Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The University of Seven Oaks

The University of Seven Oaks "Majors" in FUN!
  • snow ski
  • snowboard
  • snow tube
  • paintball
  • tent camp
  • hiking
  • daily mt bike riding
  • mt bike races
  • full service canoe float
  • full service kayak float
  • full service tube float
  • you-haul tubes
  • friday after five
  • facilities rentals for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, birthday parties, corporate meetings, corporate outings, trade shows, graduation parties, and.....

Getting ready for todays school group this morning from Nevada. Groomed before the storm yesterday as temps dropped and grooming again this morning.

We open at 4 this afternoon. Looks like it will be a lot nicer today and tonite than yesterday. Wow what a day it was yesterday. More snow in the five day forecast on two days. This weekend's temps look to be sweet.

Keep it White......

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Few things to share with you

  • We have decided to open at noon and close at 9 pm on Friday, February 15...........that's a couple weeks out.........February 15..........cause we know several schools are closed for one reason or another and we have a few groups already coming that day.
  • We have put our season passes on sale effective now for the balance of this season. Those of you that don't have one, but are finding yourself skiing or riding pretty often should do the math. It won't take many visits to be money ahead......and it is good for the next Late Nite
  • The next Late Nite is Saturday February 9:30..........thinking we will have free pizza while it lasts.
  • Snow coming today
  • Snow coming Thursday
  • Schools here Wednesday and Friday of this week.
  • Friday after Five is this Friday.
  • Closed today
  • Open at 4 pm tomorrow......Wednesday

That's it.........Keep it White and we'll see you on the slopes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It couldn't have been more....

....PERFECT this past weekend. Temps, wind, and snow conditions were awesome. Some areas got a little busy a couple hours........we apologize for that but I didn't see anyone NOT having fun. Certainly looking forward to next season already with the additional triple seat chair lift installed, more small snowboards in rental, hopefully more restrooms...... and we hope to have more snowtubes with another lane for tubing......making FOUR super chutes!

The Relay for Life benefit Late Niter was a good time last Saturday night. Hope those folks were pleased and willing to consider it again next season.

I have commented for several weekends now that I am just amazed with the percentage of visitors that go straight from rental to the beginner school yard........meaning for the most part ....they are about to learn a new sport for life.

Have school groups Monday (today), then Wednesday and again Friday of this week. Looks like the weather is going to be all over the map during the next seven days too. Really warm today (by the way we didn't even have melting in the parking lot to speak of yesterday) then turning colder with some snow and wind on Tuesday and finally leveling with great temps mid week and next weekend.

If anyone wants to buy a constrictor, give me a holler, I know a guy that has them...lots of them...even got to see him Saturday night for the first time this season. He travels the world as frequent as I travel to Seven Oaks!

Had a lot of birthday parties for kids from all over this weekend. I even had the chance of giving some of the birthday party little brothers, sisters and cousins their first chairlift ride (with parents).....and who knows they are probably going to be on the snow in a year or two. Start young!

Spent a lot of time in the park early Sunday morning working all the approaches and the landings. Joel said he was going to move some of them this week after it cools down make them all fresh.

We have our last regularly scheduled Late Nite in two weeks, Saturday February 9.

Congratulations Nick on a successful rail jam in DSM Saturday night. (Nick is a passionate rider that gives lessons at Seven Oaks on weekends) (nice guy too) I'm sure it was nerve racking getting it scheduled, organized and all but having the first one under your belt will make the second one easier. Seven Oaks was pleased to supply a couple rails for the event. Thanks also to Ken (our ticket master and awesome boarder who used to instruct at Seven Oaks before he got stuck in the ticket window!) for helping Nick with the event. Here are a couple links to a video from the jam.

For those moms with small ones, we have a baby changing station that will be installed in the Women's restroom this week. We would put one in the Men's too if there was room. Hope it helps.

Have a great day and we will see you when we open Wednesday at 4. Oh yeah, and Keep it White!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Support the Relay for Life

Light snow again this morning. Todays temps will be great and tomorrow's temps will be perfect from what I see on the forecast. Relay for Life Late Nite fundraiser is tomorrow night. Friday after Five is tonite. We open at 4 today.

Looks like we may open early Friday February 15 cause a lot of schools are out and we are being asked to by a couple families and a scout group. Need your input. Will you come during the afternoon of February 15 if we open? Let us know.

What ------no comments on yesterdays photos. I was particularly fond of the tracks from top of drop zone....I thought it was a cool shot. Actually I thought the pics from the past two days were really good.

Large school group this morning. Everything is groomed and ready.

