 inches to 18 inches, with a frog slide and numerous splash and water fountain features. A ten-person hot tub includes an ADA-compliant accessible ramp. The building will also house locker rooms, a multi-purpose space for fitness classes, a large room for weights and cardio equipment, a racquetball court and space designated for an office and a retail store.

At Jackson Gore, the Adams House, the first of three new slopeside residence buildings, topped out ahead of schedule and construction of the Bixby House is slated to begin later this summer. At the Adams House, real estate is being offered for sale as fractional-ownership residences. The Bixby House and Coolidge House were recently in the spotlight as the focus of a tremendously successful selection event that witnessed the sale of $32 million of real estate, at pre-construction prices, in just over four hours. Residences varying in size from studios to three-bedrooms sold for $378,000 to $2.181 million. Available real estate in both buildings has risen in price, on average, by eight percent since the selection event. This is the first time in a decade, that whole-ownership, slopeside residences have been offered for sale at Okemo.

Jackson Gore, one of five alpine skiing and snowboarding expanses that make up Okemo Mountain Resort, is the newest addition to the award-winning four-season resort ??“ best known as a popular winter destination. Of the resort’s 18 lifts, two surface lifts and two high-speed, four-person chair lifts service a variety of terrain for all ability levels at Jackson Gore. At the base area, where Phase II is underway, the Jackson Gore Inn features elegantly appointed slopeside accommodations and the Roundhouse, a day lodge with ample seating and a convenient on-the-go food court. Other base area amenities include full-service dining, a guest services center, day care center, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, Snow Stars learning center, real estate sales office, ski/snowboard shop, sundries shop, equipment rental/repair shop, video arcade, meeting rooms and underground parking ??“ all accessible by covered walkways offering sub-surface heating for more efficient snowmelt during the winter months.

For more information about Okemo’s Jackson Gore, or to learn more about planning a vacation, please call (802) 228-4041 or visit