Joel and I are discussing the "spring splash"..........we would again like to hear from you if you have some ideas. Want to watch the pond skimming again in March?

I have a bunch of nieces, nephews and their kids from South Dakota, Illinois and Nebraska coming to spend the Presidents Day weekend on the snow. It's a family reunion......kinda. We have several families that now use Seven Oaks as their winter destination for a mini reunion.

Keep it White.......for another six weeks at least!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Well it's a Heat Wave!

Compared to this mornings wake up temps, this weekend is going to seem like tropical weather...I just hope without the tropical rain. In fact today's temps and tonight's temps will seem balmy compared to this morning. No schools today, thank goodness, but have a large school group tomorrow.

Open at 4 pm today and I am going to give that daily reminder of the Relay For Life Late Nite that will be starting at 9:30 pm THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!

Looking at the 15 day forecast looks good overall. Can you believe we are approaching the end of January already. Sure has been great to get all the fresh snow so regularly. We are going to have to start planning the "spring splash" with the pond skimming pretty soon as quickly as the days are marching by.

Here are a couple more pictures taken day before yesterday. Awesome shots!

Keep it White and we'll see you SOON

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What do you think of this?

Ken (our ticket master) riding yesterday......

Joel (the GM) skiing yesterday.......

These could be YOUR tracks tonite......

Open today at 4 pm.........we left a lot of the powder for YOU.
Special Relay for Life Late Nite this Saturday night at 9:30 pm

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It Keeps On Keepin On

The snow that is. Got another 6 to 7 inches yesterday into the early evening. All Powder too!
This weekend's conditions appear to be picture snow, freshly groomed (except the Eggbeater), sunshine and temps that are going to feel like summer compared to the recent temps!

Closed today but have a big Christmas party tonite with private use of the trails.

Open Wednesday at 4 pm.

This Saturday Night is a special Late Nite at Seven Oaks. Wasn't on the books but we teamed up with the Relay for Life people and have scheduled this special Late Nite as a fundraiser for that worthy cause. Same prices as our usual Late Nite BUT we are asking for a $5 donation from all the season pass holders at this one. Should be a good time. Be sure to tell your friends.

Also wanted to mention effective April the Friday After Five events will be held at Seven Oaks on the FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH. More on that one as it develops.

sorry no new pics today so I will just sign off.

Keep it far it sure is working!

Monday, January 21, 2008

I did it again!

Saturday turned out to be a little colder than Sunday but we had decent attendance both days. It was great that the wind advisory predicted for Saturday was cancelled which probably made the biggest difference outdoors. Snow was freeze dried but easy to ride. Everyone made plenty of warm-up visits to the lodge and from what I saw everybody was not only riding smart but acting smart. Met a really neat family that drove up from Fort Riley Kansas to spend the night in the local hotel Friday night and then ski all day Saturday. Said they had heard of Seven Oaks from family that visited us over Christmas break.

Sunday with the sun shining so beautiful gave this old guy the even I went out to ski again. It was beautiful - absolutely wonderful! Temp was about 12 above, there was the slightest wisp of air moving from the south and as I said the sun was full and bright. Got a lot of stares and a couple hoots from the patrol, the staff and those that ride at Seven Oaks on a regular basis cause most of them had NEVER seen me on skiis before. It felt sooooo good. I skied Abby's Alley, Freeway and Drop Zone. Even had Joel make a run with me but I think he got a little bored with my conservative approach and went out on his own to make some runs. I will definitely ski again this season. And I loved the new skis in rental...they were so easy to carve a turn with. I think I will put together a special day for staff and family to have exclusive use of the slopes one day this year...

Wow there is a lot, and I mean a lot, of snow on the trails this year. It is really different to ride the snow versus seeing it from the groomer seat.

We had our NSPS annual on the hill refresher Sunday. I originally thought it was both days but I was wrong......only Sunday. What a great group of NSPS volunteers we have making themselves available to help you just in case you need help. Studying, practicing and testing their required skills over and over. You should thank them for what they do......regardless of the resort you visit. Took a group photo yesterday of the patrol and I think four members were even absent. This is a really big patrol! We started the day with an appreciation breakfast in the lodge, then some classroom and finally onto the snow. Did you know that Steve and Aaron, both employees of Seven Oaks are also patrollers? So if you ever want to know what is required to join the patrol, you can see one of them. Oh yeah, one of the patrollers has the motor home in the background for sale so if you are in the market........

MLK Day Holiday today at Seven Oaks. Open from 10 am to 6 pm. And speaking of MLK if everyone had a goal to change the world to be a better place even 1% of what that man did in his lifetime, what a huge improvement it would be.

Closed tomorrow but have schools visiting. Looks like this weekend is going to be SWEET!

Keep it White and IF I CAN SKI YOU CAN SKI

Friday, January 18, 2008

NSPS - Yesterday - Last Night - Late Nite

We are hosting a two-day National Ski Patrol Refresher Saturday and Sunday. You will see a lot of the folks with red jackets and a white cross sking both days and practicing their skills....but I am sure they won't be in YOUR way. When you get a chance, ride the lift with them and find out more about the NSPS and what it takes to be a volunteer patroller......I think you will find it quite interesting.

We have Friday after Five at Coal Creek Lounge tonite........lots of groups coming Saturday (several tonite and Sunday)........and our second Late Niter Saturday night starting at 9:30 pm. Free hot chocolate during the Late Niter, lots of give-aways, bonfire, music and great snow!

If you are a member of a Lighten Up Iowa team this year, check out the number of calories you burn each hour when skiing and riding!

Keep it White, Stay Warm and we'll see you on the slopes!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Update on "The Park"

Had a comment the other day from someone regarding hits in the park. Here is a response Joel wrote up to let you know the plans.

This week we added a hit on Central Park and added a small kicker next to the SMI snow making tower on Kenzies Korner- Not sure what I will do at the top of Central Park- have a lot of snow to do something with. The flat down rail will be added before open on Saturday morning. Also -We plan to freshen up the battleship and rainbow.

Got about 3" of new snow again last night. Should once again be great conditions tonite and through the weekend. I know it sounds like a broken record but it's true. Had a season pass skier last night say that it was hard for him to come into the lodge cause the conditions were simply perfect!

Open at 4 pm tonite and close at 9. One more reminder of the Late Nite this Saturday night from 9:30 pm to 1:00 am.

Sorry, no new pics so I will close with "Keep it White".

ps. ordered a new baby diaper changing station for the women's restroom yesterday. Another feature that we had been requested to add.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Four to Six

Four to Six Inches of Snow is predicted for our area. Geez, ain't it great! That's on top of all the snow made earlier this week.
Remember this Saturday night is another Late Nite at Seven Oaks starting at 9:30 pm and ending at 1:00 am. We will do more giveaways during the event....shirts, beanies, food, Monster, etc. Music, bonfire, ski, ride, tube, food and drink til 1:00 am.
Want to remind everyone cans and bottles (of anything) are not allowed on our lifts.........for your safety and everyone elses.

Colo Nesco Schools and Grundy Center Schools coming today for their time on the snow. We are freshly groomed and ready for them.

We open at 4 pm tonite and close at 9 pm. Conditions should be outstanding!

Keep it White - see you Tonite

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Took me a little bit but here are a couple pics from this morning. Steve couldn't even walk across the snow without sinking in!
Nice that we don't lose him though that he has the new hoodie!

Wednesday night before the snow will be awesome. Thursday night after the snow will be awesome. Friday, Saturday, Sunday will be ........well.........awesome!

I Was Right With Regard To My Snow Forecast

The system moved into Seven Oaks around mid morning Monday and dwelled there all day, all through Monday night into early Tuesday morning leaving about 4 to 6" of white powder on all the trails. Did I predict it or what! Here is a photo proving it.

The guns were moved every couple hours to get coverage EVERYWHERE!
I may have to do another blog today with some close up pics just to show everyone the absolute POWDER that was made!

And here are a couple of cool pics from last weekend Scion Snow Days at Seven Oaks! Keep it white and we'll see you Wednesday night at 4 pm. Oh yeah, looks like snow from mother nature tomorrow and Thursday!

Monday, January 14, 2008

20 % Chance of Snow Wednesday - 100% Today

I saw where the chance for snow was listed as 20% for this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday........well guess what, when you have snow guns you can predict as we have that there is a 100% chance for snow at Seven Oaks today, tonight and Tuesday. Yep, it's going to get deeper on the trails.
I would estimate we had about 1/2" Saturday morning from the rather small cell that scooted across the central part of the state.
Seven Oaks has Late Nite #2 this Saturday night. Yes, I know it's going to be colder than normal and I can't tell you why but in years past the Late Nite attendance on the cold nights is no less than on the warm nights. Guess people know we have a heated lodge that seats 225!
Got the new pizza warmer in for use this past weekend. It was great to not be so cramped for space to store the pizzas so they are ready to serve.
Had lots of birthday parties over the weekend too. Those little guys are a blast! It never fails, that when I ask a group of about eight kids who have just finished tubing, who was the fastest, that all eight raise their hands!
Brought in new colors of Seven Oaks long sleeve shirts and hoodies Friday night. Also just about ran out of goggles Saturday but we will get more in ASAP.
Oh by the way, when we make snow over the next 36 or so hours, more rails and boxes are coming to the park.....and speaking of the park, riders, please please do NOT sit in the trail. It is not safe for you or others. There are out of the way spots you can sit but NOT in the trails. Thank you for your cooperation.
We had an all employee meeting and breakfast Sunday morning. The emails, written thank yous, verbal comments, blog comments about our employees are shared with them. On behalf of the entire team, I thank you for taking the time to let us know your favorable comments about Seven Oaks and the individuals that helped you have fun while there. It really keeps the staff pumped. I too think they are great!
Sorry, no new pics, but maybe Ken will shoot me a few of the snowguns today.
Keep it white and see you Wednesday.

Friday, January 11, 2008

None versus Wet & Relay For Life

We were all kinda sad that the low pressure system took a more southerly route yesterday giving Seven Oaks no new snow.....but based on the really wet snow that fell in southern Iowa we now think it was a blessing. It was really really wet and heavy snow. Made for some slick roads for a while. So I guess you gotta be careful what you wish for.
Joel said he put his skis on and made a couple runs early evening yesterday and was real pleased with the conditions. He groomed before we opened yesterday and was grooming real early this morning before the school group arrives I gotta believe the snow will be great for riding, skiing and tubing tonite and this weekend. Open today at 4 pm. (Family Four Pack Nite) Some mention of light snow for Saturday but I don't know the details.
Our next Late Nite is Saturday, January 19..........AND we have scheduled a "special Late Nite" for Saturday January 26 as a fundraiser for the local Relay For Life. Tell your friends about both opportunities! More on the fundraiser when we get closer.
New pizza warmer arrived yesterday, now all we have to do is decide where it can be placed.
Keep it white and we'll see you on the slopes.
Ps. remember this Saturday is Scion Days at Seven Oaks......come do a look/see and test drive.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Web

It's Thursday and the snow is coming. Appears that it will be getting over about the time we open at 4 pm.

Seven Oaks is getting close to releasing our new updated web site. Takes a lot of time to get it together and we hope you will like the new look. We chose to follow the scheme of our printed color brochure. Be sure to let us know what you think when it is on line. New look but same name

And speaking of on line, we wanted to remind everyone that we have wireless high speed in the lodge for those of you that want or need to bring the lap top. Just stop by the retail counter and we will give you the access code.

Old pic - young shredder.

Send us your photos for a shot of seeing them on the blog.

Keep it white....and it looks like that won't be a problem for the near future!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Test Results and More

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. We will continue the blog.......and yes, with one of the suggestions we have successfully loaded a counter so we won't have to ask you again.

Have several things to share today. We'll have new long sleeve Seven Oaks shirts and Seven Oaks beanies in stock this friday night. Got another pizza warmer ordered yesterday so we can deliver you pizza (Ryan) faster.
Yesterday everybody pretty much took the day off here, a much deserved break from working 16 hour minimum days for sooooo long. Ken however told me that he was greeted this morning with 10 phone messages requesting group information and several emails wanting the same.....but as quick as he is I bet he is caught up quickly.
A reminder that it only takes 12 people in the group to qualify for the group rate...$10 savings per person for ski and board lift ticket.....$1 / hour savings per person for tubing. Put those discounts on the night rates and you have a great deal. Have you made your group reservation yet? Still time. We have lots of scouts, churches, 4H clubs, etc. on the books but there is plenty of room for YOU and YOUR group.
Decided to make snow last night so got the guns in position, hosed up and waited for the temps to drop. Got started at about midnight and they are still running as of 8:30 am this morning. When it comes to snow, more is better. Also wanted to "freshen" up for at 4 and close at 9.
Bryan Karrick on KCCI is saying this morning Seven Oaks should get 1 to 3 inches tomorrow from the sky. (as cool as his Lab is Bryan should bring Chase to Seven Oaks some weekend so everybody can meet them in person....who knows Chase may want to ride!) That combined with what we are making will make this week and weekend once again awesome conditions.
Mark your calendar for the next Late Nite......Saturday January 19......more on that as we get close.
Also this Saturday, January 12, is Scion Days at Seven Oaks from 3 to 8 pm! Come check out their new models and take a test drive while you are here.
Topics coming up.........Seven Oaks web site, blog in the summer, wireless internet, Relay for Life, Adventure Race, Dragoon River Romp, ......

Here are the pics from this morning. Kinda hard to get a good shot when it snowing so hard!

Keep it White and see YOU soon

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

This is a test

Noticed the past six or seven entries have had no comments which makes me wonder if there is value in the daily weekday blog entry. We do have knowledge of how many visitors we have to our web each day but not the blog. The only way we know if anyone is reading the blog or not is when someone if you want the blog to continue, (now the test) we ask that you let us know with a short comment in the blog.......and if there is value to you, we will surely continue the daily updates.

Now that we are past the Holiday Season, this week we start the regular winter hours for January and February. Closed Monday and Tuesday, open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 4 pm closing at 9 pm. Exceptions being the Presidents Day Holiday and MLK Day Holiday. Of course open Saturdays and Sundays.

Here are a couple more pics from last week. We love to create the lines and cordouroy when grooming and enjoy looking at them in photos as well. It is always fun to make the fresh tracks as first rider or skier each day.

This Friday we get right into the school groups as part of their phys ed programs. We think it is really neat that these students are given the chance to learn a sport for life.....I can't remember the last time I played dodge ball....but do remember putting the skis on since I got out of school........lots.
Had another Corp. Christmas party last night. Weather cooperated. We have continued to miss the majority of the really warm temps and the liquid precip that southern Iowa saw so our conditions are very good. Some talk of light snow a couple days this week too. We will probably make some more snow soon as well.
Hope to hear from you. Keep it White!

Monday, January 7, 2008

We're having Fun at Seven Oaks

Dodged the really warm temps over the weekend. I was surprised to hear how much of southern Iowa saw almost 60 degrees and rain. Seven Oaks had maybe 42 degrees and no rain.....but did have some fog Saturday night into Sunday morning. The fog burnt off real quick once the sun peaked over the ridge to our east. What a beautiful weekend we had on the snow. Looking forward to the snow they are calling for mid week.

The Saturday Late Niter was well attended. Again great temps to ski into the morning. I think the Monster give-aways lasted maybe oh .....two minutes! Popular drink isn't it. Seven Oaks did drawings for two lift/rental packages at the next Late Nite (January 19), sweatshirt, T shirt, Pizza and Everyone was present to win!
Keep it White and see you Wednesday night when we open at 4 pm.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wanna play in our back yard?

Got these new pics and just had to post them.

Birthdays, Fresh Show, Late Nite

Want to remind everyone of the Birthday Party special Seven Oaks offers. If you have a child with a winter birthday, skiing, tubing, pizza and pop will be a sure hit. Check out the details in our specials page.

Made more snow last night as was the case the night before. Looks clean, fresh and white. This weekend should be beautiful. Temps a little bit warmer than I like but not bad. Some rain forecast for southern Iowa on Monday. Also rebuilt the terrain park last night. I haven't seen it but am anxious to.
Remember our first Late Nite for this season is Saturday from 9:30 pm to 1:00 am. Monster is the sponsor with give a ways plus the Seven Oaks give a ways. Music + bonfire + fresh snow + You = Lots of Fun.

Couple pics taken recently.

See you on the slopes this weekend. Friday after Five tonite too. Keep it White!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Free Lessons Available

We decided a long time ago to offer free mini ski and snowboard lessons even tho within the industry most everyone uses lessons as a source of income. (Seven Oaks does offer a paid private lesson if that's your preference). We think that when a beginner pays for a lift ticket and pays for their rental, they will too often NOT take a lesson which will result in a less than desirable first experience, so here are the reasons we offer the free minis:
  • We want you to learn the sport for life.
  • We want you to be safe.
  • We want you to not injure someone else.
  • We want you to come back.
  • We want you to tell a friend and bring a friend to Seven Oaks.
  • We want you to have FUN!

On the really busy days, when all the beginners seem to show up at the same time, it might seem to some that "finding" an instructor to help YOU is next to impossible. Well it's not. We are adding a PA system to the rental building so start times for lessons can be announced. A new sign is being added to better identify the area you should assemble to meet your instructor and start the mini. You can identify our instructors by the yellow arm Bill is wearing in this photo.

And here are a couple recent pics taken of beginners learning a new sport for life.

Keep it White!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Finishing Holiday Week and First Late Nite

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

We're open Wednesday, January 2 and Thursday, January 3 from 10 am to 6 pm

Open Friday, January 4 from 10 am to 9 pm


Snow making will resume Wednesday night.!!

A couple more features will be added to the park later this week.

When it's colder outdoors, come on into the Lodge for frequent warm ups like this family!

Keep it White and we'll see you on the slopes.